Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pate de Choux - Gruyere Gougere

Gruyere evokes precious food memories for Mary and me. We stayed there several years ago with Hans and Myrtha, old friends from Zurich who we met in a restaurant in Venice (the Bella Venezia), many years earlier.

The smell of the countryside and the smell of the raw cheese combine with the taste and the aroma of fondue and grilled raclette and of kirsch and cafe de l'amitie.

We stayed, as you would expect, at the Hotel de Ville, walking there carrying our suitcases from the carpark through the narrrow cobbled streets under the watchful gaze of the Castle.

The wobbly Youtube video at the foot of this post gives you a good idea of what Gruyere is like on a misty morning, as it was when we were there. If you listen carefully at the start of the video you can hear the ubiquitous sound of the cowbells tinkling. If you watch the clip you will see Le Chalet restaurant which is the best raclette and fondue eatery in the village and is the place where Mary and I discovered the shared wooden pot of cafe de l'amitie, the coffee made with the eau de vie of the region.

But fondue and raclette, much loved chez nous at St Malo are their own stories. Today's is about gougere made with gruyere cheese, in them and on them. Gougere are in a league of their own when it comes to a light satisfying cheesy snack to consume with wine.

The recipe reproduced here with the kind permission of Sue Dyson and Roger McShane can be downloaded from their Food Tourist website. Tonight we ate the gougere pictured above with a Cairanne Catherine le Goueil '06 Cuvee Lea Felsch, a magnificent organic/ biodynamic red from the Loire and one from Roger and Sue's Terroir Wines stable.

These cheesy melt in the mouth wine soakers are delicious with good anchovies and also with fresh ricotta or goat's cheese. The recipe below can be followed exactly for instant success. I found it pays to grate the gruyere with a microplane to get it shaved finely but I don't think it would matter if you use Mum's old cheese grater. The other tip from Sue that works is to beat the eggs and cheese in in the mixer at a good high speed and for quite a while until the mix shines like mayonnaise.

I made some with the extra gruyere sprinkled over and some without and while the shape and flavour is pretty much the same in each case, the ones with the sprinkled gruyere have a deeper colour. I used a 200C super fan forced setting on my Smeg and cooked for 20 minutes exactly. The mix makes about 35 gougere, each one from a good heaped teaspoon of the pastry onto the baking tray.

For anyone in doubt about the basic method of cooking the dough in the saucepan on the stove top the demonstration clip linked below is very good.

Bon appetit - a votre sante.

Gougere recipe

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Food Style: French

Gougere are the perfect pre-dinner snack on a cold winter's
They are also perfect at parties as no serving problems exist.
The trick is to use good quality gruyere cheese and also to
ensure that your butter is completely absorbed by the boiling
The mixture you make is called choux pastry.
125 grams (4 oz) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
250 ml (8 fluid oz) water
125 grams (4 oz) plain flour
220 grams (7 oz) beaten eggs (about 4 large eggs)
60 grams (2 oz) grated Gruyere cheese
15 grams (.5 oz) extra grated Gruyere cheese
Take the chilled butter and cut it into small dice.
Place the cold water, salt and butter in a small,
heavy-based saucepan and bring slowly to the boil over
high heat stirring all the time.
The butter should be completely melted and 'emulsified'
into the water.
Remove from heat and quickly beat in all the flour,
stirring with a wooden spoon until it forms a solid ball.
Put back on the heat for a minute or so, beating all the time
to dry out the mixture a little.
Place the mixture in an electric mixer and, on high speed,
gradually incorporate the cheese and the beaten eggs.
It should be slightly liquid like a heavy mayonnaise.
Butter a baking tray and then lightly dust it with flour.
Place walnut-sized drops of the batter on the tray then
sprinkle the extra cheese over.
Bake at 205C (400F) for twenty minutes or until puffed
and golden.
© Sue Dyson and Roger McShane, 2002
This recipe must not be reproduced in print or displayed
on another Web site in part or whole without the written
permission of the authors.

Choux pastry demonstration from

The village of Gruyere



  1. Yum!

    Is that your kitchen in the header? Looks gorgeous...

  2. Hi Michelle
    Yep that's the kitchen.
    Sort of old fashioned (1929) but modernish as well.
    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Hi Stephen, they look hard to stop at one or two!

  4. Salivating here.
    Why am I so late in discovering this place?



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