Nothing like a batch of fresh cheesy Gougeres right out of the oven! Biting into these delicate cheese puffs, made with my favorite cheese, Gruyère, is like biting into a cloud. A cloud made of cheese, lots of cheese! ❤️
As I was brainstorming recipe ideas for my “French phase” leading up to Bastille Day, I knew one French classic couldn’t be left out: Gougeres, or Gougères if typed the French way, and pronounced goo-zhair.
These little airy cheese-filled pastry bites make the perfect hors d’oeuvres for a wine tasting party but also, because they are so easy to make, a great and tasty “anytime” snack.
And, even though they take less than one hour to prep and bake, they also freeze (unbaked) incredibly well. You know what that means, right? Yes, it means I always have them on hand for last-minute entertaining. But it also means I can tend to my cheesy cravings in the middle of the afternoon, on a day I didn’t think about lunch because I was too busy working on a dessert or cocktail recipe.
I know what you’re thinking: “What food blogger forgets to eat?”. This one! Me. ? The messiest and most unorganized food blogger you will ever meet, who also happens to suck at meal planning. (Please don’t judge too hard! I’m working on it, okay?)
So, yeah, a big toast to delicious Gougeres living in my freezer and ready to be baked whenever I need them.
Gougeres are said to come from Burgundy, in France, and they consist of pâte à choux, or choux pastry (which is the dough used for several French pastries, like éclairs) filled with Gruyère, Comté or Emmentaler cheese. While they bake, the dough puffs up creating a pocket of air with a lovely crisp exterior and a soft and light interior.
It is no secret that I am a huge cheese lover, especially if you consider the amount of cheesy recipes on this blog. To this day, my most popular recipe is my Authentic Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo, in Portuguese), which is really similar to these Gougeres.
The difference between those two cheese puffs is the flour used, as well as the cheese. Pão de Queijo is made with tapioca flour and cured “Minas” cheese, or parmesan and mozzarella in my Americanized version, while my Gougeres are made with regular wheat flour and Gruyère.
Now, it would be inconsiderate to have a mother choose between her two children, but if you’d really press me for an answer, I would have to say I like pão de queijo better.
Don’t get me wrong, Gougeres are insanely delicious and more sophisticated, but you can’t expect a Brazilian to choose anything over our beloved pão de queijo. No, can’t do. Sorry!
Thankfully, life isn’t black and white and there’s space in the world for everybody and everything. If I’m looking for an appetizer to go with a glass of wine, my choice would be the French Gougere. And if I’m drinking coffee – or Guaraná (Brazilian soda) – I’ll go for the Brazilian Cheese Bread.
There’s a time and place for everything, so these two cheese puffs don’t have to compete for your heart! Make them both. And then come tell me which one you liked best. ?
For your Bastille Day picnic, you can bake some of these Gougeres and serve plain or even make bite-sized sandwiches. I prefer them warm, right out of the oven, but they can – and often are – served at room temperature.
As for wine pairing, they go with pretty much anything. If you’d like to be authentic, stick to the french wines, from Champagne to any Burgundian white wine.
So what do you say? Ready to up your party food game? These delicious Gougeres are waiting to become your new favorite party staple! ?
- 1 cup water
- 8 tbsp butter
- 1 cup all purpose flour, sifted
- pinch of salt
- pinch of nutmeg (optional)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 large eggs
- 1½ cups grated Gruyère cheese, plus more
- Egg wash: 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water
- Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
- Combine water, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg (if using) in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil, over medium high heat.
- Once the water is boiling and the butter has melted, remove the saucepan from the stove and add all the flour at once. Stir vigorously until combined and resembling mashed potatoes. Bring the pan back to the stove, over medium-low heat, and cook until the dough dries out a bit and starts to create a film on the bottom of the pan, about 3-5 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the dough on medium low speed so it cools off a bit. Once it's just warm to the touch, start adding the eggs, one at a time. Wait for each egg to be completely incorporated before adding the next one. The final dough should be smooth and creamy.
- Add the cheese and mix until incorporated.
- Shape the Gougeres: Using a medium sized scoop, drop the dough from a spoon onto parchment-paper lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between them. For more uniform looking Gougeres, I like to wet my hands and shape the dough into little balls before placing them on the baking sheets. You can also go the Julia Child way and scrape the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a wide plain tip and pipe the dough into mounds, about the size of a small cherry tomato.
- Brush the top of each Gougere with egg wash and sprinkle with extra grated cheese or some chopped fresh herbs.
- Bake the Gougeres for 5 minutes and then lower the heat to 350F degrees. Bake for another 20 minutes, rotating once during the baking time, or until puffed and deep golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove from baking trays to cooling racks.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Recipe adapted by this version from The Kitchn and Julia Child's version from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
For this recipe, I recommend:
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