Alain Ducasse's Gougères


This recipe for gougères starts with a soft dough that gets piped out and baked into crisp, airy pockets of cheesy delight.

Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
28 gougères

Gougères, though they may look like tiny breads, are made from the classic French pastry pâte à choux — which actually translates to cabbages, based on what the baked dough resembles. On the sweet front, choux pastry is used to make éclairs and profiteroles, aka cream puffs; for chef Alain Ducasse's savory gougères, the dough is enriched with Gruyère and pepper.

Preparing these cheesy little morsels will make you feel like a culinary magician. Upon baking, the silky, dense dough transforms into something else entirely — light, ethereal puffs with crisp exteriors that are heavenly to munch on while sipping wine. This gougères recipe is a wonderful make-ahead hors d'oeuvre option: Simply stash the baked puffs in the freezer, then reheat in the oven when you're ready to serve.


  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

  • Large pinch of coarse salt

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 4 large eggs

  • 3 1/2 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese (1 cup), plus more for sprinkling

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter, and salt; bring to a boil. Add the flour and stir it in with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms; stir over low heat until it dries out and pulls away from the side of the pan, about 2 minutes.

  2. Scrape the dough into a bowl; let cool for 1 minute. Beat the eggs into the dough, one at a time, beating thoroughly between each one. Add the cheese and a pinch each of pepper and nutmeg.

  3. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip and pipe tablespoon-size mounds onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 22 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve hot, or let cool and refrigerate or freeze. Reheat in a 350°F oven until piping hot.

Alain Ducasse's Gougères
Hector Sanchez

Make ahead

Gougères freeze well. After baking, allow them to cool completely. Spread the gougères out on a baking sheet, cover the sheet with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm. Then store them in sturdy plastic bags for several months. Reheat in a 350°F oven until hot.


When making the choux pastry, be sure that each egg is fully incorporated into the batter before adding the next. Don't worry if the batter separates and looks curdled at first. Keep beating, and it will come together nicely.

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