Recipe for gougères from DC’s Ellington Park Bistro Chef Frank Morales

As Valentine’s Day approaches, WTOP asked local chefs for their favorite, quick and easy recipes to share with friends and significant others. Ellington Park Bistro Executive Chef Frank Morales demonstrated how to make gougères.

A gougère is a baked choux pastry commonly made in France. They are typically savory with cheese, but Morales demonstrated two methods for WTOP, one sweet and one savory.

Nestled in The St. Gregory Hotel, Ellington Park Bistro is a French restaurant named after D.C.’s famed jazz pianist Duke Ellington. It opened in November 2022 with dishes like coq au vin, bouillabaisse and braised prime short rib bourguignon.

To see a demonstration of the following recipe, check out the video at the top of this story, filmed at Ellington Park Bistro.

Pâte à Choux

By Ellington Park Bistro Executive Chef Frank Morales
  • 1 cup whole milk (or half milk and half water)
  • 4 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
  • 7 ounces all-purpose flour
  • Optional for sweet version: 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • Water to adjust


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place milk and butter in saucepan and bring milk and butter to a full boil.
  3. Remove the milk/butter mixture from the heat and add all of the flour and salt (and optional sugar) at one time. Stir together quickly.
  4. Return the panade (the milk and flour mixture) to the heat. Stir and dry the panade for approximately two minutes. The panade is sufficiently dry when it has lost its shine and a spoon drawn across its surface cracks the dough.
  5. Place panade in a mixing bowl and mix with a paddle at low speed for about 5 to 7 minutes. Allow heat to dissipate somewhat (to prevent cooking eggs as they are added).
  6. Increase speed and add eggs slowly (at first two by two and then one by one). The choux paste will become sloppy as the eggs are added. When it comes back together, add additional eggs. Only add enough eggs to reach the proper consistency. Beat the last egg and add in 1 teaspoon intervals. If necessary, add water to achieve proper consistency.
  7. Pipe into desire shape and egg wash twice. Press tops with wet fork or fingers.
  8. Bake in the oven. Time varies with the size of the product. Small items will generally take about 17 to 20 minutes to bake thoroughly. Baking choux paste is a two-part process. When it enters the oven, it rises and creates a cavity. The product then needs to bake uninterrupted until its walls strengthen. Color is not always an indicator of complete baking. If a large product has begun to take on color, but is not sufficiently dried out, turn the oven down 50 degrees Fahrenheit to allow it to dry.

Michelle Goldchain

Michelle Goldchain’s reporting has focused primarily on the D.C. area, previously working as Editor of Curbed DC for Vox Media and Audience Growth & Engagement Editor for Washington City Paper. She is the author of "D.C. by Metro: A History & Guide.” She also reports for Artsplained on YouTube.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2023 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up