What Happens If You Add Too Much Cheese To Gougères

Gougères, also called cheese puffs, are small round pastries made of choux dough mixed with cheese. Choux pastry, also used to make cream puffs, eclairs, and numerous other delicacies, is typically associated with French cuisine — but as Paris Unlocked explains, the pastry likely originated in 16th-century Italian courts before spreading to France. When cooked, choux pastry puffs up to create a delicate, yet rich and slightly chewy texture.

As The Spruce Eats explains, the basic recipe for choux pastry is simply flour, water, butter, and egg. The egg serves as the leavening agent, giving choux pastry its signature airy texture. To make choux, first combine the flour, butter, and water on the stovetop, then add the egg and bake in a piping hot oven. Food Crumbles notes that timing is crucial when it comes to choux pastry: If you take it out of the oven too soon, it'll deflate. It's important to give the proteins in the eggs time to properly set, ensuring that the pastry holds its shape.

Choux can be delicate, so don't overdo the cheese

Unlike most pastries made of choux, gougères are savory, not sweet. However, despite the fact that cheese is an integral part of the pastry, be careful not to add too much of a good thing.

The Kitchn explains that while making choux pastry isn't difficult, the classic French dough can be temperamental. Too much cheese can throw off the delicate balance necessary to make the dough pull up just so, leading to flat gougères. While Gruyère is the classic choice, you can experiment with different cheeses. But you'll want to stick to hard, dry cheeses like parmesan or cheddar for crisp and puffy gougères.

The Guardian notes that if you want to add more flavor without compromising the integrity of the dough with more cheese, you can always turn to spices. When seasoning your dough with spices, consider how they'll pair with the cheese you've used: Mustard powder enhances cheesy flavors, while nutmeg complements Gruyère.

Serious Eats states that gougères store well in the freezer, but recommends re-heating them on a baking tray before serving to highlight the taste and texture of the cheese.