Spotlight on Savory: White Cheddar Fennel Gougères stuffed with Porcini & Shallot Goat Cheese, a Gluten Free Ratio Rally

by Irvin on June 1, 2011 · 12 comments

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It’s been a rather insane past month and I look at my packed calendar and I realize that I don’t seem to have much time in the kitchen to do what I love to do best. Bake. In fact, it was with much sadness that I missed the May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge, especially since the recipe seems like so much fun (and my friend Jenny of Purple House Dirt was cohosting it with Emma of CookCraftGrow). But if it’s something I learned from my years of expensive therapy, it’s that I have to learn to say “no” every now and then – especially for my own sanity. However, I couldn’t miss the Daring Bakers’ Challenge AND also miss the Gluten Free Ratio Rally. This month we were all tasked with coming up with a variant of pate a choux, a French dough that you make on the stove and then use in a number of ways (cream puffs, éclairs, profiteroles, savory gougères, cruller donuts). It’s such a versatile dough and I’ve used it before to make éclairs and a croquembouche. So this time I decided to go for a savory variant, and made White Cheddar Fennel Gougères stuffed with Porcini & Shallot Goat Cheese.

White Cheddar Fennel Gougères stuffed with Porcini & Shallot Goat Cheese

I’ll be honest that I was a little apprehensive about making the gougères. First off, I couldn’t pronounce it properly (AJ, who speaks French, kept on asking me why I kept on adding an “R” to the beginning of the word, saying “grew-jerrs” which baffled even me once he pointed it out). Second off, I know that the gluten in the flour is usually what keeps the dough held tight together, as the steam on the inside of the dough causes the pastry to rise. Would the flaxmeal slurry be a strong enough substitute for the gluten?

White Cheddar Fennel Gougères stuffed with Porcini & Shallot Goat Cheese

My fears proved to be unfounded. I knew that gluten free creampuffs were possible, as my friends over at Zest Bakery had brought some to a picnic, post-BlogHer Food 2010 that the famous Shauna had organized. So I pinged them and asked them what flours they used. From there, I reworked their formula, (as they were making sweet creampuffs) and went with some savory flavored flours like corn and garbanzo bean. Done.


My first attempt came out so great that didn’t even bother making another one! A few things I did learn while baking gluten free gougères. The first batch rose higher than the second batch. So if you can use all the batter right away, that’s the best way to ensure height. If you do have to do the gougères in batches, make sure to cover the batter with plastic wrap to prevent moisture from evaporating and wait a sufficiently amount of time to preheat the oven back to the initial 425˚F before putting the dough into the oven. Finally make sure to bake them until they sounds hollow when tapped on top and are truly golden brown. The longer you bake them, the drier the gougères are, meaning they are less likely to collapse as they cool.

White Cheddar Fennel Gougères

In the end, I realized that gougères may sound fancy schmancy, but they are nothing to be scared of, even if baking them gluten free. That said, I still can’t pronounce them properly so feel free to mock me next time you hear me offer you some “grewjerres.”

White Cheddar Fennel Gougères stuffed with Porcini & Shallot Goat Cheese

This month’s Gluten Free Ratio Rally is hosted by Erin over at The Sensitive Epicure. You can find her take on Gluten Free Gougeres filled with Herb Goat Cheese Mousse as well as a list of other participants this month on her blog post.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda @zomppa June 1, 2011 at 10:31 am

If you wanted to try another batch, I would more than happy to take these off your hands. Really, it’s the least I can do.


gretchen June 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

as always, yum! i met shauna last weekend in dc and we had a moment of mutual irvin love. so just know, you have fans. 🙂


Rachel @ The Crispy Cook June 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Those are some inspirational gougeres. Bravo!


Charissa (zest bakery) June 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Yay! I knew you’d come up with something ultra-fab. Three types of cheese, I mean COME ON! I shoulda offered to come over and taste… you know… I’m generous like that. :-p

Wonderful post!


Brian @ A Thought For Food June 2, 2011 at 6:29 am

I have to say… I am impressed! I’ve made gougères before (for a party… and they were an enormous hit) but I’d be skeptical in trying out a gluten free version. I’m so glad you did and now I’m curious to try this recipe out for myself.


Rock Kitaro June 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Very nice! Thanks for this!!!


Tara June 2, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Awesome! I bet the fennel was a nice addition to the gougères. And don’t worry, I won’t make fun of you. Josh and I (both non-French speakers) had a mini conversation about whether or not we were pronouncing it right, too. And we concluded that we were not. 😉 Glad you didn’t miss the Rally!


Annie June 3, 2011 at 11:31 am

I was fortunate enough to be at Irvin and AJ’s place when the gougères came out of the oven. yummmmmmmy.


Erin Swing June 6, 2011 at 8:48 am

Yum! Very nice work! Thank you Irvin are participating in a difficult GFreeRally challenge. I thought that picking & hosting a pate a choux would really stretch our fellow GF bloggers.

Please note that this challenge was a group effort in the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally with an acknowledgment to the host and link to host blog &/or rest of participants to share the other incredible gluten-free creations for this & every month’s challenge.
-Erin of The Sensitive Epicure, hostess for the pate a choux challenge


Irvin June 6, 2011 at 9:45 am

Ack! Sorry Erin. I pushed the post up while on a vacation and totally forgot to include your link! It’s been fixed. Thanks for hosting this month!


Erin Swing June 6, 2011 at 9:54 am

Thanks! I understand. I had to post & host while in vacation in So. Cal. with no internet in hotel, sneaking into Starbucks where I could. 😉 Great minds think a like. I made stuffed gougeres, too. And still can’t pronounce it correctly. Ha!


wheat free puff pastry June 25, 2011 at 12:36 am

There needs to be more gluten free recipes. Thanks for your efforts.


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