I have a soft spot for these little cheese puffs. I have been fortunate to have traveled for my education and culinary career. I first came across them while studying in France, where they are often served as a pre-dinner bite at a bar or restaurant. There they are known as Gougeres (pronounced Gooj-Jer). Besides their gooey, cheesy goodness, there are a few other reasons I love these so much. First off, they are pretty easy to prepare for how impressive they look. 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.
Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)
- 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 fresh 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-high 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 have 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 piping bag, or gallon-sized plastic storage bag if you do not have a piping bag. Snip a ½ inch opening in the corner of the bag, then 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.