How to make gougères

These little golden boulders might not look it, but they’re light, cheesy, cloud like and incredibly moreish. Gougères are France’s gift to cocktail parties the world over. They’re easy enough to make at home, says Emily Gussin, just don’t open the oven before they’re ready…

How to make gougères

Describe a gougère to someone who’s never had one and they sound a bit like a fancy cheese puff. But these savoury choux buns (usually flavoured with cheese but these are other variations) are so much more than that – they’re a guaranteed crowd-pleaser served warm from the oven to friends and family alongside a glass of something chilled and fizzy. Sure, they might not have the fancy look of some canapés, but what they lack in looks they more than make up for in flavour.


A classic gougère is unfilled; it gets its flavour from the cheese added to the dough, but I like to amp up the flavour and create a little contrast by filling them with a creamy sauce. I find the punchy tang of blue cheese works particularly well in a gougère, as it’s sharp enough to cut through the richness of the pastry.

Tips for success

Choux pastry is easy enough to make but relies on certain principles to ensure success:

  • Make sure you have all your ingredients weighed out before you start. Timing and speed are key with choux and you can’t add things quickly if they’re not ready.
  • Keep beating the dough over the heat until it pulls away from the edges of the pan and clings to the spoon before you start adding the egg. If it’s not thick enough before you start adding the egg, you’ll end up with a sloppy mess that won’t hold together in the oven.
  • Add the right amount of egg! Baking is science but your kitchen isn’t a laboratory with controlled conditions, so the exact amount of egg needed will probably vary every single time. Keep adding the egg, a little at a time, until the mixture is at a dropping consistency. To test this, lift up a spoonful of the mixture, count to three and give it a little flick of the wrist to encourage it along. If it drops off, it’s ready.
  • Don’t open the oven until your gougères have been baking for 25 minutes! They’re very delicate and a premature waft of cold air will likely cause them to deflate into sad (but admittedly still tasty) pucks.

Follow these key tips and my foolproof gougères recipe and success is guaranteed.

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