It’s truly amazing how flavorful and delicious food becomes once cheese is added. These gougères are 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 if you’re looking to create something with incredible flavor purely based on cheese, it’s important to use the good stuff. Fresh fontana on a basil and tomato omelette, or some gouda melted on a burger really goes a long way.
Gougères are a savory version of cream puffs that utilize cheese rather than cream. They’re made from the same pastry dough, pâte à choux, which is a paste-like batter that is either piped or scooped into round mounds on a baking sheet.
They puff up and become golden once baked. The taste of pâte à choux is not very flavorful on it’s own, which is OK because usually the cream filling is sweet enough to balance the whole thing out.
But without a filling, it’s important to add other ingredients to flavor the dough. In the case of gougères, you use gruyere cheese, a salty, bold cheese. It’s the type of cheese that turns these puffs into addictive, crowd-pleasers.
The result is a light and hollow puff that’s bursting with fantastic cheese flavor. They’re perfect as an appetizer with cocktails, and they’re definitely a favorite among guests.
Watch the video below to see just how I make them!
- 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 comes to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and add in the all-purpose flour. Stir the flour in until it's completely incorporated and the mixture pulls away from the sides 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.
Use a tablespoon cookie scooper or a pastry bag to place small tablespoon-size mounds of the pate a choux onto your baking sheet. 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.