What Are Gougères And How Do You Make Them?

The world of cooking is full of mystery and mishaps. Seemingly simple things like sourdough and butter are surprisingly easy to mess up, and even using your refridgerator has plenty of potential pitfalls for the uninitiated. That's why some home cooks can find it daunting to tackle a completely new kind of dish that they've never seen before. This is unfortunate because if you do pay attention and do a little bit of homework, you may find that the food is actually surprisingly simple to make, as well as extremely delicious.   

Take gougères, for instance. Seeing these little pastry-like nuggets yields little information about their flavor or possible fillings, and the vaguely off-putting, offal-sounding name only adds to the mystery. Don't worry, though. Once you get the hang of them, gougères are pretty easy to whip up, and their taste is well worth the effort. So, without further ado – let's take a look at exactly what gougères are and how you can make them.

Gougères are delicious cheese puff pastries

French cuisine is awesome. Cheese is awesome. Pastries are awesome. Imagine, then, how awesome gougères can be, seeing as they're essentially French cheese puff pastries (via Serious Eats, where you can also find a detailed recipe should it tickle your fancy). They're basically choux pastry – the same type used in croque en bouche– mixed with shredded cheese like Gruyère, and baked until puffy perfection is achieved. 

A well-made gougère should be golden-brown in color, and as crisp, airy, and light as a puff pastry can be. As an important detail, you should always make sure that you serve them while they're still warm – after all, that tasty cheese won't be nearly as enticing after it's cooled down. Oh, and if you want to go really all in with the flavors, Serious Eats recommends adding a little black pepper and nutmeg along with the cheese and putting some shredded cheese on top of the pastries before baking. Yum!