Gougères

I first made gougères years ago and was enchanted by their (seemingly) effortless elegance, their lightness, and their grace. They are cheese puffs as only the French can do cheese puffs, both dainty and dignified. I suppose that is to be expected when their base is a delightful pâte à choux (think cream puffs and profiteroles) spiked with generous amounts of cheese. I decided to revisit them recently (ok, I confess, I made these months ago now) when I spotted Dorie Greenspan’s recipe in her simply stunning cookbook Around My French Table. Of course, while cookbooks are great pastry school would be a good option for those who want to improve their skills.

As usual Dorie (yes, after reading her books I feel comfortable calling her Dorie, maybe inappropriately so) proves an apt baker, story teller, and recipe writer all in one. She explains that gougères originated in Burgundy, where they are customarily paired with kir as an apperitif. Dorie serves them with Champagne and I love them with any kind of white wine. They’re the perfect start to a dinner party, or an exciting addition to a cocktail party. And, while time is of the essence when making gougères they’re relatively easy.

 

And, Dorie provides a great tip in her book that is totally up my alley: “Although you must spoon out the puffs as soon as the dough is made, the little puffs can be frozen and then baked straight from the freezer…” How great is that? I did this and was very happy to be able to have a pre-made batch of gougères at my fingertips.

Gougères
 
Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
Author:
Yield: About 36 gougères
Ingredients
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 8 tablespoons (about 113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 large eggs, brought to room temperature
  • 1½ cups (about 6 ounces) grated gruyere cheese (substitute sharp cheddar, Comté, or Emmenthal)
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F and line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  2. Bring the milk, water, butter, and salt to a rapid boil over high heat. Add the flour, lower the heat, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough should come together and a light crust will form at the bottom of the pan - keep stirring! Stir for another minute or two until very smooth.
  3. Turn the dough into a mixing bowl and allow to sit for 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously until the dough is thick and has a nice sheen (make sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next). Stir in the grated cheese. At this point the dough needs to be spooned out immediately.
  4. Spoon out about 1 tablespoon of dough and carefully drop on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, leaving about 2 inches between each gougère. {At this point gougères can be frozen to be baked later.} Transfer the baking sheets to the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 375F. Bake until puffed and golden, about 24 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway. Serve immediately - that is when they are at their best!

 

Gougères

Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
Yield: About 36 gougères

 INGREDIENTS:
½ cup whole milk
½ cup water
8 tablespoons (about 113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
5 large eggs, brought to room temperature
1½ cups (about 6 ounces) grated gruyere cheese (substitute sharp cheddar, Comté, or Emmenthal)

METHOD:
Preheat the oven to 425F and line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Bring the milk, water, butter, and salt to a rapid boil over high heat. Add the flour, lower the heat, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough should come together and a light crust will form at the bottom of the pan – keep stirring! Stir for another minute or two until very smooth.

Turn the dough into a mixing bowl and allow to sit for 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously until the dough is thick and has a nice sheen (make sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next). Stir in the grated cheese. At this point the dough needs to be spooned out immediately.

Spoon out about 1 tablespoon of dough and carefully drop on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, leaving about 2 inches between each gougère. {At this point gougères can be frozen to be baked later.} Transfer the baking sheets to the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 375F. Bake until puffed and golden, about 24 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway. Serve immediately – that is when they are at their best!

19 thoughts on “Gougères

  1. kitchenriffs

    Good recipe, great pictures. I haven’t made these in ages – as in, well over a decade. I’ve been thinking about doing these again, and you’ve inspired me! Thanks for a great post.

    • Katherine

      Awesome! I think they are pronounced like goo-jairs (with the second part a soft g and rhyming with chairs). These were definitely dangerous around me too! Luckily I fed them to other people so I didn’t eat them all 😉

  2. Hannah

    I adore gougeres! Yours look so delicious and I wish I had some in front of me now. A friend brought them to a couple of dinner parties last winter and we couldn’t stop eating them. A dangerous appetizer before a big meal!

    I, too, love Around My French Table and need to devote more cooking time to it. The apple cake is divine and I can’t wait to make it again for Rosh Hashana.

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