Gougères with Bacon–Tarragon Pastry Cream
This version of the classic French cheese puff is filled with a rich, bacon-flavored cream.
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- 6 tablespoons European-style butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup bread flour
- 1/2 cup pastry flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup grated Comté or Swiss Gruyère cheese
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
- 1/4 cup cooked 1/4-inch cubes slab bacon
To make the gougères, preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil. Add the bread and pastry flours all at once and mix well with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pot and forms a single ball, about 7 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until it stops steaming. Add the eggs one by one until all are incorporated. Stir in the grated cheese.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. Pipe 1-inch balls of the batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for approximately 8 minutes, or until evenly golden in color. Lower the oven temperature to 275ºF and bake for another 15 minutes, or until brown. Let cool on a rack.
To make the filling, mix together the egg yolks and flour in a medium bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a large pot, then slowly stream it into the eggs and flour mixture, constantly mixing to keep the mixture smooth. Transfer back to the pot and slowly cook over low heat for 5 minutes, whisking constantly so the mixture doesn’t break. Remove from heat and let cool. Add the tarragon and bacon.
Using a pastry-bag star tip or a sharp paring knife, poke small holes in the bottom of each gougère. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip large enough to let the bacon through. Fill each gougère just before serving.
About 4 dozen