Over-the-Top Gougères

Photo of Over-the-Top Gougères with creme fraiche, smoked salmon, and caviar.New Year’s Nibbles
Just when you thought all of the cooking and cleaning of dishes was done, here comes New Year’s Eve. I haven’t hosted a New Year’s Eve party in quite a while. In all honesty, the older I get the more I prefer to stay home on the couch in my jammies. Yes, there may be cocktails and, of course, there will be something to eat.

I feel like the more low-key your celebration is, the more over-the-top your food should be. I mean, if you can’t eat caviar while lounging in your sweats when can you eat it? Ten points to Hufflepuff if you decide to wear your best jewelry too. But what to eat?

I have always been a big fan of gougères. I can eat them one after the other. And, they are a personal tradition to serve for New Year’s Eve. Here is my favorite gougères recipe which I posted for New Year’s in 2020.

To ring in 2023, I’m trying this recipe from Food & Wine. The addition of smoked salmon and caviar will send these over the top—which is exactly what I am looking for!

Happy New year to you all! Raise a glass to a fantastic 2023!

Over The Top Gougères
Adapted from Food & Wine
Yields four servings

1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
3 ounces Cave Aged Gruyere or Emmenthaler (about 3/4 cup), divided
1-1/4 teaspoons fresh thyme, divided
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 ounce smoked salmon
1/2 ounce Tsar Nicoulai caviar (1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Assemble the ingredients
Cut the butter into cubes, grate the cheese, finely chop the fresh thyme, and slice the salmon

Make the dough
Heat water, butter, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium until the butter is melted (about 1 minute).

Add the flour all at once, and stir vigorously using a wooden spoon until the mixture dries a bit and pulls away from the sides of the pan (about 2 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat.

Carefully pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until the mixture is cool and the steam is released (about 2 minutes). Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until fully incorporated (about 1 to 2 minutes). The batter will have lumps at first, but continue beating until the batter is smooth. Stir 1/2 cup of the cheese and 1 teaspoon of thyme into the batter reserving the remaining cheese and thyme for later.

Form the gougères
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a wide plain tip (or a large ziplock bag with the tip of one corner cut off to create a 1-inch hole). Force out the air and twist the top of the bag so you can pipe the dough into 1-1/2-inch mounds on the prepared baking sheet. Space the mounds evenly and leave room for the dough to rise. Top each mound evenly with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.

Bake the gougères
Bake the gougères in a preheated oven until they are golden brown (about 20 minutes).

Pierce the gougères
Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and pierce each gourgère in the side using a small knife to all the steam to escape. Return the gougères to the oven, and bake at 400°F for an additional 5 minutes.

Finish the dish
Remove the gougères from the oven. Allow them to cool on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes.

Slice the tops off of the gougères about two-thirds of the way up. Spoon the crème fraîche evenly onto the bottom sections. Top each gougère evenly with smoked salmon, caviar, and lemon zest.


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