Vegan Gougères

Festive, tasty, easy, and utterly addictive, gougères also adapt themselves to interpretation: stock can be exchanged for water, and tiny amounts of fresh herbs add a bite of flavor. On the other hand, this pâte à choux can go in a sweet direction with the addition of some sugar. (Be still my heart)

Gougères are also great for New Year’s Eve, cocktail parties, and as small bites added to buffet tables.

Vegan Gougères
Yield: 60 golfball-sized puffs

1 cup (8 ounces) water
8 tablespoons vegan margarine
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
12 chives, finely-minced
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, cayenne, or herbs
3/4 cup aquafaba, whipped into stiff peaks with
—pinch of zantham gum
—pinch of cream of tartar

Note: If filling with sweetened whipped cream (yes!) add sugar to taste and omit the chives.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Whip the aquafaba with a pinch each of zantham gum and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Combine the water, margarine, and salt  in a small saucepan.  Set it over high heat, stirring frequently, until it comes to a simmer.  Once it reaches a simmer, turn the heat down to medium and add all the dry ingredients and chives, all at once.  Stir quickly to incorporate. For several seconds, the mixture will look lumpy and it will seem as though the flours aren’t going blend in, but it will smooth out and become sticky.  A few seconds later, the dough will start to pull away from the sides of the pan and form a ball.  Once this happens, keep stirring and cook for another minute more.  The dough will begin to look a little less smooth and you should see the oils just starting to separate out.  Remove it from the heat and transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Alternately, transfer to a medium bowl, grab a heavy spoon, and prepare to stir.

Let the dough cool a few moments, and then carefully fold in the whipped aquafaba until well integrated.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag (or a food storage bag with the corner cut off) and pipe a dozen golfball-sized portions of choux paste onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Note: don’t use a silicone mat, the puffs won’t rise because the pan will be too cool.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, until the puffs are deeply golden and firm.

Optional: To help dry out the insides of the puffs, remove from the oven when they’ve finished baking, poke each in the side with a sharp knife, and return to the oven for a couple minutes more.

Pile onto a warmed plate and serve while still warm. Cheers!

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