French Cheese Puffs

What's for dinner? Last night it was one of our favorites, French cheese puffs. They are light and savory pastries from the Burgundy region of France where they are traditionally served with red wine. These are easy to make, only require a few ingredients and of course, taste marvelous!

RB French Cheese Puffs
  • 1 cup All purpose flour 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
  • pinch of cayenne 
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
Combine the dry ingredients listed above and set aside.

  • 4 Lg. eggs beaten and set aside. It is helpful to have these in a measuring cup with a pour spout. 
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese cut into 1/4" chunks. 
In a medium saucepan place the following:
  • 1 cup water 
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) real butter cut into pieces
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (convection oven) If you are using a regular oven you will want to set the temp. at 425 degrees.

Bring the water and butter to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the dry ingredients at once. Stir for one minute using a wooden spoon. The mixture will pull away from the sides of the pan. Return the pan to low heat and cook for two minutes stirring constantly then remove from the heat once again.

Very gradually begin adding the eggs beating
thoroughly after each addition of 1-2 tablespoons of egg. When the eggs have been thoroughly incorporated the mixture will be smooth and glossy.

Add the cubed cheese and stir well. The finished batter is pictured in the photo, above, right.

Using a 2 to 2 1/2 ounce (size 20) spring-action* portion scoop, place mounds about an inch apart on the baking sheet. *Using a spring-action scoop is imperative. The batter is very sticky and will not drop out of a scoop that does not have the spring-action feature.

Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and crispy. You may need a slightly longer baking time if using a regular (not convection) oven. The interior should be moist and slightly eggy.

Yield: 20-24 puffs The total yield depends on whether or not you mounded the scoop when portioning the batter.

The puffs are not only tasty but also very versatile. They are equally delicious alone, accompanying a spinach salad, served with proscuitto and fresh fruit or filled with chicken salad. They are one of our standard fall back dinners when I've not planned ahead. We try to always have the preferred cheese on hand for cheese puff emergencies.

The puffs can be served hot or at room temperature. To reheat leftover puffs, place in a 400 degree oven for five minutes.

I use a 3 qt. chef's pan, when making the puffs. I find the rounded bottom makes it the ideal pan for these.
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