These gluten free and keto cheese puffs (i.e. gougères) are pure cheesy bites of heaven at just 0.3g net carbs a pop (!!). Scrumptious, yet simple!
Gluten Free & Keto Cheese Puffs 🧀
These low carb cheese puffs are a real delight, yet a little different from the original. Mainly they’re softer and less puffy. But while trying different permutations (and trying to make them crispier), I found that their delight actually was in their lightly crisp exterior and soft center.
So I opted for playing up their ‘weakness’ (i.e. softness), and the resulting keto cheese puffs are truly delicious in their own right. Think a lightly crisp exterior paired with an incredibly soft and cheesy interior.
Ideal to devour solo, or filled with a myriad of options (think whipped goat cheese!).
The method for this grain free version is akin to tradition, with it essentially being a choux pastry (used to make anything from eclairs to churros). But this is just a fancy way of saying that you first boil together water with butter and salt. Adding in the flour and cooking it until it forms into a ball. And step three, mixing in the eggs and cheese off the stove.
Now, when you mix in the eggs the dough will be very stiff and take a bit of mixing to incorporate fully (job best done using a mixer). The final dough will be very elastic (courtesy of the eggs and xanthan gum).
The Main Ingredients
Almond flour. You truly need a super finely ground almond flour here, as if you use meal your cheese puffs will turn out dense and oily. Super fine almond flour brands include Anthony’s , WellBees and Bob’s.
Flaxseed meal. You’ll want to use golden flaxseed meal (we use Bob’s), and regrind the flakes in your (very dry!) bullet or blender until finely powdered. Great way to avoid slimy breads. You can substitute with coconut flour, just keep in mind that we do like flaxseed best.
Whey protein isolate. This one lends structure and adds a little extra crispness. Keep in mind that this ingredient varies tremendously from brand to brand, and we’ve only tried (and are super happy!) with Isopure’s Zero Carb Unflavored. You can alternatively use psyllium husk powder, but expect slightly less crisp results.
Xanthan gum. Borrowed from molecular cooking, xanthan gum is the binding agent which makes your toothpaste jelly-like (and your cream cheese, well cream cheese-like). And it’s also the most common gluten-replacer in gluten free baking.
The ‘Choux Pastry’ Recipe Video 📽
If you’ve never whipped up a choux pastry, then checking out the recipe video is a must. Keeping in mind that we like the cheese puffs best with flaxseed meal and whey protein (rather than coconut flour and psyllium).
Gluten Free, Low Carb & Keto Cheese Puffs
Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.
For the gluten free & keto cheese puffs
- 36 g almond flour
- 21 g golden flaxseed meal finely ground (or coconut flour)*
- 4 g whey protein isolate or psyllium husk*
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 80 ml water
- 28 g grass-fed butter or coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika optional
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder optional
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder optional
- 90 g gruyere or cheddar cheese grated
- See recipe video for guidance on the 'choux pastry' methodology!
- Preheat oven to 450°F/220°C. Line a baking tray with a baking mat or parchment paper.
- Whisk together in a medium bowl almond flour, finely ground flaxseed meal, whey protein and xanthan gum. Set aside.
- Heat up water, butter and salt in medium pot (or Dutch oven) until it just begins to simmer. Lower heat to low and add in flour mixture, mixing constantly to incorporate. Continue to cook and stir until the dough pulls away from the pan and forms into a ball, 1-3 minutes.
- Transfer dough back to the bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes. The dough should still be warm, but not hot enough to scramble the eggs.
- Add in one egg at a time, mixing with an electric mixer until fully incorporated. Mix in baking powder and spices (optional, but highly suggested!). Mix in 3/4 of the grated cheese (about 70g), the dough should be very elastic.
- Spoon dough into a piping bag or plastic bag (no tip needed). Cut out bottom of piping bag 2 cm (3/4 inch) wide. Pipe out 'cherry tomato-sized' rounds onto prepared tray, you should get about two dozen. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until deep golden all over. Serve right away! And keep in mind that these guys are always best served warm, but they do re-warm quite well.
- Optional: prepare the filling while the cheese puffs are in the oven, and know that you can play around here quite a bit. We love, however, to whip up some goat's cheese with a little sour cream and add a touch of freshly parsley. Simple and delicious.
- Note: deflated cheese puffs are a common occurrence, whether regular or gluten free (though worry not, they'll still be delicious!). The usual culprit is too much liquid, so make sure you use large eggs not extra large. Also be sure your oven is hot enough, and that you're using dry cheeses (think sharp cheddars or gruyere). And if all else fails, add a couple more tablespoons of almond meal.