We’ve got a soft spot for these little cheese puffs (pronounced Gooj-Jer). We were first introduced to them while traveling in France, where they are often served as a pre-dinner bite with an aperitif. Besides their gooey, cheesy goodness, there are a few other reasons to love these so much. First off, they are easy to prepare. Second, you can make a batch and store them in the freezer until needed- and just warm the right amount to serve. Finally, they are infinitely adaptable. The gruyere cheese can be replaced with any number of different cheeses, spice can be added, or fresh herbs. Gougeres are a great holiday app to have in your back pocket.
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup milk
- 6 tablespoons butter cut into 6 pieces
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 4 ounces gruyere cheese grated
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of ground nutmeg or use freshly grated
- ¼ cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese optional
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400.
In a medium saucepan, bring the water, milk, butter and salt to a boil. Add the flour, turn down to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes. It should pull away from the sides of the pan when done and leave a slight film on the bottom of the pot.
Transfer to a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment for a minute or two until it is cooled off. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is well incorporated before adding the next.
Stir in the cheese, a few grinds of black pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg or few grates of fresh nutmeg.
Transfer the mixture to a gallon-sized plastic storage bag (or use a pastry bag). Snip a ½ inch opening in the corner, then squeeze the dough to that end. Pipe 1-inch rounds onto the baking sheet, spaced 2-inches apart. Sprinkle with the parmigiano if using.
Bake in the oven for 22 minutes, until puffed and golden. Serve immediately, or let cool and freeze. Rewarm in a 325 degree oven to serve if frozen.
These cheese puffs are infinitely adaptable. Try adding herbs, such as chopped thyme, rosemary or sage. Swap out the gruyere cheese for a blue cheese such as Roquefort or Stilton, or an aged gouda, a smoked cheese, or other aged flavorful cheese of your liking. A pinch of cayenne pepper, or a smoked paprika is also a lovely addition. You can also open these and stuff them with salmon spread or simply smoked salmon and some creme fraiche.
Try with the E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone ’16.