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100% authentic gougères! These delicious French cheese puffs are light, airy, and decadently cheese-forward (not a hint of blandness here)! The ultimate appetizer to enjoy all year round, and the best wine pairing ally you can find. With only 6 ingredients, this recipe is easy to make, provided you get the technique right. Lucky for you, this recipe is filled with tips and how-tos, letting you in on all the secrets to making the most perfect gougères every time.

gougères on a marble surface with one gougère cut in half

What are gougères?

Gougères (pronounced goo-j-air) are delicious French cheese puffs that hail from the Burgundy region. Picture this: light, airy, thanks to choux pastry (yes, the same one used for those heavenly éclairs and cream puffs), but with a savory twist. What sets gougères apart is the generous addition of cheese, usually Comté or Gruyère, lending them a rich, cheesy flavor. They are one of the most beloved appetizers in France and are commonly served during the apéro (French for pre-dinner drinks).

Why you should try this recipe

  • Authentic gougères recipe – light, airy, with the traditional choux pastry texture: the same you would enjoy during a wine tasting in Burgundy (maybe even better!).
  • Cheese forward – one of the main issues I often encounter with gougères is the imbalance between the choux pastry and the cheese. Most of the time, I can barely taste the cheese… No more of these dry, cheese-deprived Gougères! This recipe is beautifully cheesy, with Comté used both in small cubes inside the gougères AND grated, sprinkled on top.
  • Crowd-pleasing appetizer – these gougères almost always steal the show during apéro at our house!
  • Wine pairing friendly – you can never really go wrong with Gougères. Rich, salty, and doughy, they pair amazingly well with Champagne, or Pinot Noir and Chardonnay-based wines.
water, flour, eggs, Comté cheese, butter and salt on a wooden surface

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The 6 ingredients you’ll need

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card at the end of the post.)

  • Hard cheese traditional gougères are usually made with Comté (my preferred option), but I know it can be tricky to find in other parts of the world. Good alternatives are Gruyère, Emmental, or Cheddar. I usually aim for 12 months of age. Keep in mind that the more mature the cheese, the more complex the taste.
  • Free-range eggs – are crucial for the structure of the choux pastry.
  • All-purpose flour – nothing fancy here, just plain all-purpose flour yields great results.
  • Unsalted butter – preferably cultured butter, for the most authentic French taste. Look for “cultured butter” or “European butter” on the label.
  • Water – is the wet ingredient that binds butter and flour in the choux pastry.
  • Salt – brings out flavors in the gougères. I recommend using table salt for this recipe.

cubes Comté cheese in a grey bowl
Cubed Comté cheese (12 months of age)

How to make Gougères?

(Note: please see the recipe card below for the complete written instructions and measurements.)

Start by making the choux pastry.

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • In a large saucepan, add water, salt, and butter and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Once the butter has melted and the preparation is simmering, remove from the stove and add the flour all at once.

  • Stir with a wooden spoon until roughly combined.
  • Put the saucepan back on the stove and stir with the wooden spoon for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) and let the preparation cool down.

Note: This step is crucial and helps draw out the excess water in the choux dough, allowing it to rise well once in the oven. Set a timer, and do not stop before 5 minutes. Some elbow grease is involved; keep at it! Don’t worry if a layer forms at the bottom of the saucepan; this is normal.


Meanwhile, dice the cheese.

  • Using a sharp knife, remove the rind of the cheese.
  • Cut out a 50 g (2-ounce) piece of cheese and grate it with a Microplane zester or the fine side of a box grater. Set aside.
  • Cut the rest of the cheese into ¼-inch (0.5 cm) cubes. Set aside.

Finish the gougères dough.

Note: This step can either be done by hand using a wooden spoon or using the flat beater of a stand mixer (less demanding for the arms).

  • Crack one egg into the mixing bowl and stir dynamically until well combined. (At first, the dough and egg will separate, and the mixture will look slimy; this is normal. Keep stirring until smooth and well incorporated.)
  • Repeat the process, adding the eggs one by one, making sure the previous egg is well incorporated before adding the next one. You should end up with a smooth, silky dough.

  • Add the cheese cubes and stir until they are evenly combined.

Bake the gougères.

  • Scoop out a tablespoon of dough onto a parchment-lined baking tray, placing them 1-inch (2.5 cm) apart. The dough is sticky, use a regular spoon to help remove the dough from the tablespoon.
  • Sprinkle some grated cheese on top of each gougère.

  • Bake for 20 minutes in the oven, or until risen and golden.
  • Repeat until all the gougères are baked (I usually make two batches with a 16-inch (40 cm) baking tray.
baked gougères in a baking tray
  • Gougères can be served warm or at room temperature.
  • Enjoy with Champagne or a glass of your favorite Chardonnay or Pinot Noir wine!
plenty of gougères on a marble countertop

Nim Keys – Useful Tips

  1. Weighing the ingredients – As with all baking recipes, I recommend using a digital kitchen scale. It is much more precise than cups (a gram is a gram, but volumes can vary), and the success of making this recipe relies on the weight of the ingredients being accurate.
  2. Cubed cheese – Most gougères recipes out there will feature grated cheese but the secret actually lies in the cheese being cut into tiny cubes. It imparts a stronger cheese flavor without overweighing the dough. Besides, what is more satisfying than biting into small puddles of cheese? Here, grated cheese is only sprinkled on top to add some crunch and additional cheesy flavor.
  3. Cheese / flour ratio – The other secret to perfect gougères is the equal ratio between cheese and flour. The amount of flour must equal the amount of cubed cheese (hence the importance of using a kitchen scale to get the ratio right).
  4. Drying out the dough – This step is crucial and helps draw out the excess water in the choux pastry, allowing it to rise well once in the oven. Set a timer, and do not stop before 5 minutes. Some elbow grease is involved; keep at it! Don’t worry if a layer forms at the bottom of the saucepan; this is normal.
  5. Cooling down the dough before adding the eggs – this will prevent the eggs from starting to cook when added to the dough. Use this time to cut the cheese into cubes, once you are done, the dough is at the perfect temperature!
  6. Spacing out the gougères – scoop out the gougères onto the baking tray 1-inch (2.5 cm) apart from each other, as they will rise and expand in the oven.

gougères on a marble countertop

Wine Pairing For Gougères🥂


WINE PAIRING FRIENDLY

Gougères can complement a wide variety of wines, without altering their aromas and flavors. Whether you fancy a bottle of Champagne, a bold oaky Chardonnay, or a subtle and elegant Pinot Noir, Gougères will get you covered!

WINE APPELLATION SUGGESTIONS

  • Blanc de Blanc Champagne from Champagne (France)
  • Chardonnay from the Finger Lakes, New York (United States)
  • Pinot Noir from Central Otago (New Zealand)

a hand holding a fluffy gougères cut in half, showing pockets of air and melted cheese

FAQ

Can I make gougères ahead of time?

Gougères are best enjoyed on the same day. I do not recommend baking the gougères ahead of time, as they will dry up and lose their moisture. You can, however, prepare the dough the day before, store it in an airtight container, and bake them the same day.

Can I freeze gougère?

Absolutely! Gougères freeze really well, and I always have a bag of gougères in the freezer ready for the next dinner party.

Freezing instructions: Let the gougères cool down completely and transfer them into a big freezer-safe ziplock bag in a single layer to prevent them from sticking together. Freeze for up to two months. To reheat, transfer them frozen onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for 5 minutes.

Other Delicious Appetizer Recipes


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gougères on a marble surface with one gougère cut in half

The BEST Gougères (French Cheese Puffs)

100% authentic gougères! These delicious French cheese puffs are light, airy, and decadently cheese-forward (not a hint of blandness here)! The ultimate appetizer to enjoy all year round and the best wine pairing ally you can find. With only 6 ingredients, this recipe is easy to make, provided you get the technique right. Lucky for you, this recipe is filled with tips and how-tos, letting you in on all the secrets to making the most perfect gougères every time.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French
Diet Vegetarian
Servings 42 gougères

INGREDIENTS
 

  • 450 ml (2 scant cups) water (scant meaning just a little less than a whole cup)
  • 125 g (.5 cup) unsalted butter (cultured or European-style butter works best)
  • 10 g (2 teaspoons) table salt
  • 250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 300 g (11 ounces) Comté cheese (I used 12-month-old Comté), or Gruyère, Emmental, or Cheddar
  • 6 free-range eggs

INSTRUCTIONS

Start making the choux pastry.

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • In a large saucepan, add water, butter, and salt, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Once the butter has melted and the preparation is simmering, remove from the stove and add the flour all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon until roughly combined.
  • Put the saucepan back on the stove and stir with the wooden spoon for 5 minutes (see tips below).
  • Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) and let the preparation cool down.

Meanwhile, prepare the cheese.

  • Using a sharp knife, remove the rind of the cheese.
  • Cut out a 50 g (2-ounce) piece of cheese and grate it with a Microplane zester or the fine side of a box grater. Set aside.
  • Cut the rest of the cheese into ¼-inch (0.5 cm) cubes (see how-to images above in this post). Set aside.

Finish the gougères dough.

  • Note: This step can either be done by hand using a wooden spoon or using the flat beater of a stand mixer (less demanding for the arms). 
  • Crack one egg into the mixing bowl and stir dynamically until well combined. Note: at first, the dough and egg will separate, and the mixture will look slimy; this is normal. Keep stirring until smooth and well incorporated.
  • Repeat the process, adding the eggs one by one, making sure the previous egg is well incorporated before adding the next one. You should end up with a smooth, silky dough.
  • Add the cheese cubes and stir until they are evenly combined.

Bake the gougères.

  • Scoop out a tablespoon of dough onto a parchment-lined baking tray, placing them 1-inch (2.5 cm) apart. The dough is sticky; use a regular spoon to help remove the dough from the tablespoon.
  • Sprinkle some grated cheese on top of each gougère.
  • Bake for 20 minutes in the oven, or until risen and golden. Repeat until all the gougères are baked (I usually make two batches with a 16-inch (40 cm) baking tray.
  • Gougères can be served warm or at room temperature. Enjoy with Champagne or a glass of your favorite Chardonnay or Pinot Noir wine.

NIM KEYS - USEFUL TIPS

  1. Weighing the ingredients - As with all baking recipes, I recommend using a digital kitchen scale. It is much more precise than cups (a gram is a gram, but volumes can vary), and the success of making this recipe relies on the weight of the ingredients being accurate.
  2. Cubed cheese - Most gougères recipes out there will feature grated cheese but the secret actually lies in the cheese being cut into tiny cubes. It imparts a stronger cheese flavor without overweighing the dough. Besides, what is more satisfying than biting into small puddles of cheese? Here, grated cheese is only sprinkled on top to add some crunch and additional cheesy flavor.
  3. Cheese / flour ratio - The other secret to perfect gougères is the equal ratio between cheese and flour. The amount of flour must equal the amount of cubed cheese (hence the importance of using a kitchen scale to get the ratio right).
  4. Drying out the dough - This step is crucial and helps draw out the excess water in the choux pastry, allowing it to rise well once in the oven. Set a timer, and do not stop before 5 minutes. Some elbow grease is involved; keep at it! Don’t worry if a layer forms at the bottom of the saucepan; this is normal.
  5. Cooling down the dough before adding the eggs - this will prevent the eggs from starting to cook when added to the dough. Use this time to cut the cheese into cubes, once you are done, the dough is at the perfect temperature!
  6. Spacing out the gougères - scoop out the gougères onto the baking tray 1-inch (2.5 cm) apart from each other, as they will rise and expand in the oven.

NUTRITION

Calories: 81kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 4gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 153mgPotassium: 22mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 176IUCalcium: 78mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword cheese puffs, French appetizer, French cheese puffs, gougères
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