Bring back the forgotten savoury course of the Golden Era, with Philippa Davis' moreish parmesan, rosemary and pepper gougeres

During the Golden Era of fieldsports, it was customary to conclude supper with a savoury course rather than a cheeseboard or pud. Bring back the forgotten savoury course with Philippa Davis’ parmesan, rosemary and pepper gougeres. Simple and incredibly moreish, serve after supper when they are still warm from the oven.

For more savoury course inspiration, try our dried fig, pigeon breast and smoked bacon skewers on toast.


These are incredibly moreish, no matter how full you think you are. I like to serve them warm in bowls placed down the table so guests can help themselves to as many as they feel able.

  • 1 heaped tsp black peppercorns, medium ground in a pestle and mortar
  • 230ml cold water
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 130g plain flour
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 120g Parmesan
  • 2 tsp finely chopped chives
  • 1 ½ tsp finely chopped rosemary

Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.

Weigh out your ingredients and line two flat oven trays with baking paper.

In a saucepan, gently heat the ground peppercorns for a couple of minutes (this will help release their oils and pepperiness).

Add the water and butter and heat until it just comes to a simmer and the butter is melted. Immediately dump in the flour and sea salt and stir.

Cook for a couple of minutes until you have a thick paste then spoon into a food processor.

Leave to cool for five minutes then place on the lid and start the motor.

Add the eggs one at a time then the cheese and finally the herbs.

Scoop into a piping bag and pipe drops roughly the size of a 50p piece onto trays.

Bake for about 20 minutes, swapping round the baking trays halfway through.

Remove from the oven. These can be eaten straight away or reheated in a hot oven for a couple of minutes when required.