Serves: Makes about 40
I have developed a dangerous addiction to Marks and Spencer Truffle Cream Cheese and, having found some truffle flavoured gouda the other day, a little recipe seed was sown in my brain: what if I could use both to flavour one of my favourite aperitif snacks, namely cheese gougères. Here, the cheesy choux pastry is both baked and deep-fried. The baked puffs are stuffed with the truffle cream cheese but if you can’t find the truffle flavour you can always use plain cream cheese-and perhaps add some chopped herbs or crushed garlic.
- 130g plain flour
- 30g butter, cut into 1cm pieces
- 225g water
- 3 medium eggs, beaten
- 75g truffle-flavoured gouda or similar, grated
- ¾ teaspoon truffle salt
- About 600ml vegetable oil for deep frying
- 2 x 140g pots Truffle Cream Cheese (Marks and Spencer)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- To serve, cayenne pepper
- Heat the oven to fan oven 190°c, mark 6. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking parchment. Sift the flour into a bowl and set aside. Put the butter and water into a saucepan and warm over a low heat until the butter has melted. Don’t let the water boil.
- When the butter has melted turn the heat up and bring the liquid to a rolling boil. Take off the heat and quickly add the flour, beating the mix until a smooth dough is formed. Return to the heat and cook for one minute. Take off the heat and transfer the choux pastry to a mixing bowl. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- With an electric whisk (you can use a wooden spoon but it’s hard work) slowly beat in about a quarter of the egg. When the choux pastry is smooth beat in a little more egg and continue until the mixture is of dropping consistency ie. like a victoria sponge cake batter. It is better if the choux is a little stiff rather than loose. If you don’t use all the egg don’t worry. Stir in the grated cheese and salt.
- Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe out 20 little choux buns, about half the mixture, onto the prepared baking tray. Sprinkle the tray with a little water (steam will help the rise) and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the gougères are puffed, firm and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Make a little hole in the base of each gougère.
- For the remaining mixture, heat the oil in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan to 180°c. Carefully pipe in centimetre long pieces of choux pastry-don’t overcrowd the pan. Fry for about 5 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. Continue in this way for the rest of the choux pastry.
- To serve, mix the cream cheese with the mayonnaise and spoon into a piping bag fitted with a narrow nozzle. Pipe the mixture into the holes made the base of each gougère. Dust the fried gougères with a little cayenne pepper and serve with the stuffed gougères.