Gougères, also known as savory French cheese puffs, are the perfect cheesy bite. These are made with a pate a choux dough and three different kinds of cheese - gruyere, parmesan, and sharp cheddar. They're the perfect bite-sized appetizer or an afternoon snack and can be made in less than an hour.
I'm partnering with my friend, Anina Belle of Le Chef's Wife, to create a fancy, yet simple French-themed fall menu and these cheesy gougères are the appetizer for our menu. The first course is a Creamy Butternut Squash Soup and the dessert is these delicious Cinnamon Apple Crepes.
Why This Recipe Tastes So Good
This recipe starts with a basic pate a choux dough. The basic dough starts on the stovetop and is finished in the oven. After the cheese and mustard are mixed in the dough is stiff enough to scoop onto the baking sheet. The combination of the three cheeses creates a complex flavor and the dijon mustard adds a hint of acid. The gougères are great on their own but taste great when served with fresh fruit or a creamy, buttery brie.
Gougère Recipe Ingredients
Here are the ingredients for these gougère:
- All-Purpose Flour. Provides structure to the puff. Because
- Whole Milk. Adds the required liquid that creates steam when the puff is baking, but also helps the gougere to brown.
- Water. Adds the required liquid, but also helps the shell of the gougere to be a little crispy
- Unsalted Butter. Fat is required for the pate a choux and helps create a tender puff.
- Whole Eggs. Provide flavor, color and structure. Too many eggs will bake the pate a choux soft and the puffs will not rise.
- Parmesan Cheese. Parmesan adds a nice salty flavor to the puffs
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Sharp cheddar adds a slightly sharp, acidic taste to the puffs.
- Gruyere Cheese. Gruyere is creamy and adds a nutty flavor to the puffs.
- Dijon Mustard. The mustard adds a nice bit of acid to the final puffs.
This gougères recipe uses equal amounts of all three cheeses, but you can use any combination that you want. Gougeres are typically made with Gruyere cheese, but I love the flavor combination of all three of these cheeses.
How to Make Gougères (French Cheese Puffs)
Start by making the choux. Set oven to 400 degrees F. Sift the flour and sugar together onto a piece of wax paper. Sprinkle the salt on top. Crack the eggs into a small bowl.
Place the water, milk, and butter in a heavy 3 or 4-quart saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and heat until the butter is melted and the mixture has just started to boil.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, add all the flour at once and use a wooden spoon to quickly and with some force stir the flour into the liquid ingredients until there are no white bits of flour remaining.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and continue to stir the choux until it forms a ball and a thin layer of the choux forms on the bottom of the pan.
Dump the mixture into your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and run on medium speed for a minute to cool it down. Reduce the speed to low, add one egg and then increase the speed to medium and beat until the egg is mixed in. Repeat this step for each egg and stop the mixer after the second egg to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
The mixture will be glossy and when you push the paddle attachment into the choux and raise it up, the choux will form a V-shape. Add the mustard and mix on medium for about 10 seconds to incorporate.
Add all the cheese and mix in by hand making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
How to Bake the Gougères
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a 1-1/2-inch cookie scoop to portion the dough and place the choux about 2-inches apart on the baking sheet.
Place one pan in the oven. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes and without opening the oven door reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the choux are golden brown and puffed up.
Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool slightly before serving. For the second pan preheat the oven again to 400 degrees F and bake the choux.
How to Serve the Gougères (Cheese Puffs)
The gougères are best served warm. They can be made one day in advance. To rewarm them preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and heat them for 5 - 7 minutes until they're warm and outside is crisp again.
What to Serve with Gougères
These little cheese puffs taste good by themselves, but I've served them with fresh figs and apples and the combination was delicious. You can also serve them with a buttery, creamy brie cheese. Since the gougères are so cheesy if you serve them with another cheese make sure it's a mild cheese.
Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- Weigh the flour and the eggs with a scale to ensure you have the right amount of each ingredient. Too much flour and puffs will be dry. Too much egg and teh dough will runny and your choux will be flat.
- Use a scoop to portion the choux dough. Using a scoop will ensure even sized puffs and is easier than piping them on the pan because the dough is so thick.
- Don't use pre-shredded cheese. This type of cheese has a anti-caking agent that will dry out the choux and the cheese won't melt as easily.
- Use the small holes on the grater for grating the cheese. The cheese will be finer and easier to mix into the dough.
- You can make the shells in advance for a super-quick appetizer. Freeze in an airtight container and thaw on a wire rack then bake at 350F for 5-7 minutes to crisp them back up.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make the gougères 2 or 3 days in advance. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Right before serving them place them in a 350F oven for 5-7 minutes until they are warm and crisp again.
Yes, gougères can be frozen. Arrange them in a single layer on a sheet pan. Freeze them for a day and then place them in a freezer bag. When ready to serve place them in the oven directly from the freezer.
If the gougères are flat after baking them it's most likely because too much liquid was added in relation to the amount of flour. Make sure to weigh the flour and the eggs to ensure you have the right amount of both ingredients.
Yes, gougères are easy to make. The dough is ready in 10-15 minutes and you can have fresh baked gougères in less than an hour.
Make these gougères for your next party or for a quick snack served with fruit. If you make these delicious cheesy bits please let me know what you think and please leave a rating. I would love to hear from you. If you post it on Instagram please tag me @bakesbybrownsugar.
Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)
Pate a Choux
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 8 tablespoons (114) grams unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (140 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour sifted
- 4 large (200 grams) eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup (37 grams) finely grated Gruyere cheese
- 1/3 cup (37 grams) finely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup (37 grams) finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large (50 grams) egg
- 1 teaspoon water
Making the Pate a Choux Dough
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two half-baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Sift the flour into a bowl or onto a piece of wax paper. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl.
- Place the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat and make sure all the butter is melted. Remove the pot from the heat and dump in all the flour all at one and quickly stir with a wooden spoon until there are no bits of flour left. You do not want any lumps of flour.
- Return the saucepan to medium heat and continue to cook the choux while stirring vigorously. The mixture will sizzle as it continues to cook, and a thin layer will form on the bottom of the pan. This step is to cook the protein in the flour and cook some of the moisture in the choux. The dough will become a smooth ball.
- Put the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer and with the paddle attachment beat on medium speed for 1 minute to cool the choux pasty. Reduce the speed to low, add one egg and increase the speed to medium and beat until the egg is incorporated. Repeat with each egg. After add the second egg, stop the mixture and scrap the bottom and sides of the bowl. After the last egg is added beat the dough on medium speed for another 1-2 minutes until it is smooth.
- To test the dough stop the mixture, unhook the paddle attachment, push it into the dough and then slowly pull up. If the dough forms a V-shape at the bottom the attachment the choux is ready. Add the mustard and mix for another 10 seconds to incorporate.
- Sprinkle all of the cheese on top of the dough and mix by hand with silicone spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom the bowl to ensure all the dough and cheese are mixed together.
Baking the Gougeres (Cheese Puffs)
- Whisk the egg with the water to make the egg wash.
- Use a 1-1/2-inch cookie scoop to scoop the choux dough onto the baking sheet about 2-inches apart. For a half-baking sheet there will be 15 on each sheet. Brush each gougere with the egg wash. Bake one baking sheet at a time.
- Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F without opening the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes until choux buns are golden brown. Remove them from the oven and place the pan on the cooling rack. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F and wait for it to reach full temperature before baking the second pan.
- The gougeres are best serve warmed. If making them for a party they can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and warm the gougeres for 5-7 minutes and until they are warm and crisp.
- Freeze baked gougeres in a single layer on a sheet pan, then place them in a freezer bag. Reheat straight from the freezer in a 350 degree F oven until they are warm and crisp.