This is not necessarily a profiterole, but a gougère. A gougère, in French cuisine, is a baked savory choux pastry made of choux dough mixed with cheese. It is a cooked mixture of water, butter and flour which rises due to steam expansion. The paste crusts on the outside, trapping steam inside, creating a puffed shape with a hollow interior.
With these we can use any type shredded hard cheese, like gruyere, sharp cheddar or your favorite. I like to add a little bite and cayenne pepper is introduced in the dough and makes for a nice snack. For a more dessert feel the cayenne can be left out and the crisp shells are filled with a variety of creams and finished with a glaze. This is an easy snack to make and great fresh and hot although they deflate after a while!
- 1/2 recipe Pate a Choux recipe follows
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyere
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 egg beaten
- Pate a Choux
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter cut in pieces
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour sifted
- 4 eggs beaten
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the grated cheese and cayenne pepper to the half-recipe of
- pate a choux, see below.
- With a rubber spatula, scoop the pate a choux into the pastry bag and pipe out approximately 24 (1-inch) rounds, spaced 1 to 2 inches apart on the baking sheet lined with a silicon baking sheet or parchment paper.
- Brush lightly with the beaten egg and place in the oven. Cook until golden and puffed, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool briefly on a baking rack. Serve hot or at room temperature.
- Pate a Choux:
- In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the water, salt, sugar, and butter to a boil.
- This next 2 steps here you will need some elbow grease as you will get a workout. Take the saucepan off the heat, add the flour all at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon. Continue beating until the dough forms a solid, smooth mass and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan.
- Little by little add the beaten eggs, beating vigorously in between each addition, until the dough forms a smooth, shiny mass.
- Divide the dough into 2 even quantities, 1 part to be used for the gougeres, the other for profiteroles for dessert.