One of the best things about the holidays is that everything feels extra special -- a time to break out your most treasured and festive pieces and pop open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving.
We’ve partnered with Weston Table, an online marketplace of everyday extraordinary home goods, to share several seasonal food & wine pairings. They’re in charge of the menu and décor, and we’re bringing the wine. For our second pairing, our Wine Director, Brett Vankoski, selected Magic Door La Cle de la Femme Champagne to enjoy alongside Gruyère Gougères & Oysters -- the perfect New Year’s Eve trio!
Read on for the Gruyère Gougères recipe, and shop the beautiful home goods used to prepare and serve this dish at WestonTable.com. And for this Champagne, and more amazing wines, visit ninetypluscellars.com.
Find the recipe for Hamersley’s Rack of Lamb, paired with our new Lot 201 Pauillac Grand Vin de Bordeaux-Médoc, HERE, and stay tuned for more seasonal recipe pairings from 90+ Cellars and Weston Table!
Pairing: Gruyère Gougères, Oysters and Champagne
Oysters and Champagne are a classic pairing. The wine director of Ninety + Cellars, Brett Vankoski, notes that the University of Copenhagen determined exactly what makes these two such a perfect match. The findings? Complementary umami flavors act “synergistically” to enhance the tasting experience. The addition of these easy, make ahead, noshing cheese puffs makes a dynamic trio perfect for New Years festivities. Pop the cork, shuck the bivalves, and serve the gougères straight from the oven. These little French treats may be made, frozen, and baked straight from the freezer. If anyone is home when these are baking, the smell wafting from the kitchen will induce bystander salivation--make extras and sip the bubbly even before the guests arrive.
Our perfect champagne for ringing in 2022 is a 92-point rated Magic Door La Cle de la Femme from 90+ Cellars. This French bottle featured on OprahMag.com in the Gifts for your Friend Who Lives for Wine O'Clock is a well-balanced and layered champagne with expressive aromas of apple and white pear along with more subtle notes of almond, buttered toast and baking spices.
In addition to its gorgeous pear colored liquid sparkle, the bottle's back printed message, "Walk with me if you please so I may dreamily bring to life like magic the things you imagine with closed eyes" delivers a perfectly timed sentiment for all our hopes and dreams for 2022.
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup flour
4 or 5 large eggs
4 ounces Gruyère cheese, finely grated
1 egg, beaten for glazing
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
1 egg for egg wash
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two half sheet baking pans with Silpats or parchment paper.
2. Make an egg wash by whisking an egg with 1 teaspoon of water. Set aside.
3. In a large saucepan, combine the water, salt and butter and heat gently until the butter is melted.
4. Wasting no time, turn up the flame on the melted butter to bring to a boil and as soon as it boils remove the pan from the heat and turn off the burner.
5. Add the flour and vigorously mix with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the pan to form a loose ball.
6. Beat another 30 seconds to 1 minute over the burner that was turned off but still warm to dry out the dough a bit.
7. Beat each egg thoroughly into the dough, one at a time. The fifth egg may or may not be needed, but use a bit or all of it until the dough is shiny and just falls off the wooden spoon. The dough will be too soft to hold a shape if too much egg is added.
8. Beat the Gruyère cheese into the dough.
9. Use a spatula to transfer the dough to a ½” plain tip pastry bag. Pipe 1/2 inch circles of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. For maximum puff and elegance, pipe vertically rather than in a mound. The mounds should be 1/2 inch in diameter by 1/2 inch high.
10. Brush the mounds with the egg wash and sprinkle each with a hint of Maldon sea salt.
11. Bake the mounds for 25 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Take one out at 25 minutes, let it cool for a minute and taste it. It may need a couple more minutes to be cooked enough on the inside. The texture should be crisp on the outside and light and airy on the inside.
The most common issue with making gougères is that they deflate when removed from the oven. Most often this is caused by too much liquid, or undercooking. Make sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next. At first, adding the egg will make the dough look curdled. Don’t give up! The dough will come together beautifully in a few seconds. Be careful not to dry out the dough too much, or the bread will be heavy and lack a crispy exterior. No worries, they are still delicious, albeit not quite perfect.
To make extra crispy gougères, remove them from the oven 20 minutes into baking, poke each gougère in the side with a skewer to release the steam and return the baking sheets to the oven to finish baking. This method works particularly well if they will be made in advance and then rewarmed. Cooled gougères may be frozen and reheated straight from the freezer in a 350 degrees F. oven for a few minutes. Cheddar cheese, or any other hard dry-aged cheese may be substituted for the Gruyère. Herbs may be beaten into the dough for a variation on this savory treat.