Gougères are cheese-flavored cream puffs from the Burgundy region and are usually served on special occasions, often with an apéritif, for example a kir — dry white wine flavored with crème de cassis, black currant liqueur (coming tomorrow). When I first arrived in France in the 1970s, gougères were rarely to be seen in Paris. You had to get on a train and head toward Dijon to run into them. Now they are frequently served, most often as mini-puffs bought frozen and reheated in the oven. These frozen gougères are both handy and tasty, but what can I say? They ain’t nothin’ like the real thing.
Gougères / Apéritif cheese puffs, Burgundy style
The baker in the small Burgundy village of Villiers Saint-Benoît doesn’t mess around with mini-gougères. His are proud, firm, softball-size pastries, crisp on the outside, meltingly tender on the inside — consistently the best I’ve come across. His name is Franck Lasne, and he was kind enough to share his recipe with me. When preparing gougères at home, I usually make them smaller than Franck’s but larger than minis, about the size of a tangerine. They are more manageable this way — more than a mouthful, but no so large that one would need to refrain from asking for more.
Site news: Beginning next week, The Everyday French Chef will switch to a new schedule, with recipes coming 2-3 times a week, and not every day. This does not signal any change in the everyday spirit of the site. But now that we have been up and running for nearly two months, with dozens of recipes available and more than 5,000 visits, it’s time for me to work on developing other parts of the site, and to spend a bit more time getting to know my fellow food bloggers. If there are any recipes in particular you would like to see in the weeks ahead, please drop me a line. And, as ever, happy cooking! — Meg Bortin