Yes, cook the harder stuff until it's soft. You want it soft but not falling apart-mush soft. Just enough so they can hold it, but mash it with their gums easily.
Things you might not need to cook are soft fruits (mango, avocado) or you can just hand her a chunk of apple, big enough to hold.
Some amount of gagging is normal, and you need to be ok with it happening as your baby learns to move food from the front to the back. This happens with ALL babies, spoon fed or BLS fed. They just have to learn how to manage the food. If you cook the food soft enough and they can mash it with gums, and you are sure to offer things that aren't a choking hazard (or something leafy that can block the airway), the baby should be absolutely fine.
Choking is different than gagging. If you're still really afraid, take an infant CPR class so you know what to do. But honestly, most likely there will only be some gagging and baby will bring the offensive food fwd and spit it out. They're learning, but they do learn fast!!
Can we post BLS pictures as our babies learn to eat? I'd love to see some messy faces and pincer grasp skills!!