Mini Cheese Gougères

Number
of servings
Makes 35-40

Preparation
time
30 minutes

Cooking
time
35 minutes

Light, airy and flavoured with Quicke's Clothbound Cheddar, this mini version of the classic French pastry makes a lovely pre-dinner nibble, especially when paired with a glass of Yearlstone No 2 wine...

Ingredients

  • 125ml water

  • 40g butter, salted or unsalted, cut into cubes

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • A big pinch of chilli powder, or a few turns of freshly-ground black pepper

  • 70g flour

  • 2 large eggs

  • A handful of finely-minced chives (or substitute fresh thyme)

  • 90 grated cheese (choose any of Quicke's range depending on how strong you'd like them)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  2. Heat the water, butter, salt, and chilli or pepper in a saucepan until the butter is melted.
  3. Dump in the flour all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture pulls away from the sides into a smooth ball. Remove from heat and let rest two minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring quickly to make sure the eggs don’t ‘cook.’ The batter will first appear lumpy, but after a minute or so, it will smooth out. (You can transfer the mixture to a bowl before adding to eggs to cool the dough, or do this step in a food processor or electric mixer, if you wish.)
  5. Add about 3/4s of the grated cheese and the chives, and stir until well-mixed.
  6. Scrape the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a wide plain tip and pipe the dough into mounds, evenly-spaced apart, making each about the size of a small cherry tomato.
  7. Top each puff with a bit of the remaining cheese, the pop the baking sheet in the oven. you can freeze them at this point and cook from frozen, adding a couple of minutes.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 190C and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re completely golden brown.
  9. For extra-crispy puffs, five minutes before they’re done, poke the side of each puff with a sharp knife to release the steam, and return to the oven to finish baking.
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