My first job after college was in Washington DC where I would frequently drop by Whole Foods to peruse the aisles and, if I was lucky, snack on some samples. It was on one of these trips I found a container by the cheese counter filled with a selection of wrapped cheeses that were much smaller than the others on offer. Because they seemed like the extra bits leftover from the more choice wedges, my friend and I dubbed these mini cheddars and blues “remnant cheese”. A selection of this remnant cheese was a staple of my early post-college entertaining.
Over the years, I’ve found this gougere recipe is the perfect way to use all the remnant cheese you may have lingering around--or bought specially for the occasion. The recipe is based on David Lebovitz’s gougeres. —Allison
mixed cheeses, dice or crumble softer cheeses into small pieces and use a box grater for harder cheeses
Preheat the over to 425ºF. In a saucepan, combine the water, butter, salt, pepper and cayenne and place over medium heat until the butter is melted.
With wooden spoon in hand, add the flour to the saucepan mixture and stir continuously until the ingredients form a ball. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool slightly, about two to four minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, stirring after each until fully combined.
Stir the mixture of cheeses into the saucepan until well distributed.
Transfer the dough into a zip-top plastic bag, seal the bag and snip a bottom corner of the bag to create a 3/4" opening to pipe the dough through. To make it easier to get the dough into the plastic bag it can be helpful to place the open zip-top bag into a mug or liquid measuring cup with the top of the bag folded over the top of the mug, like you would line a garbage can.
Pipe large gumball-sized mounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 5 minutes at the preheated temperature of 475ºF Then, while the gougeres are still in the oven, reduce to 375ºF and bake for 20 minutes more or until golden brown.