Gougere | Golden Parmesan Puffs (regular and gluten-free)

By Sally Cameron on April 24, 2012

appetizers & snacks, baked goods, gluten-free,

9 Comments

Lensbaby Edge 80 with using built-in extension tube

The irresistible French cheese puffs called gougere (goo-share). They are great with a glass of wine. I make mine with lots of Parmesan cheese and finely chopped chives. If the French name is too difficult, call them what I do – Golden Parmesan Puffs.  Easy to make, but impressive.

Making Choux (Shoo) Pastry or Pate a Choux

Do you remember the first time you bravely attempted a new technique or a new recipe? I still remember making gougere (goo-zhare) for the first time. It was strange how the pastry dough came together, but it worked beautifully.

The formal name for this pastry dough is choux (shoo) pastry or pate a choux (pot-ah-shoo). Bring milk and butter to a boil, dump in flour, and stir like mad until the dough pulls away from the side of the pan. Add eggs, one at a time and again, stir like mad until they are well incorporated and the dough smooths out.

The pastry will look odd while you stir. At first it looks curdled and slippery from the eggs and you wonder if it will come together. Suddenly it does, and forms a smooth pastry dough.

Add cheese and chives, then stir some more.  You’ll have a thick, savory dough to portion out and bake.

I’ve piped them and dropped dollops with spoons in the past. Now I use what’s called a disher.

Dishers – A Handy Little Tool

A disher is a tool I can’t live without in my kitchen. I have 5-6 sizes of them in various sizes for various tasks. They make portion control and handling ingredients easy. For small puffs I use a #40 disher that is 1 ½” across. For truly bite-sized puffs, use the #60.

Flour Options

For flour, I’ve tested three types: organic white whole wheat, organic whole wheat pastry, and a gluten-free blend called Cup4Cup. All three came out great. The difference between white whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour is the type of wheat;  a hard wheat versus a soft wheat. Pastry flour is a soft wheat which contains less gluten and provides a more tender baked good.

For Gluten-Free Bakers

For gluten-free gougere I tested with a pre-made blend, Cup4Cup (C4C) gluten-free flour. The dough looks little different as it forms but the process is the same. The gougere came out great.

After three test batches, here are the changes from the standard recipe. Substitute 1/2 cup (72 grams) of the C4C for the regular flour and turn oven down to 350 degrees (177 C). Bake until just golden. Time will depend on your ovens as they can vary. Note that Bob’s Red Mill also makes a great gluten-free flour blend, available everywhere these days.

The gluten-free batch did not puff  as did the wheat gougere, but they tasted terrific and will be appreciated by anyone following a gluten-free diet.

My last and best batch took about 20-25 minutes. They were golden on the outside and done but a tiny bit moist on the inside. My friend and gluten-free baking expert, Dr. Jean Layton, told me that g-free flours based on cornstarch (as is C4C) may result in baked goods that dry out a little more quickly. That little bit of moistness is probably good. The next day, they were still perfect.

New Flour Blend for Gluten-Free Bakers (12/14)

As many of the pre-made blends use sorghum flour (and I have eliminated that as well as gluten), I now bake gougere with my own gluten-free flour blend.  The new blend I created mixes brown rice, sweet rice, and quinoa flours plus cornstarch and tapioca. The quantities are in the recipe notes below. For accuracy, you will need a digital scale to blend your flours.

Helpful Links:

Information on flours from Bob’s Red Mill

Cup4Cup gluten-free flour, available at Williams-Sonoma

Zeroll EZ Disher size #40

Rimmed baking sheets. Can’t live without these in my kitchen. Half size and quarter size are the most versatile.

Pre-cuts sheets of baking parchment. These are not only for baking. You will find many uses for them and one pack lasts a long time.

9 Comments

Leave a Comment
M G | April 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I am SO MAKING these!!! Thanks for the tip. :)

It seems there’s a lot of versatility to this recipe. I can add some diced chiles and pepper jack cheese too. 😉 Cali touch! 😉

Also, rosemary, parsley..etc.

Yummy!!!!!

    Sally | April 30, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    The herbs sounds great, as do the pepperjack cheese instead of Parmesan, but be very careful with diced green chiles. You don’t want to add moisture to the dough. If you use fresh chiles sparingly, roasted, peeled an chopped, it might work. These are not biscuits. They are much lighter, and extra moisture could weigh them down or cause them to still be doughy on the inside. Please comment back and let us know what you do and how it comes out. I’d suggest you start with just pepperjack, as Gruyere is traditional.

LP @dishclips | April 30, 2012 at 9:54 pm

I love the step by step pictures. Makes the recipe comprehensible. Thanks for sharing!

susan | May 23, 2012 at 9:30 am

I am so all over these! These are gorgeous and I cannot wait to make these!!!

Virginia Kahler-Anderson, aka HomeRearedChef | June 24, 2012 at 5:45 pm

OMGosh! These things are phenomenal!! I have made these before, but actually haven’t in many years. And I just LOVE that you have given us a recipe for making them gluten free. I am saving this recipe of yours. Thank you very much. :)

It is really awesome that Genie Grato Featured your post, or I would not have found this recipe for gluten free.

~Virginia

Ashley | April 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I made the gluten free version of these today. My husband and I couldn’t stop eating them! Thanks for sharing!

    Sally | April 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks Ashley! I just overhauled my moms 1956 banana bread recipe to be GF. Stay tuned! It will be out in a few days!

Tera | July 13, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Am I able to use all purpose flour?

    Sally Cameron | July 15, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Hi Tera. I did not develop the recipe or test it with white all purpose flour. It should work I would think. Honestly, please try the white whole wheat flour. King Arthur is available in most stores or use Trader Joes White Whole Wheat. It’s better for you than refined white flour. Time to start getting away from refined white flours and products in general. They offer no nutritional value.

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