Gougères (Cheese Puffs)
It’s truly amazing how flavorful and delicious food becomes once cheese is added. This cheese gougeres recipe is proof in itself that cheese is incredibly transformative.
Now, when I say cheese, I’m not talking about Krafts singles or that stuff that comes out of a can. Not that those cheeses don’t have their own purpose or fans, but for these baked cheese puffs, you want the good stuff.
If you’re looking to create something with incredible cheese flavor, like these French cheese puffs, it’s important to go for bold and flavorful cheeses.
In this case, these gruyere gougeres obviously rely on the flavor of gruyere for their delectable taste.
Gougeres have been made with parmesan cheese as well, and some even prepare a gougeres filling to create stuffed gougeres.
Savory Filling for Gougeres
If I want to spruce up my gougeres, I personally love just mixing bacon bits and chives to keep things tasty but easy
If you’re wondering how a gougere can be stuffed, well just think of gougeres much like you would a cream puff.
Gougères are really just savory baked cheese puffs. Unlike sweet cream puffs, gougeres utilize cheese and are served as appetizers.
When the dough bakes, the inside becomes somewhat hollow, very much like a cream puff, making it simple to fill.
That’s because these cheese puff balls are made from the same pastry dough as cream puffs, a dough called pâte à choux. This dough is made with a paste-like batter that is either piped or scooped into round mounds onto a baking sheet.
French gougeres puff up as they bake in a hot oven and turn golden throughout.
It may feel like the dough a bit runnier than cream puff dough – you can thank the cheese for that.
But the key is to really stir that dough over the heat long enough to get out as much moisture as you can ahead of time. You can also let the dough rest for about 10 minutes before you try piping it out.
Whether you choose to add a gougeres filling for your savory cheese puffs or not is truly a matter of preference. The cheesy puffs are delicious enough on their own.
Normally, the taste of pâte à choux is not very flavorful on it’s own. In the case of dessert puffs, the custard filling delivers all the magic.
For gougeres, however, we use a bold and salty cheese like gruyere to give the dough wonderful flavor. Any extras like bacon and chives are just a bonus.
If you’ve never heard of it, you may be wondering what gruyere is? It just happens to be one of my favorite French cheeses. Similar to mozzarella, gruyere melts really well.
Unlike mozzarella, however, it tends to be a more firm cheese and has a nutty edge. Trader Joe’s makes a wonderful combination version of gruyere and cheddar cheese and sells its for a few dollars, making it really cost-effective and incredibly tasty.
I love using gruyere in a variety of recipes, including classic grilled cheese as well as a topping for my French onion soup. It’s the type of cheese that turns these french cheese puffs into addictive, crowd-pleasing bites.
What to Serve With Gougeres
At the end of the day, French gougeres are simply light and hollow puff balls that are bursting with fantastic cheese flavor. If you’re wondering what to serve with gougeres, might I suggest a nice glass of bubbly champagne.The salty flavor of the gougeres compliments champagne beautifully.
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- dash of nutmeg
- pinch of ground pepper
- 1 cup gruyere cheese, or 3.5 oz, shredded (plus more - about 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top)
- Preheat your oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the water, salt, and butter over medium heat until the mixture is smooth and the butter has melted. Then temporarily remove the pan from the heat and stir in the all-purpose flour. Stir the flour in until it's completely incorporated. Move the pan back to low heat and stir over the heat for a minute and a half, as the mixture pulls away from the sides and bottom of the saucepan.
- Let the pate a choux cool for about 5 minutes before adding in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Add the nutmeg and ground pepper, then stir. Follow with the cup of shredded cheese and mix until blended in well.
- Grab a pastry bag with a 1 inch wide opening, or a freezer bag with the corner snipped to create a 1 inch wide opening, and fill with the pate a choux dough. Pipe out 1 inch wide mounds of the pate a choux onto your baking sheet. Allow about 1 and a half inches of room between each mound. Sprinkle some more shredded cheese on top of each mound.
- Bake the gougères for 10 minutes before lowering the oven temperature to 375F and baking for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're puffed up and a rich golden color. Do not open the oven until you're sure they're ready (at least until about the 15 minute mark, if your oven bakes pretty fast) or else they can deflate. Turn off the oven, then pierce each with the tip of a sharp knife to let out steam. Leave them in the oven once they’re done with the oven turned off and the door slightly open for another 15 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 24 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 85
Hi! Can these be made a day in advance?
Hi Trish! I wouldn’t recommend it unless you freeze them then reheat them. Pate a choux dough is always best when it’s made the day of.
Love, love this recipe. Turn out perfect every time. Thank you.
Oh, that makes me so happy to hear! Thank you, Susan! 🙂
Can you use a different cheese??
Hi Linda! Yes definitely. I would use anything that is flavorful and melts well. For example, a sharp cheddar would be delicious too. 🙂
These cheese puffs sound amazing but I have always felt intimidated by pate a choux. How forgiving is it?
BTW gruyère is actually a Swiss cheese!
Hi Amy! It’s true that pate a choux can be quite finicky. But I’ve given some instructions in the recipe card, specifically about mixing the dough over the stove and how you’ll be baking them, that should help guide you in the right direction and get some beautiful gougeres! 🙂
Can these be scooped into a muffin tin like the picture instead of piped out on baking sheet