Choux Puffs with Gruyère Cheese : Profiteroles au Gruyère : Lesson 7 : Part 1 : LCB at Home

There's two parts to this dish: Choux (puff) pastry and a Mornay sauce (béchamel with cheese) to fill them. Increased the recipe to accommodate hearty appetites. Leaned towards the recipe for plain choux from La Varenne and added the gruyère to the pastry (didn't just sprinkle it on top as advised in the recipe). Made thusly we have Grougères.


It's said the choux if an "easy" pastry to get right. It's very forgiving. No need to be intimidated by the long list of steps - it's just me, rattling on as usual.

Profiteroles au Gruyère : Choux Puffs with Gruyère Cheese

Serves: 6

Equipment: Pastry bag, 1 cm plain tip [1/2"], small plain tip (for filling the little pastries)


  • Profiteroles (choux)
    • 1 C water
    • 7 T butter (almost a 1/2 C)
    • 1/2 t salt
    • 1,25 C flour
    • 5 eggs
    • 2 T gruyere cheese
    • 1 egg
    • 2 T gruyere cheese
  • Mornay sauce
    • béchamel sauce (2 Cups)
      • butter (1/4 C)
      • flour (somewhat more)
      • milk
      • salt
      • pepper
      • nutmeg (not a lot)
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 C gruyere cheese


First make the profiteroles and let them cool.

  1. Oven at 200C [400F]
  2. Water, butter, salt into a pan - melt the butter
  3. Boil, just barely and take off the heat
  4. Dump in all the flour at once
  5. Stir vigorously, with a wooden spoon, until it's a smooth dough and pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball (that ought to be enough criteria for success)
  6. Return to the heat and stir around to dry it for 30 seconds or maybe a minute - and remove from the heat again
  7. Let it cool some (stick you finger in it to test the coolness of the dough) - maybe 5 minutes, maybe 10
  8. Add 2 eggs and stir with that wooden spoon again - blend them in - stir vigorously
  9. add another egg and stir until blended
  10. and another egg (stir etc)
  11. Now it gets tricky. The idea is that the dough is soft enough to fall/drip from the spoon (so that you can "pipe" it with the piping bag later)
    • beat, with a fork, one egg in a separate little dish/bowl and add it a little at a time, to the dough, until it reaches the magic consistency (I used 3/4 of the 5th egg)
  12. Add 2 T of finely grated gruyere cheese to the dough
  13. Pipe onto a well greased pastry sheet in 1" balls with 1" between them (using the 1cm tip)
  14. Brush the tops with a beaten egg mixture (maybe some that was left over from the last, partial, egg for the dough
  15. Mark the tops lightly with a wet fork (helps them to puff up)
  16. Sprinkle with the other 2 T of grated gruyere
  17. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes without opening the door - they'll puff up probably
  18. Lower temp to 350F [175C] (prop the door open slightly [unless you have a convection oven going here])
  19. Bake until golden, dry tops, and crispy, and the cracks and colored inside too (the cracks are inevitable, nee, desirable, during their expansion)
  20. Cool, remove from the cookie sheets

Then, there's the Mornay sauce.

  1. Make the béchamel sauce (see, for example, Eggs with Béchamel from lesson 3)
  2. "Temper" the yolks with a bit of the béchamel (a few dollops of bech into the yolks and whisk)
  3. Then, the tempered yolks into the bèchamel and stir
  4. add a cup of grated gruyere and stir - that's the Mornay sauce
  5. Pierce the bottom of each puff with the small piping tip (preparing for adding the sauce in a minute)
  6. Pipe the Mornay sauce, while warm, into the hollow choux puffs



  1. These can be happily done with a convection oven to make sure they all cook evenly
  2. Placed too close together they'll cook irregularly - believe me, I know - happened to me
  3. Looking at the picture it's evident that mine were a little underdone; the cracks weren't coloured
  4. If they're not dry enough they will collapse upon removal from the oven (lost about 25% in my case)
  5. They'll be golden before they're crisp; give the top of one of two a tap to see whether they sound done - and solid
  6. The first try on the béchamel sauce was too runny to pipe; it just poured. The fix was to mix 1T flour (heaping) and 1 T milk together, add it to the failed béchamel and boil it all up again until it finally thickened enough.
  7. When they're cold, later, they're very tasty too and the filling has hardened up a little bit too: it wasn't runny at all.

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