- Stand mixer with paddle attachment (recommended but not essential)
- 30 g butter
- 4 shallots peeled and chopped
- 120 g breadcrumbs
- 500 ml good-quality beer such as lager or wheat beer
- 750 ml chicken stock
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp crème fraiche
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Sea salt
- White pepper
For the gougères (makes 15-20)
- 250 ml water
- 85 g butter
- 130 g plain flour
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 150 g gruyere cheese grated
- 150 g ham cut into approx. 5-7mm dice
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- To begin, make the gougères.
- Pre-heat the oven to 220C/Gas 7 and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
- Add the water, butter and a pinch of salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Add the flour to the pan and stir to combine, using a spatula or wooden spoon. Stir continuously until a dough forms and leaves a dry film on the bottom of the pan. This can take upwards of 5 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and mix on a low speed for 5 minutes. (Alternatively mix by hand, which will take longer).
- Add one egg to the bowl, increase the speed of the mixer, and mix until completely incorporated. Repeat with the other eggs, adding one at a time.
- Add the cheese and ham to the dough and stir in with a spoon.
- Use a tablespoon to form rounded dough balls and place them on the sheet pans at least 2 inches apart as they’ll rise while cooking. Sprinkle with a crack of black pepper and place in the oven.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, transferring the baking sheets between shelves half way through cooking. Leave to cool slightly before serving.
- While the gougères are cooking, make the beer soup.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the shallots. Cook over medium-low heat until soft.
- As the shallots begin to take on some colour, add the breadcrumbs and stir to combine with the shallots and butter.
- Season with a generous pinch of salt then add the beer. Bring to the boil and cook for 3-5 minutes until the alcohol smell has calmed down, then add the stock alongside a generous amount of white pepper, more salt, and the brown sugar.
- Simmer for 20-25 minutes, then blend until smooth.
- Return to the pan and stir in the crème fraiche. Transfer to bowls and sprinkle with a little grated nutmeg and top with one of the warm ham and cheese gougères.
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