Chef's Choice - Derek's Culinary Casual: Derek Barnes' gougeres

Derek Barnes' Gougeres

4 cups hot water

2 cups butter

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar

4 cups flour

16 eggs

2 and 1/2 cups white cheddar

1 and 1/4 tablespoons dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 egg (for egg wash)

2 cups grated parmesan cheese

1. Bring water, butter, salt and sugar to a boil. Add flour and stir until dough forms a ball, then transfer the mixture to a stand mixer, or place in a bowl and use a hand held mixer.

2. Mix on low speed, adding eggs one at a time, then slowly add the cheese, mustard and cayenne pepper.

3. Place the gougére batter in a container and allow to cool for 1 hour. Place parchment paper on 2 cookie sheets and place small scoops of batter onto the paper, 3/4 of an inch apart.

4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes, then take the gougeres out of oven. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle the grated parmesan on top. Continue to bake for 5 more minutes. Serve immediately.

We love to go to Sarasota and eat at Beard-nominated chef Derek Barnes’ restaurant for his innovative take on food, for his devotion to hand-crafting everything from cured meats to pasta, and for incredible desserts like his poached pear with goat cheese ice cream and black pepper caramel sauce. To be honest, though, what we look forward to most isn’t even on the menu: his steamy, creamy and luxurious gougeres.

Barnes’ cheesy French pastry puffs are an easy and decadent take on restaurant bread service that shows from the very beginning that every single element of your meal has been tailored by the chef. They’re also easy to make at home and incredibly impressive as finger food at a cocktail party. The recipe can easily be halved for smaller groups.

Derek’s Culinary Casual, 514 Central Ave., Sarasota, 941-366-6565,

Recipe after the break:

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