Gougères # Baking Partners June Challenge - I

This month Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen, who started the Baking Partners Group, challenged us to bake Chocolate éclairs and/or Gougères. The idea was to learn to make Pâte à choux, a light pastry dough that is used for éclairs, profiteroles, gougères and few other pastry puffs.  I have never tried baking anything along those lines before so i was both intimidated and excited when Swathi mailed us about the challenge.

I had of course tasted éclairs before (and shall tell you more about my éclairs soon) but had no idea as to what gougères were. the images online did not look very impressive, because... frankly speaking they aren't the most handsome nibbles around. but they sure taste good. in fact they taste g-r-e-a-t !! and  an added pinch of crushed pepper and chive does wonders to these already wonderful savory cheese puffs...

Though gougères are made all over France, Dorie says their home is Burgundy, where they are the first thing that you are served in almost any restaurant. how wonderful !! no ?? they are apparently accompanied by a local aperitif, kir. we however enjoyed our feather light nibbles with whatever drink we had at hand... i.e fruit juices of all kinds and thought they tasted great anway... 

As delicious as these cheese puffs are, they are best consumed within a few hours of baking. they tend to loose their crusty charm and acquire a egg-y smell when left overnight. unaware of that, I baked a slightly bigger batch of these only to realize later  the aforementioned fact. however in case you need to prepare a large-ish batch in advance, you can store them by shaping the dough, freezing the mounds on a baking sheet and packing them off in airtight plastic bags soon after they solidify and then bake them straight from the freezer whenever you want to...

the recipe i followed called this French appetizer The French Laundry's Gougeres. a little confused by the name, i did a little google search to learn that the alternative the nomenclature owes to to the fact that these are one of the signature dishes at Thomas Keller's renowned restaurant French Laundry ...

now the recipe as adapted from Bouchon Bakery Book

  Gougères   (makes 9 pieces)

ingredients :
  • 1/4 cup + 2 1/4 tsp water
  • 2 1/5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • heaped 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tsbp + 3/4 tsp all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup swiss/american cheese grated
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp dried chive

   this is what i did to make these puffs...
  • first i preheated the oven to 375 degrees F and lined a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • next i combined the water, butter, salt and pepper in a saucepan, placed it over medium heat and stirred until the butter melted. Once the butter melted, i increased the heat to medium-high and brought the mixture to a simmer. then switching off the heat i stirred in the flour into the melted-butter mixture using a wooden spoon.
  • i stirred until the mixture acquired a paste-like consistency. then placing it over medium high heat i stirred the paste rapidly for about a minute until the dough pulled off from the sides of the pan and looks smooth and glossy.
  • instantly afterwards i transferred the dough to a mixer bowl and mixed the dough on low speed for 30-45 seconds to release some of the heat and moisture. i then added the egg and the yolk to the dough, one at a time, beating continuously until each addition was completely incorporated into the dough before adding the next one. i continued beating until the dough began to pull away from the sides of the bowl when pulled with the paddle but immediately grabbed back on again.
  • i then increased the speed of the mixer to medium for 15 seconds to make sure that the egg and the yolk get well incorporated in the dough. next stopping the mixer intermittently over the next minute or so i checked if the dough passed the bird's peak test when lifted. that is, if it held its shape and turned down on itself without breaking off when lifted up.
  • once the dough passed the test, i added the cheese, crushed pepper and chives to the mixture and pulsed to incorporate the cheese into the dough.
  • next i scooped out a tablespoon of the dough at a time and dropped them into the lined baking tray, taking care so that each drop is at least 1 1/2 inch away from the other. once all the dough was spooned out, i smoothed the surface of each drop with wet fingers and transferred the tray into the preheated oven.
  • i baked them for 25 minutes until they were golden brown. then switching off the heat i allowed them to stay inside the oven for another 2-3 minutes before taking them out.

I tasted one immediately and thought they were delicious. but according to my husband you don't say enough when you say they are delicious. he LOVED them and thought it is one of the best things he has ever had. he was also slightly disappointed by the fact that i had made so less. he finished all of it within half an hour of returning from work. i believe that these are so light and tasty that he could not resist downing the first batch all by himself. 

here are some links and videos on Gougères from the net that I found quite helpful. Swathi shared them with us over the last month. Thanks a lot Swathi for the links and video and for giving us such a lovely challenge. It was such a treat !!

Before you check out do visit Swathi's page to find out what my fellow bloggers from the  Baking Partners have baked.. Have a great weekend and Happy Father's day !!

p.s : I have also made the eclairs. but to keep things simple i decided to write a separate post on them. expect  éclairs over the span of the day or may to tomorrow morning !!


  1. Yummy.. Looks perfect Tanu :)

  2. Warm gougeres sound perfect for a really rainy day!!!

  3. I love that first click :) The Gougères have come out do perfectly :)

  4. Hi Tanu, your gougeres look tempting and delicious. Well done.

    Have a nice day.


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Best, Tanusree

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