“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers Daily Gazette readers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s nationally accredited American Culinary Federation culinary arts program. Today, adjunct instructor Gail Sokol puts cheese in the oven and bakes Cheddar Gougères.
In French cuisine, a gougère is defined as a baked savory pastry made of dough mixed with cheese.
Gail Sokol defines them as delicious.
“They are made out of a cream puff dough,” she said. “They are steam-leavened; they need a lot of moisture in the batter. It turns to steam in the oven, which is a powerful leavener.”
The gougères are fine finger foods all by themselves. But Sokol said chefs can make their appetizers extra successful by serving them with olives or sliced salami.
1 cup water
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon dry mustard
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Remove from heat.
Whisk together flour, salt, pepper and dry mustard and add all at once to the butter mixture. Mix vigorously to combine; a dough will form.
Mix in eggs and egg white one at a time, beating thoroughly between additions.
Beat in all but 1⁄4 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese.
Using a small teaspoon-sized ice cream scoop or 2 teaspoons, scoop dough onto the baking sheets to form 1-inch balls spaced about 11⁄2 inches apart.
Sprinkle each ball with the remaining cheese. Bake for about 28 minutes or until they are puffed and brown. Shift the pans halfway through.
Lower the temperature to 400 degrees and continue to bake for another 8 minutes or until the puffs are crisp and deep brown in color.
Serve warm or at room temperature.