Making pâte á choux was one of the first things I learned in cooking school, and I’ve had the pastry formula rattling around in my head ever since. When flavored with cheese and baked, the pastry puffs into addictive gougeres, or cheese puffs. The French tend to make theirs with Gruyère, although I use Cheddar. Either way, the cheese puffs beg to be paired with pinot noir. For parties, I often make one-bite gougeres; plan on three or four per person. You can also split the puffs and fill them with chicken, ham, or lobster salad for more substantial hors d’oeuvres.–Tori Ritchie
LC They’ll Always Be Cheese Puffs To Us Note
Call them what you will, these ginormously popular gougeres, no matter how elegant their appearance nor how perfectly they go with Champagne, will always, in our minds, be known as cheese puffs—or, to use the more familiar form, cheesy puffs.
- 1 cup water
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Put the water, butter, and salt in a medium, heavy saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Cook, swirling the pan a few times until the butter melts; once it has melted, increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and dump in the flour. Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until it starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Take the pan off the stove, set it on a counter or hot pad, and let it cool, without stirring, for 5 minutes.
- Now, work in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating the mixture well with the spoon after each addition (you have to put some muscle into it to incorporate the eggs fully). With each addition, the dough should look glossy and slick at first, then stick to the sides of the pan before you add the next egg. After beating in the last egg, beat in the dry mustard and cayenne, then the cheese and chives.
- Scoop up a heaping teaspoon of dough and with another spoon, push it off onto the paper-lined baking sheet (it should form a mound about 1 inch in diameter). Continue with the remaining dough, leaving an inch of space between the gougeres (work in batches as necessary, the dough can stand, covered with buttered waxed paper or parchment, for up to 1/2 hour).
- Bake until the gougeres are puffy and light golden, about 25 minutes, switching pan positions halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving, or turn off oven and let gougeres remain in oven, with door ajar, for up to 1 hour.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These Cheddar-chive gougeres are addictive is an understatement! I could eat half this recipe all by myself (and nearly did). I’ve been wanting to make something like this, and this was the perfect excuse. I found it simple and easy to make, fairly quick, and extremely tasty. I like how the bits of cheese on the outside get crispy.
These Cheddar-chive gougeres were so easy and so good—I’ve always loved cream puffs but had never made a savory version. We ate them just as they were but next time I think I’ll fill them with chicken salad or pulled pork.
Originally published February 12, 2010