Don't let the fancy name scare you away from making this easy appetizer.

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Credit: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe Summary test

active:
30 mins
bake:
50 mins
cool:
10 mins
total:
1 hr 30 mins
Servings:
12
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Gougeres may sound fancy, but we're here to prove that this classic French appetizer is actually quite simple. Commonly made with Gruyère cheese, there are endless ways to riff on this tasty starter. Here, bacon and two types of cheese make this party classic even more delicious.

In our Bacon-Cheese Gougeres, we use equal parts Gruyère and aged white Cheddar, which delivers a bit of extra sharpness to these cheese gougeres; a hint of nutmeg further draws out the cheesy flavor. Light and airy, these Bacon-Cheese Gougeres boast a crisp, delicate exterior and a webbed, moist, and cheesy middle. With smoky, salty bits of bacon strewn throughout these puffs, it doesn't get much tastier than this.

The process of making choux pastry is something everyone can master. Before getting started, read the recipe thoroughly, as each little step is important. The pivotal moment comes when you add the eggs to the wet mixture. At this stage, constant agitation is crucial—you can mix by hand, but we prefer to transfer the dough to a stand mixer. The initial 30 seconds of beating releases steam and cools the dough slightly so it doesn't scramble the eggs. Adding each egg one at a time and stirring constantly helps incorporate them evenly, also preventing scrambling. During this step, the mixture separates into almost slippery pieces, but it comes back together as the mixer runs. Beating in a stand mixer helps the dough form gluten and ensures that, once baked, the gougeres rise high and don't collapse.

While they're best served fresh, the gougeres can be baked ahead, frozen, and reheated in the oven at 350°F.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside. Toss together Gruyère and Cheddar in a small bowl, and set aside. Heat half-and-half, ½ cup water, and butter in a small saucepan over medium. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Immediately add flour, salt, and nutmeg, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture forms a ball and bottom of pan has developed a thin film, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer dough to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high for 30 seconds to release steam and cool slightly. Decrease speed to medium. With mixer running, add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating on medium until batter is stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low, and add bacon and 3 ounces of cheese mixture.

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  • Transfer dough mixture to a large piping bag fitted with a ½-inch pastry tip. Pipe 1½-inch mounds of dough (about 2 tablespoons) onto prepared baking sheets, spacing at least 1 inch apart. Tap tops of dough with a lightly moistened finger to flatten slightly. (Alternatively, use a 1¾-inch ice-cream scoop to scoop dough onto baking sheet.) Sprinkle dough with remaining cheese mixture (about ½ teaspoon each).

  • Bake 1 pan in preheated oven 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F, and continue baking until golden brown, risen, and puffed, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool gougères on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425°F, and repeat baking procedure with remaining pan of dough. Serve gougères while still warm.

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