The gluten-free contest really had me flummoxed. One of the things I am most thankful for is being gluten tolerant. After some pretty disastrous attempts at cookies and tarts, I decided to turn to something more savory. A food pickle question brought to mind cheese straws, but there was no way I wanted to tackle gluten-free puff pastry! It wasn't a big leap to think of gougeres so away I went. After several less than successful attempts I was able to get a gougere that I was happy with. I used a combination of bleu and extra sharp cheddar, with some mustard powder to reinforce the bite from the cheese. A little rosemary adds a nice perfume and subtle flavor that enhances rather than overwhelms the flavor of the cheese. These morsels will make a lovely addition to your next cocktail party
- Makes About 30 gougeres
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon water
¼ cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon table salt
60 grams white rice flour
75 grams gluten-free corn flour*
1 teaspoon mustard powder
¾ teaspoon finely minced rosemary
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs plus 1 egg white (room temperature)
40 grams strongly flavored bleu cheese, crumbled
70 grams extra sharp cheddar, grated
- *I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free corn flour which is not treated with lime. It is essentially corn meal that has been ground to a flour consistency.
- Heat oven to 425º F with a rack in the middle position. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray, then cover with parchment paper. (Alternately use a Silpat)
- Combine water, milk, butter and salt in a 2 quart heavy saucepan. Heat on medium-low, and bring the mixture to a boil. (The butter should melt before it boils.)
- Meanwhile whisk the flours, mustard powder, rosemary, and pepper for about 30 seconds to aerate and break up any clumps. Set aside. In a glass measure whisk the eggs to blend. Set aside.
- Once the water mixture has just started to boil, dump all of the flour mixture in at once. Stir the mixture with a heat proof spatula until the flour is mostly incorporated. Use the spatula to smear the mixture across the bottom of the pan in a stirring fashion, continuously for 3 to 4 minutes. A thin film of flour will have build up on the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer the dough to the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process for 15 to 20 seconds to cool slightly. With the processor running add the eggs through the feed tube in a stream over about 15 seconds. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cheese. Process for about 45 seconds, until cheese is fully incorporated and the dough has formed a smooth paste.
- Transfer the paste to a gallon plastic bag, cut a ½-inch diameter opening in one corner. Pipe the dough into 1 ¼-inch circles about ¾-inch high, making sure to leave about 1 inch between gougeres. Use a dampened spoon or fingertip to smooth out the peaks to prevent burning.
- Bake 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375º F and bake an additional 18 to 20 minutes. The puffs should be a very deep golden brown, or they will deflate upon cooling. Turn oven off. Use a wooden spoon to hold oven door open a crack. Wait 20 to 25 minutes to allow puffs to dry a bit, then serve warm preferably with a glass of prosecco or a nice cocktail.