This little savoury cheese snack is a classic aperitif in Burgundy. France.fr passes on the recipe for this speciality that’s as easy to make as it is to eat…
In Burgundy, any self-respecting meal begins with a batch of gougères. This savoury, airy little ball, which can be made in a jiffy, consists of a warm dough mixed with cooked cheese, often Gruyère, or Comté for a stronger flavour.
Gougères can be made in the form of a crown, a tart to be sliced or as individual ‘cabbages’. You can also stuff them – but don’t mistake stuffed gougères for their sweet cousins, cream puffs! Gougères marry perfectly with Burgundy wines, from Petit Chablis to Crémant and Bourgogne Aligoté.
Where do gougères come from?
Although we know the dough was first introduced to France by the cooks of Catherine de Medici during the Renaissance, a certain mystery still hangs over the origin of the gougère. According to some historians, it appeared for the first time on the menu of a feast in Sens in 1571. It was then served as a dessert.
But you won’t hear that story near Flogny-la-Chapelle, a village near Auxerre which has proclaimed itself world capital of the gougère. Flogny gives the authorship of the gougère to a certain Liénard, a Parisian pastry chef who lived in the village in the 19th century, and adapted another Burgundian speciality popular at the time, oeufs en cocotte (coddled eggs).
To celebrate this food heritage, the village organises an annual gougère festival on the third Sunday of May, when the little cabbage snack is king. But no need to travel to Burgundy – here’s how to make them yourself at home.
Recipe: Comté gougères
100g grated Comté
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Combine the water, butter and a pinch of salt, and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat and add all the flour. Mix until the dough comes off the sides of the pan.
Return to a low heat and cook for one minute.
Add the eggs one by one, incorporating them into the dough. Then add the Comté and mix well.
Form the dough into small balls and bake for 20-30 minutes.
Serve hot or slightly warm.