Easy Cheese Puffs (Gougères)
These delicious & easy to make choux pastry Cheese Puffs or French Gougères are light, cheesy and super moreish. Perfect party nibble to accompany drinks, impressive appetizer or just something little to snack on – you decide!
Servings 24 cheese puffs
- 250 ml water see notes
- 75 g unsalted butter or baking spread
- 125 g plain (all-purpose) flour
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 125 g grated cheese (mature cheddar, gruyere, comte)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika optional
- pinch of cayenne pepper optional
- freshly ground pepper
- freshly grated parmesan to sprinkle on top of cheese puffs before baking optional
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
Put water, butter, salt and pepper in a medium size saucepan and bring to boil.
Add flour and any spices you’re using and mix vigorously with wooden spoon until the dough comes together in a nice big lump. Flatten it in a pan to make it cool down quicker and set aside.
Once your dough had couple of minutes to cool start adding your eggs one at a time and mixing them in with a hand blender/standing mixer (or by hand using wooden spoon) until your dough becomes smooth and glossy.
Once you’ve mixed in all the eggs it’s time to add the cheese. Mix it in with your wooden spoon until incorporated.
Scoop a heaped tablespoon of dough onto prepared baking sheet making sure that you leave 4-5cm (2inches) between portions to allow the cheese puffs to rise and expand.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, lower temperature to 180C/350F/ Gas Mark 4 and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes until puffed up and light golden.
Remove from the oven, cool slightly on the cooling rack and serve immediately!
Storing and Freezing
They are best eaten on a day they are baked, still slightly warm or at room temperature. However, they do freeze beautifully both baked and unbaked so not only you don’t need to worry about the waste but they are also perfect to make ahead and store in the freezer for when you need them.
To freeze them unbaked, simply scoop or pipe them onto the baking sheet lined with baking paper and pop in the freezer. Once frozen transfer them to freezer friendly bag for up to 1 month. Bake from frozen adding couple of extra minutes baking time.
To freeze baked cheese puffs simply put them in a freezer bag as soon as they are cool and place in the freezer for up to 1 month. When ready to serve, reheat them (from frozen) in the oven preheated to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 6-8 minutes. Let them cool slightly on a cooling rack and serve immediately.
- Nutritional information is approximate, per cheese puff and should be treated as a guideline only.
- Some recipes use milk or mixture of milk and water instead. I find using just water produces the lightest cheese puffs.
- I like to add some smoked paprika or pinch of cayenne pepper to my cheese puffs for that extra touch but you can keep them super simple seasoned with nothing else but salt and pepper or try adding some chopped chives to the dough for a bit of colour and that cheese and onion flavour.
- You can make your cheese puffs look really pretty and uniform if you pipe them onto the baking tray.
- Hand blender or standing mixer come really handy when it comes to beating the eggs into the dough although you can achieve the same result by vigorously beating them with a wooden spoon. Always look for smooth, silky and glossy finish.
Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg