Comté gougères

by Beca Lyne-Pirkis

Cheesy choux pastry puffs

These make for excellent canapes or a delicious side dish for my soupe au pistou.


75g plain flour
¾ tsp mustard powder
60g butter
2 medium eggs
150g comté or gruyère cheese


Preheat the oven to 200C and line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Turn the paper upside down and mark out circles using a pencil and a 2½cm round cutter. Fill the 2 sheets with circles but leave a gap between each one.

Sieve the flour, ½ tsp salt and mustard powder onto a large sheet of greaseproof—this will make it easier to add the flour into the hot liquid once the butter has melted. Heat 150ml water with the butter until it has melted and the water starts to bubble. Do not let the liquid boil, as it will evaporate. Take the saucepan off the heat and add the flour straight away, beating the mixture together until it forms a thick dough/paste. Put the saucepan back on the heat for 1 min to cook out the flour and then scrape the mixture into a bowl and leave to cool slightly.

While the dough is cooling, beat your eggs together and get a piping bag ready with a 1cm nozzle. If you don’t have a nozzle, you can just snip a 1cm hole in the bag. I use a pint glass or a jug to stand my piping bags in as I’m normally on my own baking, with no-one to hold the bag for me!

After about 5 mins, gradually add a little of the egg to the dough and beat well with a wooden spoon. The mixture always looks like it doesn’t want to combine but keep at it, as it always will. Continue to beat until all the egg has been added. Stir through 125g of the cheese until combined, reserving 25g to sprinkle on top of the gougères before they’re baked.

Fill your patiently waiting piping bag and pipe rounds of the dough onto your already prepared baking sheets. Get a little cup of water, wet your finger and dab the tops of the dough mounds if they’ve peaked where you’ve piped. Sprinkle a little extra cheese on top of each mound, then sprinkle a little water around them. This will create steam while they bake and give you crispy choux puffs.

Bake for 15 mins then, without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 170C and bake for a further 15 mins until golden brown. After this time, remove the puffs from the oven, pierce the bottom of each one with a cocktail stick and pop them back in the oven for another 5 mins to thoroughly dry out. Remove from the oven and serve warm as a canape or as side dish to my soupe au pistou.

Recipe: Beca Lyne-Pirkis