This Emmentaler cheese is from a collection sent to me by Fair Oaks Farms. This is one of many to win a Blue Ribbon Award for their artisan cheese collection. With an on-sight dairy and a passion to produce the finest "from Grass to Glass™" high quality dairy products, it's no wonder they are a leading source of milk providers to many of the largest and finest companies in the country.
I love working with Pâte à Choux. Recipes that range from cream puffs to cranberry almond chicken puffs, I always look forward to one more ingredient that would inspire a dish that my family would enjoy. In the past I have used Gruyere in the Pâte à Choux but the application was for a Choux Ring. I haven't yet posted a recipe for this dish yet, but it's very yummy and has a beautiful presentation! The two cheeses are similar and can be used interchangeably. Actually, I have a recipe in an Italian cookbook that calls for the Emmanteler Cheese in a Bignè di Formaggio. Emmanteler Cheese is imported greatly to Italy and loved by many Italians from what I have read. This too was surprising but after tasting it I can see the fondness it incurs. By the way, Gougères, or the Bignè di Formaggio in Italian, are not traditionally from Italy. I think the Italians loved these little puffs of pastry that can be filled with so many delicacies and they adopted the "idea". But for this wonderful treat all the splendor belongs to the French!
For these Gougéres I followed Jacques Pépin's recipe. It is a bit different then a typical choux pastry which usually calls for water whereas this calls for milk, but for Gougéres this seems to be the recipe that is most popular among the French.
If you notice in my collage I have an addition of Pancetta in one of the pictures. In my Italian cookbook the recipe calls for Prosciutto. I used Pancetta thinking it wouldn't make much of a difference. It did! Though I drained and dried the oil off of my Pancetta after cooking it, I think it was still too heavy and the puffs were more dense and did not have as much of an airy texture. They were still good but more like a quiche.
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese (Emmenthaler or Gruyère)
Coarse salt (fleur de sel or kosher salt) to sprinkle on top
1. Bring the milk, butter, salt, and cayenne to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from the heat, add the flour all at once, and mix vigorously with a wooden spatula until the mixture forms a ball. Return the pan to the heat and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute to dry the mixture a bit. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor, let cool for 5 minutes, then process for about 5 seconds.
Add the eggs and paprika to the processor bowl, and process for 10 to 15 seconds, until well mixed. Transfer the choux paste to a mixing bowl, and let cool for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a cookie sheet with a reusable nonstick baking mat or parchment paper. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the grated Parmesan cheese, then add the remainder and all the Swiss cheese to the choux paste. Stir just enough to incorporate. Using a tablespoon, scoop out a level tablespoon of the gougère dough, and push it off the spoon onto the cooking mat. Continue making individual gougères, spacing them about 2-inches apart on the sheet. Sprinkle a few grains of coarse salt and a little of the reserved Parmesan cheese on each gougère. Bake for about 30 minutes, until nicely browned and crisp. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature with drinks.