These gougères are not quite as hollow and crispy as traditional ones made with all-purpose flour. They are a cross between a French gougère, a Brazilian pão de queijo, and a Venezuelan almojábana. They make a great afternoon snack with a schmear of compound butter (as pictured), and are an extra tasty roll for soup.
For the compound butter in the photo, I blended 1/2 a cup of cooked quince I had in the fridge with 2 Tablespoons of water and then worked that into 4 Tablespoons of very soft butter with a wooden spoon, but you can make compound butter with all sorts of things— lemon zest & fennel fronds is a particularly nice combination. Stewed pears blended with a pinch of cardamom and then worked into the butter is also great. Taste the butter once you’ve made them to see if they need tweaking— maybe a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of maple or both!
8 Tablespoons butter
1 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons buckwheat flour
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups Manchego cheese or any other cheese you love, coarsely grated
1 egg, beats for the egg wash
Preheat the oven to 400°F
In a medium bowl whisk the tapioca, buckwheat and cornstarch to combine. If the tapioca is a little lumpy sift it before adding. Set aside.
Add the butter, water, sugar, and salt to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and add the flour mix all at once. Stir until the mixture forms a smooth ball that pulls away from the sides of the pan and a film forms at the bottom of the pan, at least 2 minutes. Mash the dough ball against the bottom and sides of the pan for 1 more minute to cook the flour.
Remove the pan from heat and transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Paddle the dough for a few minutes to allow the steam to escape the dough and cool it down. Add the eggs one by one. Waiting for each to be fully incorporated before adding the next one. When all the eggs are fully incorporated, stir in the grated cheese.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To shape the gougères I like to use an ice cream scooper, which gives you a larger, bread roll kind of shape but you can also make smaller ones using a spoon and dropping the dough by the spoonful. Try to make all the gougères equal in shape so they bake evenly, and place them on the baking sheet with about an inch of space between them.
For the egg wash use a pastry brush or a clean fingertip and gently brush the tops of the gougères with a small amount of beaten egg.
Place your sheet tray in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 350º. Do not open the door of your oven until the gougères have been there at least 10 minutes.
Bake until they are puffed, and look golden —about 25 minutes, depending on your oven. The prompt to look for them to be golden might be a little tricky since we are using buckwheat and not all-purpose flour, but look closely and you will see the color has changed.