Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)
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
- 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese, plus more
- Egg wash: 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water
- If freezing for later, scoop them into the prepared baking sheet and bring to the freezer. Once frozen, remove from baking sheet to a freezer storage container. When ready to use them, bake directly from the freezer for a little longer than what the recipe asks for.
- 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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