Filled Individual Gougeres

These French little bites are wonderful tasting and easier than you would think to make. They are a savory application of Cream Puffs.

Yield: 16 appetizers

Baking Temperature: 375 F

Baking Time: 30 minutes

9 Tablespoons butter, divided (1 stick, plus 1 Tablespoon)

1 cup water

1 cup flour

4 eggs

4 ounces good melting cheese such as Swiss or Cheddar, divided

4 ounces ham, finely diced

2 teaspoons caribe chile

1 Tablespoon fine dry bread crumbs

  1. 1. Cut 8 Tablespoons butter into pieces and put in a saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. 2. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball.
  3. 3. Turn into the small bowl of an electric mixer and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. After the last egg is worked into the paste, beat an additional 5 minutes or until quite well mixed.
  4. 4. Finely dice 3 ounces of the cheese, reserving the balance. Fold the diced cheese into the paste, reserving one third of the mixture. Spoon the remaining two-thirds of the paste into a pastry bag and force out into 16 mounds.( If you do not have a pastry bag, either snip a corner off a plastic bag and place dough in bag or spoon out using 2 teaspoons.) With a moistened finger, imprint each in the center.
  5. 5. Brown the ham in the remaining butter and add the sauce. Spoon ham into each imprint and put a small spoonful of the remaining paste over the filling and smooth out. Grate the remaining cheese and sprinkle over each. Divide the bread crumbs among each, sprinkling on the top of each. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes.

when lightly pressed. (Bake rounds 20 to 25 minutes). Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out cake on wire racks to cool completely.

  1. 6. Prepare frosting. Frost cake while frosting is still warm and sprinkle with nuts and/or crushed chile.

Hot Fudge Frosting:

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons corn syrup

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

Chopped pecans and/or crushed Caribe chile

  1. 1. Mix sugars and cocoa together in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Add corn syrup and half-and-half. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until temperature reaches 236 F or a soft ball forms when a teaspoon of mixture is dropped into cold water. Remove from heat.

  1. 2. Beat vigorously until mixture becomes less glossy, adding more half-and-half as needed to make a creamy fudge.

Recipe from Jane Butel’s Southwestern Kitchen cookbook

All recipes reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s publishers.

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