Gougeres Stuffed with Ham Mousse
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere (about 6 ounces)
- Ham Mousse, recipe follows
- Ham Mousse:
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 pound black forest ham, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped green onions
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Sliced cornichons, for garnish
- Fresh chervil, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring the milk, butter, salt and cayenne to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat.
Place the flour in a large bowl. Add the hot liquid and stir well with a heavy wooden spoon until it comes together and forms a ball. Add the eggs 1 at a time, stirring well after the addition of each. Stir until the dough is satiny. Stir in the cheese and mix until dough is thick and cheese has mostly melted. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip.
Pipe the dough in small mounds onto the prepared sheets. Bake until golden brown and puffed about 3 times their original size, 20 to 25 minutes. (Do NOT open the oven door for the first 10 to 15 minutes to keep them from deflating.)
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
With a paring knife, cut the top from each gougere, leaving either attached slightly (like a hinge), or remove. Pipe about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the mousse into the center of each gougeres and replace the tops.Ham Mousse:
Add the ham and process until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the green onions and thyme and process until smooth.
Adjust the seasoning, to taste.
Yield: about 2 cups