These light and crispy cheese gougeres (French cheese puffs), made from savoury choux pastry flavoured with cheese, make a delicious canapé, nibble, or accompaniment to soup or stews.
Crunchy on the outside, light and airy on the inside; these cheese gougéres are essentially a savoury version of profiteroles.
Whilst they may sound intimidating to make, they really aren’t! I first made them as a Christmas Eve canapé a few years ago, but as they were so simple to make, I now bake them on a regular basis as a different side or snack for toddler mini Jones.
Can I make the French Cheese Puffs Ahead?
Yes you can, and they are a great make ahead canapé or appetizer! Store in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheat in the oven to crisp up, or freeze and cook to heat through.
Can you reheat gougéres?
Yes you can. Place on baking sheets and reheat in a preheated oven at 180˚C/356˚F for 5-8 minutes until crisp.
Can cheese gougéres be frozen?
Yes. Cool them completely then freeze on a baking tray. Once frozen, place them in a bag or container. They will freeze for up to 2 months. Cook from frozen at 180˚C/356˚F for 10-12 minutes, until warmed through.
What do you eat with cheese puffs?
Toddler Mini Jones absolutely loves these French cheese puffs, and will happily eat them cold as a snack.
A few tips on making cheese puffs:
They soften as they cool down so are best made just before serving, or reheat them in the oven before serving.
What cheese to use: Commonly made with Gruyere, comte or Emmentaler; I use a hard cheese such as cheddar in my cheese puffs. You still get that cheesey flavour, but they are more budget friendly.
You can top them with grated cheddar or parmesan. I have tried both and there really isn’t much difference.
Add a touch of spice: add a pinch of paprika or nutmeg to the flour.
Oven temperature: the hot oven helps prevent the cheese puffs from collapsing, as the high temperatures get rid of some of the water. Turning the oven down after 10 minutes stops the outsides of the cheese gougeres from burning before the middle is cooked.
French Cheese Puffs (Gougéres)
- 125 ml water
- 40 g butter unsalted
- pinch salt
- 75 g plain flour
- pinch ground nutmeg
- pinch ground black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 75 g cheese, grated cheddar, gruyere, or another hard cheese
- 15 g cheese, grated cheddar or parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 230˚C/ 210˚C fan/ 446˚F
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper/baking parchment.
- In a medium saucepan, place the water, butter and salt and bring to the boil.
- When the butter has melted, take off the heat, add flour and mix to a paste.
- Return the pan to the heat and cook for 1 minute, mixing until dough forms a film on the bottom of the pan and is smooth.
- Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool for 1-2 minutes.
- Add 1 egg to the dough and beat with a spoon. It will look very curdled - but don’t worry. Keep beating and it will come together.
- Add the other egg and beat, it will look curdled again, but keep beating the mixture and it will come together to form a smooth dough.
- Stir in 75g grated cheese.
- Place tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared tray, using two spoons to create a round ball, leaving space in between each gougére as they will expand slightly.
- Use a wet finger to tidy the cheese puffs up, smoothing any stray bits as these can catch and burn.
- Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and place into the oven.
- Cook for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 210˚C/ 190˚C fan / 374˚F and cook for 15 minutes until the cheese gougeres are golden brown and puffed up. When you tap one on the bottom it should sound hollow.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- Best served warm. If you need to crisp them up, reheat in a preheated oven at 180˚C/ 356 ˚F for 5-8 minutes.