Cheese Puffs--Gougeres

"In 'The Country Cooking of France' by Anne Willan"
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
1hr 30mins




  • Preheat oven to 400° and lightly butter a baking sheet.
  • In a large saucepan, combine the water, salt, and butter and heat gently until the butter is melted.
  • Meanwhile, sift the flour onto a piece of parchment paper.
  • Bring the butter mixture just to a boil; take from the heat and immediately add all the flour.
  • Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for a few moments until the mixture pulls away from the pan sides to form a ball.
  • Beat for 30 seconds to 1 minute over low heat to dry the dough.
  • Beat 1 egg and set aside; beat the remaining eggs into the dough, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  • Beat in enough reserved egg so the dough is shiny and just falls from the spoon.
  • If too much egg is added, the dough will be too soft and not hold its shape.
  • Rub the top of the dough with butter to prevent a skin from forming, and set aside until cool.
  • Cut the gruyere cheese in tiny dice, or coarsely grate it, and beat it into the dough.
  • Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip and pipe 1 1/2 inch mounds on the baking sheet, spacing them well apart as they will puff during baking.
  • Alternately, drop mounds of dough on the baking sheet using 2 small spoons.
  • Brush the mounds with the egg glaze and sprinkle with grated gruyere.
  • Bake until golden brown and crisp, 25-30 minutes.
  • The puffs often seem done too soon, so take out a puff and let it cool for a minute or two to check if it is ready before removing the rest.
  • The puff should stay crisp on the outside and slightly soft inside.
  • Gougeres are at their best warm from the oven.

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