Vanessa Levis

Gougères – delectable little puffs of feather-light choux pastry flavoured with gruyère cheese – hail from Burgundy in France and are one of my favourite things to serve with a glass of red wine. To ensure they puff up properly, the dough should be cooled before beating in the eggs. At first the egg makes the dough separate into slippery clumps that don’t want to mix, but keep going and the dough will eventually become smooth and shiny.


Quantity Ingredient
150g plain flour
1 cup water or milk or a mixture of both
100g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
100g gruyere or other swiss-style cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease two baking trays.
  2. Sift the flour onto a piece of baking paper.
  3. Put the water and/or milk, butter, sugar and salt into a medium saucepan. Bring to a rapid boil and, using the baking paper as a funnel, pour the flour all at once into the boiling mixture. Over a gentle heat, incorporate the flour quickly and thoroughly with a wooden spoon and beat until the mixture balls around the spoon and leaves the sides of the pan (a bit of muscle is needed here). This process dries the paste and cooks the flour.
  4. Remove from the heat, transfer the mixture to a bowl and allow to cool.
  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, using an electric mixer with a paddle beater if you have one. If using a wooden spoon,beat each egg lightly first before adding. If the paste is very stiff, beat an extra egg and add it gradually until a pliable consistency is obtained. Beat until the mixture is well combined, shiny and smooth.
  6. Add the cheese and mix lightly. Use two spoons to drop small balls of the mixture onto baking trays. Brush with a little beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden. Serve piping hot.


  • You can make the gougères ahead of time – shape them on a tray lined with baking paper and then freeze. When they are frozen they can be transferred into freezer bags ready for baking any time. Thaw for 10 minutes on the trays, then bake for 20–30 minutes.
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