Cheese and herb aigrettes

These miniature savoury doughnuts make a lovely canapé served with a glass of fizz, perhaps at a coronation celebration, or indeed if you want to mark National Doughnut Week which also falls this month (20-28th May). They’re a fun way of using fresh herbs in your cooking too. If you have one of those new-fangled air-fryers to cook them in you can almost feel virtuous while eating them. Recipe serves 10.

Fried Cheese and herb aigrettes


  • 60g salted butter
  • 300ml water
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 125g Gruyere or mature Cheddar, finely grated
  • Thyme, finely chopped
  • Rosemary, finely chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Vegetable oil


  1. Sift the flour into a bowl.
  2. Melt the butter and water together in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  3. Quickly tip the flour into the saucepan, remove from the heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mix has formed a ball that comes away from the sides of the pan.
  4. Turn the pastry mix into a clean bowl and allow to cool slightly.
  5. While the pastry is cooling, lightly beat the eggs and egg yolks in a separate bowl.
  6. Gradually add the eggs to the pastry, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Stir in the cheese and herbs and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Heat the vegetable oil to 190℃ in a suitably deep sided saucepan (or follow your air fryer instructions). Adding a teaspoon of the dough to the oil at a time, cook gently until golden brown.
  8. Drain on kitchen towels to absorb any excess oil. Serve warm.

Cheese and herb aigrettes

By Ashridge Support

Ashridge Nurseries has been in the business of delivering plants since 1949.

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