Cheesy Gougere Platter with Charcuterie

By: Donal Skehan

Fluffy, little cheese pastries arranged on a platter full of savoury treats!

Takes: 45 Serves: 6

Ingredients

- 60g of salted butte

- 130ml of water

- 80g of plain flour, sifted

- 3 large free range eggs

- 100g Irish cheddar, grated

- 2 tsp thyme leaves, finely chopped

- Pinch of ground nutmeg

- Ground black pepper

FOR THE PLATTER

- 4 figs, to serve

- Grapes, to serve

- 100g cornichons, to serve

- 6 bread sticks

- 100g salami

- 100g prosucitto

- 100g kalamata olives

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220˚C/425˚F/Gas Mark 7 and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Place the butter and water in a small saucepan and bring to a steady boil until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and add the flour, beating with a wooden spoon until a dough comes together. Place back over the heat and beat the dough in the saucepan for about 40 seconds.

3. Remove from the heat and set aside and leave to cool slightly. Beat the eggs in a small bowl.

4. Add the eggs little at a time, beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon until the egg is completely incorporated after each addition. Add a little of the beaten egg at a time until you have a consistency that will hold it’s shape when piped. It should be smooth, shiny and just about to fall from the spoon. You may not need all of the egg. Stir through 75g of the cheese, nutmeg, thyme and a sprinkle of black pepper.

5. Using a spatula, scoop the dough into a large piping bag fitted with a large round piping nozzle and pipe 3cm rounds on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 6cm in between each line to allow for spreading. Pat water on the top of each gougeres and sprinkle on the remaining cheese.

6. Place in the oven, reducing the heat to 190˚C/375˚F/Gas mark 5, for approximately 25 minutes until they have risen and are golden and crisp. Serve warm on a charcuterie board with the remaining ingredients.

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