Deliciously rich and cheesy with the divine combination of a crisp exterior and pillow-soft interior, this is a recipe I’ve wanted to share for awhile.
Gougères are delightful puffy French pastries with loads of flavourful cheese mixed in. These bite-sized cheese puffs make a perfect weekend snack or a mouth-watering appetizer the next time you have friends over.
Don’t feel intimidated by this recipe. Yes, it involves making a fancy sounding choux pastry, but it is so easy! And aside from really good cheese, it calls for simple ingredients you probably already have in the pantry.
Plus: who doesn’t love an excuse to use a piping bag?!? (See Pro Tips below if you don’t have a piping bag.)
It’s traditional to use Alpine cheeses like Aged Comté, Gruyere, or Emmental with their robust, nutty flavours. But you can substitute any flavourful, relatively dry cheese you like, such as Parmigiano Reggiano, aged Gouda, or sharp Cheddar.
Adding More Flavour
Finely diced ham or sauteed mushrooms will add new flavour dimensions. Just be sure you don’t add excessive amounts of liquid, or your puffs might not rise.
You can also add fresh herbs such as chives, thyme, or parsley to the mix.
As for wine pairing, serve gougères with an unoaked Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Rioja, or dry sparkling white wine.
These little delights freeze beautifully. That means you can whip up a batch, enjoy a dozen of them and freeze the rest for book club or the next time a friend pops by unexpectedly. They’re easy to warm up in the oven and look so impressive.
Finally, if your gougères don’t rise, don’t sweat it. They just become little savoury cheese biscuits you’ll still thoroughly enjoy!
Makes 30 gougères
Prep time: 45 minutes
- ½ c water
- ½ c milk
- 1 stick (115 g) unsalted butter
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- pinch nutmeg (or chili powder)
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- 4 extra-large eggs
- ¾ c grated Gruyere (or Comté or Emmental)
- ¼ c grated Mimolette
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the water, milk, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg over medium heat. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously to form a pastry dough. Once the dough becomes a uniform texture, stir for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- After 5-10 minutes, add the pastry dough to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Add an egg to the bowl and mix at medium-high speed until fully incorporated. Repeat with each egg.
- Add the Gruyere to the dough and mix at medium-low speed until it is evenly distributed.
- Spoon the pastry dough into a piping bag. On a lined baking sheet, pipe the pastry into circles roughly the diameter of a ping pong ball and 2 cm (¾ in) thick.
- Sprinkle the top of each gougère with the Mimolette.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the sides of the gougères are lightly brown.
- Don’t remove your gougères from the oven until they are brown on the sides. This helps ensure they don’t deflate as they cool.
- No piping bag? No problem. Just use a zip-top bag with one of the corners snipped off.
- If you don’t have a stand mixer, the eggs and cheese can be mixed into the dough by hand with some extra elbow grease. Just make sure you don’t stop until all the lumps are gone.