Gougères with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
These savory morsels are made from the same base that is used for cream puffs with two differences: Gruyère cheese is added to the paste and, in this case, extra-virgin olive oil is used instead of the customary butter.
I recently made classic gougères for a Les Dames d’Escoffier event honoring the publication of Paris to Provence by Ethel Brennan and Sara Remington. Afterward, I started to think about the possibility of making them with extra-virgin olive oil. This recipe is the result.
About 40 gougères
4 ½ ounces whole milk
4 ½ ounces water
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
3 ounces medium or robust extra-virgin olive oil
5 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, cracked into a bowl and beaten lightly with a fork
3 ½ ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
Position a rack on the middle shelf of the oven and preheat it to 375°F (350°F convection).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put the milk, water, salt, and olive oil in a medium saucepan. Heat until the mixture begins to boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until it is absorbed.
Return the pan to the heat and cook over medium heat for another minute, stirring constantly. Transfer the paste to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs in four portions, waiting until each is absorbed before adding another. Beat the cheese into the paste.
Fit a pastry bag with a ½-inch plain tip. Fill the bag with the paste. Pipe the paste into mounds, 1 ½-inches in diameter, 1 inch apart, onto the baking sheet. If you aren’t adept with a pastry bag, drop the paste onto the baking sheet with a tablespoon. With a moistened fingertip, tamp down the points each mound.
Bake until the puffs expand and brown, about 20 minutes. They should feel firm to the touch. Cool them on a rack. These are best served the same day that they are baked.