The best way to describe gougères is to call them cheese puffs. Their dough, pâte à choux, is the same one you’d use for sweet cream puffs or profiteroles, but when the pâte à choux is destined to become gougères, you fold in a good amount of grated cheese. I use Gruyère, Comté, Emmenthal or sharp cheddar. These delicate bites originated in Burgundy and are traditionally served with a kir or a glass of champagne. Who am I to not follow tradition, so either a kir royale (cassis with bubbly) or plain champagne is my drink of choice with these cheesy puffs.
Cook the paste until its dry. It’s important to cook the dough for a few minutes before adding the eggs; this dries it out and makes it more able to absorb the eggs.
Use the right number of eggs for your dough. Depending on your flour and the humidity of the day you are making the gougères, you might not need all the eggs. Add the eggs in three additions, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl before the next batch, and checking for doneness. If you scoop up a little bit with your spatula and let it slide back into the bowl, it should leave behind a little “V” of dough on the spatula.
Makes about 18
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup coarsely grated cheese, such as Gruyère or cheddar
- Preheat the oven to 210 C / 425 F
- Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper
- Bring the milk, water, butter and salt to a rapid boil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan
- Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium-low and immediately start stirring energetically
- Keep stirring for a minute or two to dry the dough. It should now be very smooth
- Turn the dough into the bowl
- Let the dough sit for a minute then add the eggs one by one while beating energetically. The dough should become thick and shiny
- Beat in the grated cheese
- Using about 1 tablespoon for each gougère, drop the dough from a spoon onto the lined baking sheet
- Leave about 5cm / 2 inches between each
- Slide the sheets into the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 185 C / 375 F
- Bake for about 25 minutes until they are firm, golden and puffed