A Recipe for Gougères

What is the french word for dentures? Apéritifs. 

Peering into the diary it is now less three months before I begin work again as a gourmet cycling guide for DuVine Adventures. A summer of fine dinning and fine wine awaits while I lead cycling holidays in Burgundy and Champagne, but as I begin to ponder what lies ahead in the coming months it's the simple moments of French life from last year that my memory has clung too.

The Sunday morning 'Vide Grenier' where a man can peruse tables of unwanted treasure and leave with a prize. A cool glass of aligote to quench my thirst at the end of a days ride and perhaps a warm gougeres to nibble on. Made from ingredients that are almost always at home, these warm cheesy puffs make a perfect snack for any Apéritifs. 

  • 50g  butter
  • 200 ml milk
  • 250g  flour
  • Large pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 250g grated comte (any hard cheese will do)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves plus a little pinch for decoration
  • 4 large eggs

1.Preheat oven to 400°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt the butter, add 200ml milk bring to a simmer in a heavy saucepan. Remove from heat.

2. Add flour, cayenne, and salt; stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Return to heat and stir vigorously over a low heat until mixture forms a sticky ball.

3. Transfer mixture to a blender. Add 1 your cheese and thyme and blend with the dough blade. Add 4 eggs, one at a time.

4. With two tea spoons scrape the mix onto the baking sheets in small rounds about  an inch apart.  Sprinkle with any remaining cheese and  garnish with a  few thyme leaves.

5. Bake gougères until puffed and golden brown and the centres are cooked through but still moist, 20–25 minutes. Let them cool slightly and serve warm with a crisp glass of aligote.