These classic Gruyère gougères are bite-sized French pastries that are laced with cheese. The airy lightness of these hors d’oeuvre make them perfect for any cocktail party, served alongside a glass of sparkling wine.
A gougère (prounced “goo JAIR”), despite its fancy-sounding name, is essentially a blob of baked pastry dough that’s laced with cheese. The classic hors d’oeuvres is crisp yet ethereally airy, rich yet somehow quite light. They’re perfectly accentuated by a glass of sparkling wine, the effervescent bubbles and dry acidity offsetting (and playing nicely with) the buttery and cheesy richness of the pastry.–Angie Zoobkoff
Classic Gruyère Gougères
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 stick unsalted butter cut into tablespoons
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, milk, butter, and salt and bring to a boil. Add the flour a bit at a time, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms. Cook, stirring, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 1 minute.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl and let cool, about 1 minute. Beat 1 egg at a time into the dough, incorporating it thoroughly before adding the next. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese, nutmeg, and some pepper.
- Fit a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch (12-mm) tip, fill the bag with the batter, and pipe 1-inch (25-mm) mounds onto the baking sheet, 1 inch apart. (Alternatively, fill a resealable plastic bag with the batter and snip off the tip of the bag to form a makeshift pastry bag. You can also use a spoon or small cookie scoop.)
- Wet your fingers slightly and smooth down any jagged bits of dough. Sprinkle the tops with 1/4 cup cheese and bake until puffed and slightly golden, 18 to 22 minutes. Do not overbake and do not let them brown. Repeat the process with any remaining batter. Serve warm. (The gougères can be made ahead of time. Once they cool, freeze in a sealed bag or container. Reheat the puffs from frozen in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 8 to 15 minutes.)
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I liked this recipe and it worked well. The cheese flavor was more evident when the gougères were left to cool. I would be happy to make the recipe again or to recommend it to others.
I made some gougères a few weeks ago using a different recipe and these were much better! They were cute, golden cheese puffs that smelled nice in the oven as they were baking and when getting reheated.
When they first came out of the oven I had to have a little sample. At that time, the taste of the nutmeg was overwhelming, the cheese subtle, and the eggs noticeable. I baked them several hours before my guests arrived and then reheated them for a few minutes with good results.
My guests were happy to eat them, although they weren’t served with Champagne. This morning I ate a few of them as leftovers, reheated in the toaster oven, and the cheese taste was more pronounced and the nutmeg more muted. A few chopped herbs in the batter might have been nice.
The gougères were quite delicious, delicate little puffs with very subtle flavors of Gruyere and nutmeg. Served warm, they were quite special and delightful. When cooled, they were still very good, the flavor of the cheese was more noticeable, and the texture of the little puffs, not quite as delicate. The interior of the little puffs was so moist and delicate, while the crust was also delicate, but just a little crisp. The appearance of the Gougères was also very, very nice. I didn’t have a pastry bag and so used a freezer-weight resealable plastic bag with one corner cut out to “pipe” the dough onto the parchment paper and that worked quite well. That made the process quite easy, also.
Gougères were just the thing to serve pre-Superbowl with chili and a green salad. The gougères were light and filled with a delicious cheesy taste. Friends who said, “I never eat bread” ate several. And all rated them a solid 10.
The secret here is using an excellent Gruyère. I froze the remaining gougères and reheated them for breakfast the next morning. They were not quite as puffy, but every bit as delicious.
Perfection! The classic Gruyère gougères are lovely puffs of cheesy goodness. And they are easy to make. They get an A+ in my book. They weren’t the prettiest puffs, and they deflated upon cooling, but we didn’t let that stop us from eating way too many in one sitting. I froze a lot of them to keep us from gorging ourselves. The directions for rewarming the frozen gougères worked perfectly, though my puffs were warm and crispy after only 8 minutes. It’s nice to know I have a freezer stash, ready to warm up next time we need a little gougère yumminess.
Originally published February 13, 2019
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
I love that something that appears to be “restaurant quality” or “chef-y” is something I can easily make at home! The ingredients are pantry staples and you could experiment with different types of cheeses. The dough pulled together easily and the results looked professional! They tasted cheesy and are as light as soufflés with less of the stress. The fact that you can make these ahead and freeze them only adds to their value!