Up until about a year ago, my success rate with gougeres was not good. My past efforts at gougeres included the recipe in The New Basics. Fail. A recipe I was trying to help a friend troubleshoot. Fail. I resigned myself to the fact that gougeres were just a restaurant food.
Then I got a copy of Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. And there, on the first page of recipes, was a gougere recipe. I tried it and the gougeres didn’t puff equally. Well, I was used to gougeres not puffing. BUT, some of the gougeres did puff and that was encouraging. I froze the rest of the batch and baked them later. And something interesting happened. The ones that I froze all rose EQUALLY.
At the end of the recipe Dorie mentions that freezing the gougeres is an option. It’s a gem of a tip and makes all of the difference in the world. Just drop your unbaked gougeres on a cookie sheet and freeze them. Once they are frozen put them into a freezer bag and keep in the freezer right up until you bake them (yes, you bake them frozen). You get all the convenience of frozen food and all the deliciousness of using your own high quality ingredients. Also, it moves the recipe into the realm of the possible for cocktail and dinner parties and book club meetings and just because. All you have to do is plop the gougeres on a cookie sheet, bake, and serve … preferably with Champagne.
P.S. One more tip – I have found it’s best to bake the gougeres one baking sheet at a time in the oven.