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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gougères (French cheese puffs) with caraway (cumin)

The airy and cheese-flavored French snack, here in a caraway-spiced version. Little golden spheres of pastry, crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Not very complicated to make. Just try this classic French appetizer anytime you feel like a light cheesy crunchy snack to nibble.

Ingredients (makes a batch of 28-30 puffs):
  • 120 g grated emmentaler (or Cheddar or Gouda or Gruyère or some other hard cheese)
  • 40 g butter
  • 70 g plain flour
  • 125 ml water
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of un-ground caraway
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a small frying pan with no oil put the caraway and roast it on medium heat until it's fragnant and you hear it pop (2-3 min):

Prepare the rest of the stuff to have them nearby in the exact measures. 

When you're ready to start, preheat the oven to 220 degrees C and put the water, salt, pepper and butter in a small pot over heat:

When the butter is melted remove the pot from heat and add the flour. Stir to incorporate well:

Let it rest for two minutes. Meanwhile, beat the eggs lightly:

Add them gradually to the dough, mixing fast with a whisk (so the eggs don't get cooked, you don't want the whole thing to turn into omelet).

When it's evenly mixed (after a minute or so), remove the whisk, careful to scrape all the bits of batter from it back into the pot. Add the roasted caraway and about half of the cheese:

Mix everything really well. Line a baking tray with baking paper:

With your hands or 2 spoons mold little rounds out of the dough (cherry-tomato sized) and dip them through the remaining cheese, then put them on the tray.

Put them in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180 degrees Celsius and bake for another 20 minutes. Take out and allow to cool. They're done, dig in!


  1. I really can't bare the smell of cumin. But I bet it could be replaced with some rosemary

  2. Sure! The recipe is traditionally French in respect of its basic measurements to make the dough.

    Actually it's also a little German as they have something very similar around here called Koch Kaese (literally Cooked Cheese or Cheese to be Cooked).

    But you can flavor them anyway you like and rosemary seems indeed a good choice :)


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