These Classic French Gougères (Cheese Puffs) are the most delicious, light and fluffy party food. They are the perfect appetiser to serve at your next dinner party or to simply enjoy with a good glass of wine!
What is a "Gougère"
A "Gougère" is a Savoury Choux Pastry Puff, also known as Cheese Puffs in English. Light, fluffy and full of cheesy goodness, these little French Pastries are the perfect addition to an appetiser spread.
They can be enjoyed either warm or cold - and are great to enjoy while tasting some wine. The classic Gougères are usually eaten as is, but you can also fill them for an even more indulgent treat!
Some ideas of Gougeres Filling:
- Smoked Salmon Mousse
- Garlic Mushrooms or Mushroom Cream
- Whipped Cheese (Goat Cheese for example)
- Homemade Basil Pesto
How to make Gougères Cheese Puffs:
Making Gougères is exactly the same as making any other Choux Pastry recipes, with one big difference: the cheeeeese!
While you would add some sugar to make the sweet version of Choux, like Eclairs, Profiteroles, Cream Puffs or my favourite Coffee Choux Buns, this is here replaced by a little bit of salt - and a lot of grated cheese!
To make Gougères, you will need (scroll down for quantities):
- Water (or half water, half milk)
- Grated Cheese
- Optional: Nutmeg Powder, Finely chopped Herbs or other spices
What cheese to use to make these Savory Profiteroles:
For this recipe, I used Gruyere Cheese but you can basically use any grated cheese you want. Experiment with different cheeses to try different flavours - from mild flavoured Parmesan to the more bold Cheddar, Comte or Emmental Cheese.
Or go crazy with the cheese and add two, three, four different ones into the batter!
How to make Savoury Choux Pastry
If you are not familiar with the making of Choux Pastry, the main thing to know is that it is a batter that needs to be baked twice.
First, on the stove to dehydrate the paste as much as possible, then a second time in the oven where the Choux will nicely puff.
To make Gougères, follow these steps:
- Heat up Water, Butter and Salt to a boil in a small pot. When the butter has completely melted, move away from the heat and drop in the Flour. Using a wooden spoon, mix the batter until it comes together, then place back on low heat. Vigorously stir the dough in the pot to evaporate as much water as possible.
- Remove from the heat and set aside to cool down. Add the Eggs one by one, stirring well between each egg.
- Lastly, add the Grated Cheese. Pipe the Gougères on a lined baking tray (or simply use a spoon to drop small mounds of dough) and bake in the oven. Optionally, grate more cheese over the choux once piped on your tray before baking.
Can you Freeze Gougère Choux Pastry?
As if Cheese Puffs weren't awesome enough, there are also a great recipe to freeze. That means that they are a perfect make-ahead appetiser recipe!
There are two ways to freeze Gougères (or any Choux Pastries):
- Freeze un-baked: Make the Choux Pastry and pipe them onto a lined baking tray. Place into the freezer until hard. You can then place them in a freezing bag or container and keep them into the freezer until ready to bake! Simply add a few minutes to the recommended baking time to allow them to defrost.
- Freeze baked: Make the Choux Pastry, pipe them and bake them. Take them out of the oven and let them cool down completely, then place in a freezing bag or container and leave in the freezer until ready to be enjoyed! Just place them back in a warm oven for a few minutes to thaw before serving them.
Although tell will be fine to keep in the freezer for months, I would recommend to use them within a month for a fresher taste.
More Savory Bakes:
- Semi Dried Tomato Savory Madeleines
- Mini Cherry Tomato and Pesto Galettes
- Tomato Galette with Basil Whipped Feta
- Cheese and Tomato Quiche
- Spinach and Ricotta Rolls
- Smoked Salmon Quiche
- Spinach and Feta Quiche
Classic Gruyere Gougères Recipe:
Classic Cheese Gougères
- 250 ml (1 cup) Water - or half water, half milk
- 75 gr (2.5 oz or 3,5 tbsp) Butter
- 1/2 teasp. Salt
- 150 gr (1 cup) Plain Flour
- 4 Eggs
- 50 gr (about 1/2 cup) Grated Gruyere Cheese - Plus a little bit to sprinkle over the choux before baking
- 1 pinch Nutmeg Powder (optional)
- Place the Water (or Half Water, Half Milk), Butter and Salt (and nutmeg if desired) in a small pot. Heat up until the butter has completely melted. When it starts boiling, remove from the heat and drop in the Flour at once.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until it comes together. Place back on the stove in low to medium heat and mix for a couple of minutes to evaporate most of the liquid (Rub the batter against the sides of the pot to dry it out).
- Remove from the stove and transfer into a heat-proof bowl. Set aside to cool down for 10 minutes. One by one, add the Eggs, stirring well between each eggs. They need to be fully incorporated before you add the next egg. You should get a slightly runny, shiny batter.
- Add the Grated Cheese and briefly stir until fully incorporated.
- Preheat your oven on 180'C/350'F and line a baking tray with baking paper or a baking mat (see note 1).
- Place the Gougeres Batter into a piping bag with a large round tip. Pipe small mounds, leaving space between each of them as they will puff in the oven.Optionally, sprinkle more grated gruyere over the piped choux.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until puffed and golden. Make sure you do not open the oven door while the Gougeres are baking as they need the steam to puff.
- Enjoy warm straight away, or set aside to cool down then place in an air-tight container until ready to serve. If you are not going to eat them within a couple of days, freeze them.
- To make sure the baking paper or mat doesn't move while you are piping the Gougeres, place a little bit of batter in the four corners or your tray then cover with the paper.