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.
Gougères are savory baked cheese puffs. Unlike sweet cream puffs, gougeres utilize cheese and are served as appetizers.
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. You can make a gougeres filling for your savory cheese puffs, or simply enjoy the cheesy puffs 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 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 c or 3/4 c - for sprinkling on top)
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
In a medium saucepan, heat the water, milk, 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 a minute 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.
Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes before you use a tablespoon cookie scooper or a pastry bag to place small tablespoon-size mounds of the pate a choux onto your baking sheet (see note). Allow 2 inches of room between each mound. Sprinkle some more shredded cheese on top of each mound.
Bake the gougères for 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.
If you decide to add any extra ingredients like chopped bacon or chopped green onions, make sure to use a cookie scooper so that none of the additions get stuck behind in the pastry bag. You can also use a pastry bag without a tip and simply a wide cut opening as an alternative if you really want to pipe out the dough using a bag.