We love to rent the same little house every time we go to Burgundy. The owners Laura Bradbury, is an author and recently published a cookbook! It’s full of French family recipes like these gougeres, which are some of the best we’ve ever had! Laura’s husband, Franck (who is from Burgundy) told us that he would make these with their children and his grandmother, who still stirred the pate a choux by hand — not an easy task. He said that you can start with the basic recipe and then you can play with it from there. There’s lots of variations on classic gougeres, like adding sesame seeds, different cheeses, etc. We love the classic made simply with grated gruyère.
Let’s just get something straight. My husband makes the best gougères I have ever tasted. Before him, his grandmother Mémé made the best gougères I had ever tasted, and she was the one who taught Franck. Mémé was the Queen of Gougères in the family, and Franck is now the King of Gougères.
Gougères are typically Burgundian and are often served with kir as part of the apéritif. The two are a truly sublime combination. At our wedding we had what is called a vin d’honneur between the church ceremony and reception, where everyone joined in countless toasts with a garnet glass of kir in one hand and a warm, airy gougère in the other.
Even if I’m furious with Franck (we’re both fiery personalities, so it happens), I can’t help but fall in love with him all over again when I smell the buttery scent of gougères wafting from our oven.
At family events, Franck is always assigned gougères—who doesn’t like a pillowy, cheese-spiked puff? They are not complicated, and they do not use any unusual ingredients, but they do take a certain coup de main to know when they are ready to bake. This is a great recipe to experiment with, and when you pull that perfectly puffed gougère out of the oven, it will all be worth it. Promise.
Franck's Cheese Gougeres
- 6 Tbsp butter
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1¼ cups all-purpose Flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1½ cups grated Gruyère or Emmenthal cheese
- Sesame seeds, optional
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Line two large rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium pot over high heat, bring 1 cup of water, the butter, salt, and nutmeg to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and pour in the flour. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until well incorporated. Return the pot to medium-low heat and stir constantly until the mixture forms an elastic-like ball, about 2 minutes.
- Place the ball of dough in a large bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring to incorporate well after each addition. Using your hands, work the grated cheese into the dough.
- Using either a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip, dollop a tablespoon of dough onto the prepared sheet pan, leaving 1 inch between each dollop. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (if using).
- Cook until golden brown and a gougère sounds hollow when tapped on its top, 16–18 minutes. Watch them carefully and do not overcook.
- Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before serving.
Get more recipes from Burgundy in The Taste Edit Issue 2. Get your copy here.