French Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)
Recipe video above. Fabulous light-as-air cheesy puffs that are crusty on the inside, hollow and soft on the inside. In France, they're served as nibbles with pre dinner drinks, as finger food at gatherings and for dunking into soups and stews! (How to pronounce Gougeres)
- 1 cup (250ml) water
- 80g / 5.5 tbsp butter , unsalted, cut into 1.5 cm / 0.5" cubes
- 1 cup (150g) flour , plain / all purpose
- 3/4 tsp salt , kosher/cooking salt
- Pinch nutmeg (powder or freshly grated)
- Pinch black pepper
- 4 eggs (~60 - 65g / 2oz each)
- 200g / 2 cups Gruyère cheese , freshly shredded (Note 1)
- 50g / 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, extra , freshly shredded (Note 1)
- 1 egg yolk , for brushing
Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F (200°C fan). Lightly grease 2 trays then line with parchment / baking paper.
Place water, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil until butter is full melted.
Remove from stove, add flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix until incorporated.
Return to stove on LOW heat and mix for 1 minute (this dries the mixture out, see video for before/after).
Remove from stove, leave for 2 minutes.
Add 1 egg, mix vigorously until incorporated - batter splits at first, but it always comes together!
Add 3 more eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated before adding the next. Good arm workout! (Or use electric beater)
Stir in 2 cups cheese.
Drop 1 tablespoon mounds onto trays (small cookie scoop is ideal, otherwise use a measuring tablespoon and a teaspoon to scrape out. Can make larger - good for dunking!)
Brush with yolk, then top with a pinch of reserved Cheese for topping.
Bake 25 minutes.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes so they become crusty and inside dries out a bit.
Serve warm as pre dinner nibbles, finger food at gatherings, or dunk into soups and stews!
1. Cheese - In France, it's most commonly made with gruyere, Emmental or Comte. Should work just fine with other cheeses that melt well like cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss cheese. Do not use mozzarella (doesn't have enough salt), soft cheeses like feta, ricotta etc and it won't work with parmesan or other cheeses that don't melt.
IMPORTANT: Use freshly grated or, if you are lucky enough to be in France, the finely shredded Emmental sold in packets at the store. Don't use store bought shredded cheese - it's too chunky and it might weight the puffs down so they won't puff up!
2. Reheating - Cool completely then store in an airtight container. They will soften, so to make them crusty again - reheat in a 180°C/350°F oven for 7 minutes until golden and crusty.
3. Recipe source - adapted from this recipe (it's in French) via Jocelyn, the wonderful hostess of La Saura in Burgundy, France.
Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 239IU | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 1mg