Cheese Puffs or Fancier: Gougeres…

Time seems to pass by really quickly lately. We are almost mid-way through October and my second Secret Recipe Club reveal is here! The Secret Recipe Club, started by Amanda, assigns a blogger’s site to everyone  in the group. We pick one of their recipes to make and post on our site on the reveal date. The secret is that we don’t know who has our blog until the reveal date. If you want to join or learn more about it, please visit the site.

Secret Recipe Club

This month, I was assigned to Holly’s blog, PheMOMenon, Holly is a mom to two boys and one baby girl. It is amazing to me how she finds time to keep up with her great blog. She is trying to keep herself sane by cooking, she says! I can completely understand that!

I went through lots of recipes on her site. Since I use the SRC as an opportunity to learn something new, something I have not done before, I kept going back to Gruyere cheese puffs. Last week, I also checked out Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table from the library. The first recipe in the book was the same Gruyere cheese puffs, or also called gougeres in French.

Dorie’s recipe had more eggs, butter and cheese, so I thought I should make that one as well because it had more of everything. Holly’s recipe has 3 eggs, 6.5 tablespoons of butter and 4 oz of cheese whereas Dorie’s recipe called for 5 eggs, 8 tablespoons of butter and 6 oz cheese. But after tasting the first that came out of the oven, I thought Dorie’s was a little bit heavier, on the “eggy” side.

Holly added black pepper to the dough which I have not. But I followed her recommendation on adding herbs. To a small portion of the batch, I added chopped fresh rosemary. And a small portion of the batch got nigella seeds on top. The subtle hint of each enhanced the flavor, in my opinion.

I am sharing both Dorie’s recipe and Holly’s recipe here. If you want to go for a lighter touch, follow Holly’s. If you are all about butter and eggs, then Dorie’s is for you. Enjoy the puffs. They are fun to make. Please also visit the others in the links below who have participated this month’s Secret Recipe Club.

My next experiment with this dough (minus the cheese) will be profiteroles. Oh how I miss them!

Holly’s Cheese Puffs

Makes around 40 puffs

  • 6 1/2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 ounces of coarsely grated Gruyere cheese (I used a mixture of extra sharp cheddar cheese and Gruyere to finish the little bit Gruyere I had in the fridge)

Dorie’s Cheese Puffs

Makes approximately 40 puffs

  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • 6 ounces coarsely grated cheese


1.Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.Place the racks to the middle and bottom of the oven.

2.Put salt, water and butter in a heavy bottom pan and bring to a boil.

2. Turn the heat to low/medium low and gradually add flour while stirring with a wooden spoon quickly until all the flour is incorporated.

3. Cook over the stove top for another several minutes until the dough starts to separate from the walls of the pan.

4. Take the pan off the heat, let it cool for several minutes.

5. You can transfer the dough to a mixing bowl if you will use an electric mixer or keep it in the pan if you will continue with the wooden spoon.

6. Add eggs one at a time, mixing the egg very well before you crack the next one.

7. After all the eggs are incorporated, add cheese to the dough and mix.

8.Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment papers.

9. Drop a tablespoon of the dough on the sheets, 1-2 inches apart from each other.

10. Place one sheet in the middle oven rack, and the other on the bottom.

11. Turn the oven temperature to 375-degrees.

12. Bake for 10-12 minute. Switch the sheets from bottom to top, and also turn them around to get an even baking.

13. Bake for another 12 minutes or so, until they are golden color and puffed.


  1. by Melissa@IWasBornToCook
    7:45 am
    Oct 10, 2011

    These look delicious! Great choice for SRC.

  2. by Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy
    8:46 am
    Oct 10, 2011

    Gougeres have been making their way around the blogosphere lately; I’m going to have to try them myself!

  3. by Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos
    10:05 am
    Oct 10, 2011

    These look delicious! I bet they would be great with a hot bowl of soup!

  4. by Lisa~~
    10:41 am
    Oct 10, 2011

    Great looking and I would love to be having one or two right now.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  5. by Laura Rees
    10:54 am
    Oct 10, 2011

    You had me at cheese. Puffs? I’m totally in! they look lovely.

  6. by The Slow Roasted Italian
    10:58 am
    Oct 10, 2011

    Love these, I have seen them on a few blogs but have yet to try them. They look delightful! Perfect SRC choice!  I love your blog, I am your newest Facebook Fan!  
    If you haven’t seen my Low Calorie Greek Baked Eggs yet, I would love for you to check out my SRC post.

  7. by Holly
    12:41 pm
    Oct 10, 2011

    Hi! I’m so glad you had my blog and found something you liked! Thanks for your kind words! Your cheese puffs all look great! I loved Dorie’s version too, but you’re right that they are more on the eggy side (which is great too). I can’t wait to see how your profiteroles turn out. BTW, I font know if you saw them on my blog, but we made the eclairs from Dorie’s book too and they were the best I’ve ever had or made. I hope you’ll give them a try too! Thanks again!


  8. by Si
    2:18 pm
    Oct 10, 2011

    Great choice, your photos are beautiful too!

  9. by sara
    2:29 pm
    Oct 10, 2011

    Lovely! I really like gougeres, and both your versions sound really delicious. :)

  10. by Ruchi
    5:15 pm
    Oct 10, 2011

    Looks gorgeous and golder… they are going to be regular with my soups!

  11. by Katherine Martinelli
    5:17 pm
    Oct 10, 2011

    I love gougeres! I’ve made Dorie Greenspan’s recipe and next time will have to try Holly’s version.

  12. by Hezzi-D
    5:44 pm
    Oct 10, 2011

    OH man I love cheese puffs but I’ve never made them. Yours look beautiful, I’ve pinned them and will definitely try them soon!

  13. by Liz
    7:36 pm
    Oct 10, 2011

    Gorgeous cheese puffs! One of my favorite appetizers…and I like your herb additions~

  14. by Stephanie
    8:27 pm
    Oct 10, 2011

    Oh, pate choux! Great technique to learn. I had a phase of making it in middle school. One time, my mother mixed up pancake mix in the flour container. HINT: making pate choux with pancake mix does not work. at all.

  15. by patsy
    9:39 pm
    Oct 10, 2011

    love these cheese puffs! I am so tempted to make them after reading your post!

    10:43 pm
    Oct 10, 2011

    These love great and flaky. Great choice.

  17. by Trisha
    1:31 am
    Oct 11, 2011

    The cheese puffs look delightful. I’d love to try these out soon! The rosemary and the nigella seeds sound like nice variations!

  18. by Rituparna
    9:18 am
    Oct 11, 2011

    Delicious Cheese puffs.

  19. by susie
    9:34 am
    Oct 11, 2011

    Yum! A glass of wine and a chill in the air and that is all I need. They are gorgeous to boot!

  20. by Lesa @Edesia's Notebook
    2:32 pm
    Oct 11, 2011

    They look absolutely beautiful and I bet they taste even better! Great choice!

  21. by Peggy
    4:16 pm
    Oct 11, 2011

    Yay! So glad you’re back at it again – and such a great choice for the SRC. I’m sure you had cheese puffs for days =)

  22. by rebecca
    5:26 pm
    Oct 11, 2011

    oh these look so good, cheese and bread heavenly combo

  23. by Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen
    1:53 am
    Oct 13, 2011

    Cheesy puffs, yay! So pretty. I want to grab one off the screen and sink my teeth in!

  24. by Jey @ The Jey of Cooking
    3:29 pm
    Oct 16, 2011

    These look like they would be a great addition to the Thanksgiving table. Thanks for sharing!

  25. by Renee - Kudos Kitchen
    12:11 am
    Oct 18, 2011

    I love how you posted this in comparison to Dorie’s version. Your completed puffs look and sound amazing!

  26. by Desi
    11:47 am
    Oct 18, 2011

    Lovely photos! What a great side to any meal :) And love the fancy name.

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