Today's Valentine's Day! This recipe is great to make a stupidly easy, yet very fancy dessert with complex sweet and savory flavors. Never heard of Gougeres? They are the subtly cheesy version of choux pastry (the same type of pastry used for cream puffs). Never fear, fellow gluttons, this recipe is actually a lot simpler to make that it looks. For the sake of your sanity (as well as not having to flip back pages for the ingredients list), I suggest you click "View all Steps". This recipe should yield roughly 40 puffs with chocolate ganache to spare.
Step 1: Assemble Your Ingredients and Equipment
- 1 cup water
- 3 - 4 Earl Grey teabags
- 1.5 tablespoons powdered milk
- 8 oz block sharp white cheddar, half shredded, half thinly sliced
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, sliced into tablespoons
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- pinch kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1.5 cups dark chocolate chips
- 4-6 large strawberries, halved and sliced
- Two baking sheets
- Parchment paper
- Cheese grater
- Rubber spatula
- Medium-sized saucepan and mixing bowl
- 2 pastry bags (or decorating press) with a 1/2 inch round tip
- Wire whisk
- Serrated steak knife
Step 2: Make Tea
Preheat the oven to 400°F and bring water to boil in a kettle. Pour the water into a measuring cup over teabags and allow to steep at least 10 minutes while you prep your other ingredients.
Step 3: Start Making the Choux Pastry
Pour the tea into the saucepan, whisk in the powdered milk, add the butter and salt and bring the whole lot to a boil on the stovetop. Stir in the flour with a rubber spatula. Reduce the heat to low and keep stirring until the dough dries and pulls away from the pan.
Step 4: Cheese It
Put the dough into a mixing bowl and allow to cool for a minute. Clean your saucepan while it cools, Add the eggs then to the bowl, one at a time, mixing each thoroughly into the dough with the spatula before adding another. Fold in the shredded cheese.
Step 5: Pipe and Bake It.
Transfer dough into a pastry bag and pipe heaping tablespoon-sized rounds, about two inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-22 minutes until touched with golden brown. Make and chill chocolate ganache while the puffs are baking. Remove the pastry from the oven when done at let cool on a rack.
Step 6: Make Chocolate Ganache
Heat the cream in the saucepan on the stovetop. When it is warm enough where you can hold you finger in it for 3-4 seconds before being too hot, turn off the heat. Whisk in the spices and then the chocolate chips. Keep stirring until chocolate is fully melted and incorporated. Chill the ganache in the refrigerator until it has the consistency of thick, chocolate pudding.
Step 7: Add the Fillings
Slice off the tops of the puffs with a serrated steak knife and reserve. Put a small cheese slice into each puff. Transfer the ganache to another pastry bag and pipe at least a teaspoon's worth on top of the cheese. Top the chocolate with a slice of strawberry, and then the pastry top.