Gougères with aged gruyère and cayenne

Gougères with aged gruyère and cayenne

Who would want to live without the exquisite pleasure of eating warm bread, or pasta, or cakes?

Almost 1 in 100 Americans suffer from celiac disease – gluten intolerance. Why can’t they enjoy the exact same quality of flour-based food as those who don’t?

That is the tantalizing question that more and more cooks (and chefs) are facing.

For me, the answer came from a most unexpected source – celebrated chef Thomas Keller… via a mysterious sack of flour left at my door by a dear friend who’d just returned from California.

The “Cup4Cup” flour blend waiting at my door is the creation of Lena Kwak, the talented and creative Research and Development Chef at the French Laundry, Chef Keller’s much-heralded temple of gastronomy, in Yountville, CA.

As luck would have it, I had the chance to meet Lena – and Thomas Keller – a couple of weeks later (on November 1) at the launch of Cup4Cup at Per Se, in New York City.

Like a proud father, Keller recounted the events that led to the introduction of this flour. He’d noticed an increase in patrons with gluten allergies or celiac disease at his restaurants, many especially lamenting that they could not enjoy the French Laundry’s iconic salmon cornet. Lena was able to develop a gluten-free version of the cornet – and Cup4Cup was born.

The product’s name, Keller explained, came from the simple idea that you can replace this gluten-free flour blend cup for cup with all-purpose flour in any of your recipes. If you’ve ever tried to cook with gluten-free flour before, you know that tweaking recipes is de rigeur.

The first recipe I made with Lena’s outstanding flour blend is the gougères that I’m featuring today. They prove the point: the recipe works equally successfully with the Cup4Cup flour and with all-purpose flour.

Better still, Cup4Cup has no discernible flavor, making gourmet gluten-free cooking a possibility like never before. The only slight difference with regular wheat flour is in its texture. The Cup4Cup flour is a bit more sticky and tends to lump up. So I recommend sifting it before cooking with it; I’ve given detailed photos and instructions to make the gougères easily and successfully.

Gougères with aged gruyère and cayenne

It took Lena Kwak one and a half years to create the right formula for this flour blend. But she cracked the code. And it shows. These gougères turned out light as air, flaky and moist, and most of all they all had a lovely hollowed center, the signature of this savory version of pâte à choux!

It’s not every day that my enthusiasm for a product prompts me to devote an entire blog post to it. But Cup4Cup is worth getting excited about – because if you or a loved one are allergic to gluten or have celiac disease, this flour could change your life.

Whether made with gluten-free flour or regular flour, though, these gougères are exquisite. Enjoy!

Food & wine pairing: Champagne with gruyère and cayenne gougères

Sparkling wine iconAn elegant Champagne is magnificent with these as-light-as-air, but slightly rich gougères. Try one from Montagne de Reims in Champagne, a region famed for the quality of the Pinot Noir bubblies it produces.

Gougères with aged gruyère and cayenne

Gougères with aged gruyère and cayenne

makes 48 bite-size gougères
active time: 30 min

For the the dough or pâte à choux

  1. 1 1/4 cups (7 oz) (200 g) Cup4Cup gluten-free flour blend or 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup milk
  3. 1/2 cup spring water
  4. 8 tablespoons (4 oz) (115 g) unsalted butter
  5. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  7. 4 extra large eggs
  8. 3 oz (85 g) aged gruyère – coarsely grated (3/4 cup)

For the egg wash

  1. 1 extra large egg
  2. 1 tablespoon spring water
  1. 2 large jelly roll pans or baking sheets
  2. 2 Silpat non-stick baking mats or parchment paper

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF (190°C).
  2. Step 1: Sift the flour in a medium bowl (if using a hand-held mixer) or in the bowl of an electric mixer. Make a well in the center and set aside.
  3. Step 2: Place the milk, water, butter, salt and cayenne in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the liquid boils, remove pan from heat and add to the flour, pouring it in the center of the well. Whisk at medium speed until the mixture is thick and forms a smooth, doughy batter – or pâte à choux.
  4. Step 3: Transfer pâte à choux back to the pan (the one you used to boil the milk mixture). Heat pâte à choux over medium heat, working it with a wooden spoon until it dries up a bit and comes together, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Step 4: Transfer pâte à choux back into the whisking bowl. Add one egg and whisk with the electric mixer at medium speed until well incorporated. Repeat adding the eggs one at a time and whisking each time until well incorporated. Add the cheese to the pâte à choux and whisk at medium speed until the cheese has melted and the pâte à choux is smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula and shape pâte à choux in a round ball.
  6. Step 5: To make the egg wash – Place the egg in a small bowl. Add the spring water and whisk until well blended.
  7. Step 6: Transfer the pâte à choux to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2” smooth tip. Pipe 1 1/2” in diameter mounds, 2” apart, onto two baking sheets lined with Silpat mats or parchment paper. Brush with the egg wash and bake for 22 to 25 minutes until the tops are golden. Make sure not to undercook the gougères or they will collapse when they cool. Serve immediately, while piping hot.
  8. Cook’s note: You can use the pâte à choux right away or cover it with a plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is directly in contact with the dough so that it doesn’t form a crust. Keep in a cool place for up to two hours.

Step by step

Place the flour in a medium sieve or sifter.

Sift the flour in a medium bowl (if using a hand-held mixer) or in the bowl of an electric mixer.

Make a well in the center and set aside.

Place the milk, water, butter, salt and cayenne in a medium saucepan.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

As soon as the liquid boils, remove pan from heat and add to the flour, pouring it in the center of the well.

Whisk at medium speed…

… until the mixture is thick and forms a smooth, doughy batter – or pâte à choux.

Transfer pâte à choux back to the pan (the one you used to boil the milk mixture).

Heat pâte à choux over medium heat, working it with a wooden spoon…

… until it dries up a bit and comes together, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer pâte à choux back into the whisking bowl. Add one egg…

… and whisk with the electric mixer at medium speed until well incorporated.

Repeat adding the eggs one at a time and whisking each time until well incorporated.

Add the cheese to the pâte à choux…

… and whisk at medium speed until the cheese has melted and the pâte à choux is smooth, about 30 seconds.

Scrape the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula and shape pâte à choux in a round ball.

To make the egg wash – place the egg in a small bowl. Add the spring water…

… and whisk until well blended.

Transfer the pâte à choux in a piping bag fitted with a 1/2″ smooth tip. Pipe 1 1/2″-diameter mounds, 2″ apart, onto two baking sheets lined with Silpat mats or parchment paper

Brush with the egg wash.

Bake gougères for 22 to 25 minutes until the tops are golden. Make sure not to undercook the gougères or they will collapse when they cool. Serve immediately, while piping hot.

hors d’oeuvres, gougere, gruyere

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30 Comments

  • Reply BigFatBaker April 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Ooh these looks so good. I love the color after they are baked. Your step by step photos are great as well.

  • Reply Kayle (The Cooking Actress) March 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    These look so sophisticated yet comfortingly delicious! I love your blog so much!

  • Reply daksha November 20, 2011 at 3:51 am

    Hi Viviane, I’m first time here u have lovely space here with mouthwatering recipe Thanks for stopping my space and lovely words. u r very good cook i need ur help i’m veggie for regional, now day i’m searching egg-less macron recipe if u have any nice recipe plz throw ur ideas. Thanks so much.

    • Reply Viviane November 21, 2011 at 11:20 am

      Hello Daksha, Thank you for your lovely comment! I wish I could help you with the eggless macaroon recipe (at least I think this is what you meant), but alas I do not have one. Happy cooking!

  • Reply Ruth Reynoso-Sance November 7, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Wow! They look extremely delicious! I will check out that flour. I don’t have Celiac disease but I like to eat gluten free foods whenever possible. I love the step by step pictures 🙂

    • Reply Viviane November 7, 2011 at 9:17 am

      Thank you so much Ruth! Let me know how you like the flour.

  • Reply Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen November 6, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Does this taste like Brazilian cheese bread?

    • Reply Viviane November 7, 2011 at 9:17 am

      Jesica, I’ve never made Brazilian cheese bread, but I do not think these are the same. The are called gougères. They are the savory version of the French pâte à choux. It is a special way of making this pastry so that when it cooks it forms a hole in the center… The sweet kind can be stuffed with crème patissière or ice cream.

  • Reply Transplanted Texan November 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Hey, there, this looks great, but there’s a measurement missing in the ingredients. Do you mean 1/2 cup spring water? Thanks!

    • Reply Viviane November 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      Transplanted Texan, The ingredients do list 1/2 cup of spring water. There’s no mistake in the list. I wonder if you’re using a browser that doesn’t let you see the whole recipe? You should be able to see all the measurements. LMK.

  • Reply Angie@Angiesrecipes November 6, 2011 at 1:44 am

    With those as an appetizer, I don’t think I would need the main course at all. So pretty those choux pastry cuties have turned out.

    • Reply Viviane November 6, 2011 at 11:51 am

      Kelly, Angie, Thank you so much! My husband and I ate the first batch of the gougères in less than 10 minutes. Granted it was a half batch… but still!

  • Reply Kelly November 5, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I love the addition of cayenne to breads and crackers – it provides a surprising and delightful kick. The only problem with these beautiful gougères is that I’m quite certain I wouldn’t be able to stop eating them!

  • Reply Nancy Boyle November 5, 2011 at 10:41 am

    We are very excited to hear about this gluten-free flour and love the hors d’oeuvres recipes. We are suggesting people pair it with a New England vineyard wine. Thank you so much.

  • Reply Sky Pape November 5, 2011 at 5:38 am

    These look utterly exquisite! One of those recipes I can practically smell just by looking at your post. Thanks, V.

    • Reply Viviane November 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      Sky! I wish I could teleport a batch to you all the way to Italy! It’ll have to wait until you get home!

  • Reply Donna Ford November 4, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Very intertesting information Viviane. They look really tasty. Thank you!

    • Reply Viviane November 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      Jennifer, Ann, Donna… You are so kind. Thank you!

  • Reply Ann November 4, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious and I have to say – your photos are absolutely STUNNING!

  • Reply Jennifer Eloff November 4, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Very nice and impressive! 🙂

  • Reply Laurie Iseman November 4, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Vivianne,
    I can’t wait to try this flour, and this recipe. Gorgeous post!

    • Reply Viviane November 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      Laurie, Do let me know how the gougères and the Cup4Cup flour turn out. I know you’ll be very pleased.

  • Reply Cucina49 November 4, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    These look absolutely wonderful–I love the addition to the cayenne. I am constantly reminded how lucky I am to be able to eat gluten–my assistant can’t, and she feels like she misses out on a lot. There is no missing out with these!

    • Reply Viviane November 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      Cucina49… You couldn’t be more right – no missing out!

  • Reply Liz November 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Your gougeres are PERFECT! One of my favorite appetizers…and my go to recipe includes Gruyere and cayenne, too~

  • Reply Kate November 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I’ve never worked with gluten-free flour – very interesting. And the gougeres are gorgeous!

  • Reply Julie Fordyce November 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Viviane, thanks for this — I haven’t made gougeres in a while, but I’ll get to it now that it’s coming up on the holidays!

    • Reply Viviane November 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      Julie! These will be on my Thanksgiving menu for sure… I know they’ll get devoured before they have the time to get cold!

  • Reply Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi) November 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Lovely little nibbles.

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