Author: Robin Young for Treasure Valley Wine Society, Winemakers tasting 5/17/2005

Source: www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2009/01/gougeres_french_cheese_puffs.html

Web Page: http://www.rockinrs.com, http://boisefoodieguild.blogspot.com, Facebook - Here's What's Cookin!


If you don't have a pastry bag with a plain tip, you can put the dough into a freezer bag, snip off a corner, and use that. Or simply use two spoons to portion and drop the dough onto the baking sheet. This recipe can easily be doubled.

Author Notes

Two things to keep in mind when making these. One is that you should have all the ingredients ready to go before you start. Don't let the water and butter boil away while you grate the cheese. Otherwise you'll lose too much of the water. Second is to let the batter cool for a few minutes before adding the eggs so you don't 'cook' them. Make sure when you stir in the eggs that you do it vigorously, and without stopping. I'm not a fan of extra dishes to wash, but the intrepid can put the dough in a food processor or use an electric mixer to add and mix the eggs in quickly.

Degree of Difficulty

Degree of Difficulty: Moderately difficult

Oven Temperature: 425°F


Yield: 48







Butter, salted or unsalted, cut into cubes





lg Pinch

Chilli Powder or few turns of freshly-ground black pepper








Chives, finely minced or 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh Thyme



grated Gruyere cheese



Preheat the oven to 425F (220C.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.


Heat the water, butter, salt, and chili or pepper in a saucepan until the butter is melted.


Dump in the flour all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture pulls away from the sides into a smooth ball. Remove from heat and let rest two minutes.


Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring quickly to make sure the eggs don't 'cook.' The batter will first appear lumpy, but after a minute or so, it will smooth out. (You can transfer the mixture to a bowl before adding to eggs to cool the dough, or do this step in a food processor or electric mixer, if you wish.)


Add about ½ cup of the grated cheese and the chives, and stir until well-mixed.


Scrape the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a wide plain tip and pipe the dough into mounds, evenly-spaced apart, making each about the size of a small cherry tomato.


Top each puff with a bit of the remaining cheese, then pop the baking sheet in the oven.


Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375F (190C) and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until they're completely golden brown.

Cooking Times

Preparation Time: 1 hour

Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 35 minutes


1). For extra-crispy puffs, five minutes before they're done, poke the side of each puff with a sharp knife to release the steam, and return to the oven to finish baking.

2). Serving: The puffs are best served warm, and if making them in advance, you can simply pipe the gougères on baking sheets and cook right before your guests arrive, or reheat the baked cheese puffs in a low oven for 5-10 minutes before serving. Some folks like to fill them, or split them and sandwich a slice or dry-aged ham in there, although I prefer them just as they are.

3). A bit of troubleshooting: The most common problem folks have with pâté à choux, or cream puff dough, is deflated puffs. The usual causes are too much liquid (eggs), or under baking. Make sure to use large eggs, not extra-large or jumbo, and use a dry, aged cheese, if possible. And bake the puffs until they're completely browned up the sides so they don't sink when cooling. If yours do deflate, that's fine. I've seen plenty of those in France, and I actually think the funky-looking ones have a lot of charm—and you're welcome to quote me on that.