Cheese puffs, called gougères, are a French delicacy. These small puffs are made with choux pastry and contain grated cheese. The puffs are easy to make and come out light and crispy with a cheesy center.
The pastry can be used for other types of puffs as well. For example, you can fill the cheese puffs with different ingredients to create a stuffed puff.
Gougères is made up of
Gougères are made with the same ingredients as choux pastry. The dough is piped into small rounds and baked until crisp and puffed up. They're often flavored with cheese but can be sweet or savory—many varieties, including these flavored with gruyere cheese and salty bacon.
- These are very easy to make, and they're a great way to use up leftover cheese. I also love making them as a snack or appetizer before dinner.
- They're best served hot from the oven, but if you have leftovers, you can reheat them in a 350°F oven for about 5 minutes to restore their crispness.
Origin of gougères
In the French culinary canon, there are a handful of classic dishes that are so ubiquitous they're woven into the very fabric of the culture. The ham and cheese croque monsieur, for example, was born in Parisian cafés at the turn of the 20th century. Next, there's pot-au-feu, which dates back to the days of Louis XIV. And then there's gougères, a cheesy puff pastry that is often served as and hors d'oeuvre with wine (and sometimes even champagne) — though you can enjoy them any time of day.
What Are Gougères?
Gougères are essentially savory choux dough puffs made with grated or shredded cheese. They can be filled or left hollow and are typically enjoyed or dipped into a sauce like mustard or melted butter. They are commonly served at cocktail parties as an appetizer and make an excellent accompaniment to a cheese board; because they pair well with just about any type of cheese, they're perfect for enjoying during happy hour.
Taste of Gougère
Gougeres are genuinely a culinary miracle. The texture is a cross between a popover and a cream puff, with the delicate flakiness of a croissant, but they're made with nothing more than eggs, cheese, and flour.
The great thing about gougères is that they can be served warm or at room temperature, making them perfect for dinner parties. I prefer to serve them right out of the oven, but if you're having people over for dinner, you can bake them off in advance and then reheat them in an oven just before serving.
Gougères as a popular appetizer in France
Gougères, a French cheese puff, maybe one of the best things to come out of the region of Burgundy in recent history: flaky and light on the outside, with a cheesy and eggy inside. They're the perfect appetizer, and they're so easy to make at home!
- Gougères are very popular as an appetizer in France. These bites are made from pâte à choux (cream puff dough), dough made of water, butter, flour, and eggs. It's versatile dough that can also be used for profiteroles (cream puffs), eclairs, and French cruller doughnuts.
Why did gougères deflate?
The answer is simple: The water in the dew evaporated.
Now that we know the reason, it is easier to identify the causes. This can be due to several factors.
- If you have used too high heat: The dough will cook too fast, and before expanding ultimately, the water will have evaporated.
- If your oven does not have sufficient humidity: After putting the gougères in the oven, open it for a few moments and spray some water inside.
- If your oven's temperature is too low: The dough will take longer to rise, and you will end up with a pancake.
Most likely, your choux pastry did not hold enough steam. Steam is what makes the gougères puff up into glorious towers of cheese-filled flakiness.
It's essential to add the water and butter to the flour all at once to keep it warm and ready to accept the eggs. Once you add the eggs, you need to stir vigorously until the dough is thick and glossy; this ensures enough steam in each piece of dough. If you don't get enough air bubbles in there, they won't puff up nicely!
How long do gougères last?
Gougères are delicious when eaten fresh out of the oven. However, they can last at room temperature for one to two hours if stored in a properly sealed container.
If you don't plan on eating them within a few hours, it is best to store them in an airtight container or freezer bag and place them in the fridge. They will last for 3–5 days; if you want to keep the gougères for longer than that, put a piece of parchment paper between each one to prevent sticking.
Gougères are hollow
Gougères are hollow but not entirely open.
The dough for gougères is pâte à choux, pastry dough that contains only flour, water, and eggs. The proteins in the eggs help create steam as the pastry bakes, which causes the dough to puff up.
In some cases, the insides of gougères are empty — if you're making them large enough to use as a vessel or if you're using a vibrant dough. However, more often than not, they are filled with just a bit of air pockets and dough.
Gougères can be reheated
Yes! They can be reheated in the same way you baked them: preheat the oven to 350°F, place the gougères on a baking sheet, and warm for about 10 minutes.
The gougères will lose their light and fluffy texture after being heated, but they'll still taste great.
Can we freeze gougères before baking?
No, you cannot freeze gougères before baking.
The dough is a choux pastry made by melting the butter and water together and adding flour and eggs. The steam from the water causes it to puff up; frozen gougères are not going to puff up as well as fresh ones.
- You can freeze the finished product, though — place them on a baking sheet and freeze for about an hour until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag. When you're ready to eat them, bake in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes (depending on size).
Yes! Gougères freeze beautifully. You can freeze them before or after you bake them. If you freeze them before baking, make sure they are completely frozen before transferring them to a freezer bag. If you freeze them after baking, make sure they're completely cool first.
To bake from frozen:
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and bake until the cheese puffs have puffed up and are golden brown, about 20 minutes for small gougères, 25 minutes for medium-sized ones, and 30 minutes for large ones.
What to serve with Gougères
Gougères are versatile and can be served as a snack, appetizer, or side dish. They can even be served with a cheese course. For an easy main period, serve the gougères in biscuits alongside chicken or turkey. You can also make them slightly larger and stuff them with ham, cheese, chives, or salmon mousse for an easy hors d'oeuvre.
- Gougères are one of those classic appetizers that you can never get enough of. You know the ones: Simple, yet so delicious. These little French puffs are made with a simple choux pastry, which is whipped up in a matter of minutes on the stovetop and then baked until light, airy, and cheesy.
- Once they're out of the oven and cooled slightly, they're irresistible — you can't stop popping these puffs into your mouth.
- Gougères work as an appetizer or even a snack when you have a crowd over, but they also make an excellent side to soups and stew; think corn chowder, French onion soup, and beef stew.
- They'd even be great paired with a salad of greens tossed in vinaigrette or one with tart-dried cherries and goat cheese.
The best part about gougères is that they can be made ahead of time and then rewarmed in the microwave or oven for a few minutes before serving. The only thing that changes about them is their texture: They go from ultra-crisp to crisp outside with a soft interior. If anything, I prefer them this way because I think it makes them.
Best cheese for gougères
The key to making gougères is cheese. The name "Gougère" comes from goût, the French word for taste. (It's pronounced "goo-jer.") The cheese adds savory richness to otherwise simple dough made with flour, butter, and water.
The best cheeses for gougères are those that have a strong flavor and crisp texture when cooked. For example, Swiss Gruyère is one of the best cheeses for gougères because it has a strong flavor and quickly melts into the dough. Comté is another cheese that works well in gougères because it has a sweet, nutty flavor and goes nicely with white wine.
Another good choice is Beaufort, which melts nicely and gives the dough a creamy texture. Other great choices include Mimolette, Cantal, or Emmental. Fontina will also work well in gougères.
Savory filling for gougères
- This is a traditional filling for gougères, the savory cheese puffs of France. It's called "duxelles" because it was created by the 18th-century French chef François Pierre de la Varenne (1615–78) and named after his employer, Nicolas Chalon du Blé, Marquis D’Uxelles.
- Duxelles is a mixture of finely chopped mushrooms and shallots sautéed in butter until soft and dry. Some cooks add cream or wine to moisten the mix, making it harder to pipe into gougères or pastries.
- You can make duxelles in advance and refrigerate or freeze it until needed. That's especially handy if you're serving these puffs as an appetizer before dinner; you can assemble them up to an hour ahead and store them in a covered bowl at room temperature until ready to bake.
Gougères are best eaten the day they're baked, but leftover duxelles-filled puffs can be reheated in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.
Making gougères ahead of time
Yes, you can make the pate choux dough ahead of time. However, it will be easier to work with if it's brought to room temperature and then whipped lightly with a wooden spoon before forming puffs or logs.
You can also make them in advance and freeze them before baking. Then, bake them directly from the freezer, adding 3 to 5 minutes to the baking time.
Gougères filling Ideas
There are so many options for gougères fillings. You can use almost anything that is not too wet and not too sweet.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Spinach and cheese: sauté spinach with garlic, mix in shredded cheese, season with salt and pepper.
- Mushrooms: sauté mushrooms with a bit of garlic and shallot, add a splash of vermouth, season with salt and pepper.
- Tomatoes and cheese: roast tomatoes in the oven, mix shredded cheese, season with salt and pepper.
- Mashed potatoes (or cauliflower) mixed with shredded cheese, chopped herbs, and bacon bits.
Pâte à choux is magic dough. A simple mix of flour, butter, and water, when cooked up on the stove and then beaten with eggs, it puffs into light little pillows that are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Fill them with pastry cream, dip them in chocolate or bake them into hollow shells that can be filled with anything from whipped cream to ice cream.
- But the dough is also quite versatile; add cheese to the batter before you bake it, and you get gougères, small cheesy puffs that are perfect for an appetizer. If you're feeling ambitious, make them with black truffles too — they're perfect for your New Year's Eve party!
How do you eat truffle Gouda?
You can eat it in any way you like, but we have a few tips to help you enjoy this delicacy to the fullest. Truffle Gouda is best enjoyed on its own or with a glass of red wine.
Include this cheese in your cheeseboard or cheese sandwich and add a touch of class to your meal.
An extra tip: heat some Truffle Gouda in the microwave for approximately 10 seconds. This will make it extra soft and even more delicious!