Black Pepper-Manchego Gougeres
You guys... I've recently fallen in love. Now, I know that this might come as a bit of a shock - I am a happily married woman after all, but a girl can only deny her feelings for so long. I've met someone. Or rather, something. It's hot, steamy, addictive, and oh-so cheesy. That's right, I've fallen in love with Black Pepper-Manchego Gougeres.
For those of you who follow Cheesemonster on the social meeds, you may remember that I first encountered my new love back in October when I made some for Cheese Club (the original recipe that I used can be found here). I was a little daunted to make something that sounded so fancy (read: complicated), but was shocked at how easy they were to make, and how addictively delicious they were. By Thanksgiving, this was proving to be quite a serious relationship, so I decided that it was time for my family to meet my new cheesy love. Believe you me, those suckers were a huge hit. I ended up making about 60+ of the fluffy, flaky, rustically spherical cheese orbs, and we darn near finished them off. I probably ate about six by myself, and that was with my will-power working overtime.
The key to this recipe, as with anything, is to start with good ingredients, particularly the cheese. I use 1605 Manchego from Essex St. Cheese Co., simply because it's a beautiful cheese that will give you a giant punch of flavor and will also melt perfectly.
These are a great option for holiday parties, but make them at your peril. They will steal your heart after the first bite and you may never be the same.
1 1/2 cups whole milk
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
A hefty amount of freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cup grated 1605 Manchego (about 3 ounces, and then maybe a little more...)
- Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange racks in the upper and lower third. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Combine milk, butter, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
-Reduce heat to low, add flour all at once, and stir vigorously until well incorporated. Cook, stirring constantly, until dough feels dry to the touch and is no longer sticking to the bottom of the pan, about 3 to 5 minutes.
-Transfer dough to a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat in eggs one at a time on medium-low speed, letting the first one completely incorporate before adding the next.
-Put aside about 3 tablespoons of the grated Manchego, and then add the rest of the Manchego to dough and mix on low until incorporated.
-Drop tablespoon-size rounds of dough on the prepared baking sheets, about 1/2 inch apart.
-Evenly sprinkle reserved Manchego cheese over top of each gougere.
-Bake, rotating halfway through baking time, until puffed and golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.