Through years of professional culinary experience, barge chefs have perfected the art and craft of small bites such as amuse-bouches, appetizers, and canapes. Some of the most savory and scrumptious hors d’oeuvres on France’s canals are those served on the Ultra Deluxe barge Prosperite.
Featuring Southern Burgundy’s signature fare served side by side contemporary French cuisine, the Prosperite’s longtime crew member Chef Herve deliciously delivers a gourmet dining experience.
“Feasting on Burgundy’s bounty was a highlight of my week onboard the Prosperite,” raves travel expert and Barge Lady Cruise Correspondent Dana Howard Freeman. “Herve, our private Chef, sourced many of his ingredients from a regional market close to the cruise route.”
Within his market fresh recipes and seasonally inspired menus, one of the many delectable small bites Chef Herve presents onboard is a classic Burgundian canape called a “gougère”. Pronouced “goo-ZHAIR”, a gougère is a bite-size cheese puff crafted with any number of French cheeses (most commonly Emmental, Comte, or Gruyère) and choux pastry dough.
The richness of the cheese intertwines with the delicate texture of the pastry, creating a lightly crisp bite with an indulgent velvety center. Paired with sparkling wine or a tangy cocktail to enhance the piquant flavors of the cheese, this quintessential Burgundian bite is a perfect accompaniment for cocktail hour, be it on the Burgundy canals or in your own backyard.
Dana recalls about her time on the Prosperite, “The savory flavors of freshly baked Gruyère gougères were divine, and the aromas wafting from the open kitchen when they were in the oven were absolutely heavenly!”
The Barge Ladies invite you to enjoy this homage to fromage with this enticing recipe for Gruyère gougères from Chef Herve of the Prosperite.
Gruyère Gougères recipe
Makes approximately 50
- 1 cup and 1 tablespoon of whole milk
- 1/3 cup of cubed French butter
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/3 cup of grated Gruyère cheese
- 4 eggs
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Pour the milk and cubed butter in a small saucepan on medium heat, and bring to a boil
- Remove from the stove and add the flour, stirring the mixture with a plastic spoon until the flour is completely absorbed
- Place the saucepan back on the stove with medium heat
- When the mixture doesn’t stick to your finger, add the cubed Gruyère cheese, stirring the mixture with a plastic spoon until cheese is fully melted
- Remove the saucepan from the stove and transfer the mixture to a large bowl
- Add one egg and stir until the egg is absorbed, and repeat this step, adding two more eggs
- Transfer the mixture into a pastry bag (or scoop rounded tablespoons)
- Use the pastry bag to place 25 dollops of the mixture on each of two baking trays
- In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg
- Glaze beaten egg on the dollops of pastry
- Bake at 400°F for 15 to 20 minutes
Remove from the oven and serve the freshly baked Gruyère gougères to your grateful guests!
Bon appetit from Barge Lady Cruises!