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Dec 11, 2007 12:29 PM


I’ve been making gougères for more years than I care to remember. I’ve tried recipes from JC, Michael Field, Gourmet, Zuni. They’re always good, but I never thought they were truly great. Some were a bit too thin to pipe easily. Others just didn’t have enough flavor. Mostly, they just weren’t cheesy enough. I can never get enough cheese.

So, for a party this weekend, I’m making Zuni’s New Year’s Eve Gougères and decided to try yet another recipe. I just stumbled across this from Alain Ducasse.

Absolutely the best so far. It’s a fairly thick dough that’s very easy to pipe, resulting in a far more attractive shape than the ones I’d made with the Zuni recipe. He uses half whole milk and half water instead of all water and I think the milk helps to enhance the cheese flavor and make the gougères a bit richer. And he does use more Gruyere than most recipes—3½ ounces rather than the 2 that is often called for.

I know a number of Hounds made gougères for Thanksgiving and if any of you made one you thought was really extraordinary, I’d be curious to hear how it compares ingredients-wise to this one. I’m always willing to try a new gougères recipe. But this one will be the new standard against which others will be held.

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  1. Joan - that's good to know - I've only ever used JC's recipe - will give this a try.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      I just remembered, too, that I used the oldest gruyere Fairway had. The more aged cheese is sharper and less smooth than a younger gruyere and I think that also added to the amped up cheesiness taste.

    2. I haven't made these since the late 80's - and I loved them!

      Do you think this recipe would be good with a standing rib roast? I forgot how easy this was to make.

      2 Replies
      1. re: OysterHo

        I've only ever served gougères as an hors d'oeuvre. Do you mean serve it as your bread product instead of, for instance, popovers? Very interesting idea. And I don't see why not.

        1. re: JoanN

          Yes, right, instead of popovers. They're kind of hollow, aren't they? It's been so long, I should make them on a test run first. :D

      2. The one I use is from Leite's Culinaria. There is no milk, yet they are very rich and its quite a thick dough. Thick enough that I use a small scooper to make evenly sized puffs. This recipe calls for 6 oz. cheese, water, butter, salt, egg, flour, dry mustard, and a touch of cayenne. Very easy. I love these. I'm going to try one of these other recipes though. I like to try different types of cheeses too. Mine can't have enough cheese either! I'll try AD's recipe and get back to you. I've got a holiday party on Saturday to try these out.

        5 Replies
        1. re: foodandscience

          Oooh, that does look good. Six ounces! Terrific. Depending on what I'm using them for, I do like to add a hint of cayenne. And Michael Field, who also uses cheddar, adds some dry mustard, too. I won't get around to trying these real soon, but I'll be very curious to hear how you think the AD recipe compares.

          1. re: foodandscience

            Here's a link to the Leite's recipe by Tori Ritchie:

            I've heard others praise this recipe in the past. I've yet to try my hand at gougeres, but this thread is inspiring me to!

            1. re: Carb Lover

              I assume from past posts, Carb Lover, that you have the Zuni Cafe cookbook. Her New Year's Eve Gougères are a real treat. Whatever recipe you use for the gougères itself, the addition of bacon, arugula, and pickled onions (another Zuni recipe that I always keep on hand) is right up there with the best hors d'ourvres ever.

              1. re: JoanN

                Oh yeah, I have the book and drool over the picture periodically. I'll keep them in mind for upcoming parties, and they seem like a fantastic addition to brunch!

                Link to Zuni recipe:

                1. re: Carb Lover

                  I actually prefer Tori Ritchie's recipe to the Zuni recipe... for some reason the dough behaves better. And of course, they're delicious to pop in your mouth!

          2. has anyone tried the recipe from the Tartine cookbook? i was thinking of making these for a party this weekend...

            1. I made these last week using the recipe from Cooks Illustrated (off the web site - I don't remember which issue it was in). Anyway, it was fabulous!

              4 Replies
              1. re: jenhen2

                Do you still have access to the recipe (I don't)? Could you post the list of ingredients, please? Thanks.

                1. re: JoanN

                  Sure! See below for the ingredients. The directions are pretty much the same as all the others for this sort of recipe. These really are the best I've tried, though. Enjoy!

                  2 large eggs , plus 1 large egg white
                  6 tablespoons water
                  5 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 10 pieces
                  2 tablespoons whole milk
                  1/4 teaspoon salt
                  1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (2 1/2 ounces), sifted
                  3 ounces Gruyère, Emmentaler, or Swiss cheese , shredded (about 1 cup)
                  Pinch cayenne pepper

                  1. re: jenhen2

                    That's really interesting. First, it makes half the amound of dough of most gougères recipes. Just curious why that would be so. And I've never seen a recipe calling for addional egg whites. It's a bit more butter than usual, but not all that much; and more than double the amount of cheese. Definitely adding this to the to-try list. Thanks, jenhen2.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      Anytime! In the article, Cooks Illustrated says that the extra white makes it a little more crispy, which I found to be true. Also, it says in the article to put the eggs together, mix them up and then pour out any more than 1/2 cup. That's an important detail I forgot to mention!

                      Also, I used a small cookie dough scoop and it made about 30 2-bite puffs which I served with shrimp cocktail and was perfect for my party of 7 people.