For the perfect elegant appetizer, you'll turn to these delicate, flaky white cheddar gougeres every time. Also known as cheese puffs, this classic French pastry is easier to make than you might think, and they're a welcome addition to your appetizer spread for any occasion.
Despite being a French pastry, gougeres are surprisingly simple to make. In a medium-size saucepan, we bring water, butter and salt to a simmer and then quickly stir in some flour. After the mixture cools for a few minutes, we beat in the eggs one at a time. We could use a wooden spoon, but I find it much easier to get a little mechanical help with a mixer. Once we incorporate all the eggs, stir in the cheese, and we're ready to bake.
Some people like to shape gougeres by piping them, but scooping works just fine. Granted, it's a little messy, but a quick rinse solves that problem if you're fingers get too sticky. But you do you.
Gougeres are funny little nuggets and require baking at two separate temperatures. We start the gougeres in a 425-degree oven for 10 minutes and then bring the temperature down to 350 degrees and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. My favorite way to serve gougeres are warm, freshly out of the oven, but they're still delicious at room temperature. You can also make these ahead of time and reheat for three to five minutes. If serving for a crowd, anything that can be made ahead of time is a huge plus in my book.
These white cheddar gougeres are so delicate that you don’t want an overpowering beer. With that in mind, I recommend an amber ale. The mouthfeel of an amber ale is light enough to work with the gougeres. Amber ales are also malt-forward with a toasty, bread-like flavor, which complements both the white cheddar and the pastry.
If wine is on the mind, pinot noir is a good call. While pinot noir is a red wine, it’s light in body, so it won’t overwhelm that delicate texture. The earthy notes in the pinot noir are also a tasty match to that nutty cheese.
I hope you try these white cheddar gougeres soon. These gougeres are the perfect party appetizer — addictive enough that you can’t stop eating them but light enough that it won’t ruin your appetite.
Looking for Some Other Party Favorites?
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- Soft beer pretzels with Oktoberfest cheese dip
- Ahi nachos with wasabi crema
- Baked Brie with fig and Kahlua sauce
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White Cheddar Gougeres
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup butter sliced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ cups grated white cheddar
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium-size saucepan, bring water, butter and salt to a simmer over high heat. Drop the heat to medium and rapidly stir in flour. The flour will start to pull away from the sides as it becomes dough. Continue to stir and cook for another minute or two.
- Remove from heat and allow the dough to cool for a few minutes. The dough should still be warm but not too hot. Use a hand mixer or transfer the dough to a stand mixer and beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in the white cheddar.
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, either scoop or pipe the pastry dough into balls. You can make them any size, but keep in mind that they will expand. For smaller gougeres, make each dough ball about 1 tablespoon or golf ball-size dough for larger gougeres.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees after 10 minutes. Bake for another 15-20 minutes. Serve right away or store. To reheat them, pop them into a 350-degree oven for three to five minutes. Enjoy!
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.