Saturday, May 22, 2010

The French Laundry: Gruyère Cheese Gougères

After trying this recipe, my conclusion is this: cheese puffs are like jeans. Huh?! Yes, I know, I know... it's odd enough to have them together in one sentence let alone as a revelation resulting from making a French Laundry recipe, but trust me, I have a point to make here.

See, before I started this blog, I thought JBrand (yes, the jeans!) is just a hype. The thought of paying $150 for a pair seemed outrageous for me whose most expensive jean purchase then was a $30 DKNY. However, I'm glad I kept an open mind because the first time I tried them on, I knew right away that the perfect jeans do exist! It may have cost me 5x more than a regular pair but I feel (and hopefully look) 10x better wearing them. That alone is worth the premium.

So my point is this: Like jeans, there is such a thing as the perfect cheese puff (and from now on, let's call it by its French name "Gougerès"; pronounced goo-ZHAIR). But unlike JBrands, gougeres is NOT sold at Saks. And gladly, it also doesn't cost $150 upwards! All you need is $7 and 1 hour of dedicated time in the kitchen. And like the JBrands, one try and you'll swear by these! Trust me on this.

Gruyere Cheese Gougeres
with Moscato d'Asti wine pairing

So now that I've made my point, read on because this recipe is surely a must-try!

It's so easy too, even easier than the Cream of Walnut Soup I first made from the cookbook.

This is all you need. Ingredients listed here.


First, combine water, butter, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.

Then, add all the flour at once, reduce the heat and mix with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes until it forms a ball that looks like this:


I then transferred it to a mixer, and using a paddle attachment, mixed it for about 30 seconds to cool down the batter. (If you don't have a stand mixer, that's no excuse!! I made this before mixing it by hand and it was just as good!)

Then, I added the eggs and continued to mix it until the batter forms a silky soft peak that look like this.


Finally, I mixed in the Gruy
ère cheese.
This cheese definitely smells stronger than any of the varieties I'm used to.
It's like a Swiss cheese with a lot of personality! Ah, wait, it IS a "Swiss" cheese.

From wiki:
Gruyere cheese is a hard yellow cheese made from cow's milk,
named after the town of Gruyères in Switzerland


The book says to transfer the batter to a pasty bag
and pipe the batter on the baking sheet but I didn't bother.
I just used a spoon and made sure the mounds are as round as they can be
and then, sprinkled each puff... err "
gougère" with the remaining grated Gruyère.

Such a tongue twister, isn't it?
Repeat after me ...goug
ère with grated Gruyère... gougère with grated Gruyère...
gougère with grated Gruyère...

TIP: If you are as obsessive compulsive as I am, and really wanted
the perfect round mounds, just dip your fingers in water and pat each gougere gently.


Baked it at 450F for 5 minutes, then reduced it to 350F
and baked it for another 22 minutes.

As you're baking, your entire kitchen is going to smell like a French boulangerie,
forcing the hubz to stop whatever he's doing in the garage and eagerly await for the taste test.

Good food, good wife, he can't be any luckier! ;)


The verdict? It was so good we finished all 8 gougeres just between us.
Oink, oink...

Now for the surprise:
I actually gave the hubz a blind taste test. Before I mixed in the Gruyere cheese,
I saved a small batter and mixed it with a store-brand Swiss cheese.
Asked the hubz to taste both and... drumroll please....
He liked the one with the cheap Swiss cheese better!!!!

Please don't be insulted, Chef Keller, I did like the Gruyere better!
...Or maybe because I knew which puffs had the Gruyere.

We will need to invite friends over to settle this minor dispute!

Time: About an hour.

Difficulty: Very, very easy!

Calories: About 130 per puff and it's be the best 130 calories I've ever popped in my mouth!

Total Cost: $6.99. Much less if you substitute Gruyere with Swiss cheese.

Will I do this recipe again? The question is, how many more times will I do this again!

Wine Pairing: 2007 Beni di Batasiolo Moscato d'Asti Bosc d'Larei. This wine is so good even by itself but paired with the gougeres, it even heightens the foodie experience! That or I'm just partial to sweet wines. ;)

As always, let me know if you want my detailed notes on this, I'd be happy to share it!


  1. I love french gougere and J brand but I guess it not always difficult to combine the two of them..

  2. Grace, this looks easier than the last one. I think I can do this except I can't pronounce Gruyère Cheese Gougères haha.

  3. They look divine dear! Thanks for sharing!

  4. G!

    I want this! We´re having our 3rd anniv soon and I think I can do this. ;) The problem is I want to use Spanish cheese (oh ayan na, hindi pa nga naumpisahan papalitan na kaagad ang ingredients, lol!)instead of Swiss cheese. Is the Gruyère cured cheese or no, hard or soft?

    Love ;),


    PS: I´m still the stay-at-home wife. Spanish exams are coming soon so stop muna job hunting. ;)

  5. wow...the foods makes my mouth water...gawd!!! I wish I can cook like you...

    wonderful post!!!

    take care always,
    much love

  6. YummY!

    P.S.: ♥Please don't forget to join the Miskay GIVEAWAY!♥

    Good luck!

  7. Grace, where did you learn how to cook like this? i am happy to see that you are not just a fashionista :)
    I am pretty useless when it comes to cooking, but luckily i have a husband who loves cooking.
    P.S you have such a lovely kitchen!

  8. So glad you're back! And I'm sure there's a part of me that wishes she hadn't read this post, because guess what I'll be doing next week ;-) I do love cheese puffs and French Laundry ones? I can only imagine! Thanks for sharing! I've actually been meaning to get my hands on that cookbook for a while...

  9. OMG this looks amazing and I must try it! Thanks for sharing these recipes!

  10. I tried The French Laundry: Gruyère Cheese Gougères
    For Christmas dinner 2010 they were A hit but I think A little to much salt other than that everyone loved them. =)

  11. @anonymous - glad you liked it! agree on the salt, I usually cut it in half too. =)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...