Makes about 3 dozen
Gougeres are small cheese puffs made from a savory cream-puff dough. They need to be beaten vigorously, which you can do by hand or in a heavy-duty mixer. To pipe them onto a baking sheet, use a pastry bag or a heavy plastic zipper bag with a hole cut in one corner.
|1/2||cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut up|
|Pinch of salt|
|4||or 5 eggs|
|1 1/4||cups finely shredded Gruyere cheese|
|1||egg yolk, beaten with 1/4 cup heavy cream (for the glaze)|
1. Set the oven at 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the water and butter. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and with a wooden spoon, stir in all of the flour and the salt. Mix vigorously until the dough is smooth.
3. Return the pot to medium heat and continue cooking the mixture, stirring constantly, until almost no steam rises from it. Continue folding it over onto itself and moving it from side to side in the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, but make sure not to scorch the dough.
4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir the dough for a few more seconds to cool it slightly.
5. Continue stirring with a wooden spoon or transfer the dough to a heavy-duty mixer that has a paddle attachment. Add 1 egg, beating the dough until it is very smooth. Continue adding 3 more eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth, shiny, and has a "flowy" quality. When you pick it up on the spoon, the dough should drop easily. If the mixture is still stiff, break the 5th egg into a bowl, beat it lightly, then add it 1 teaspoon at a time to the batter. The dough should not be too runny or too stiff.
6. Stir in the Gruyere cheese and mix well.
7. Use a large pastry bag with a 1/4-inch plain round tip, or a gallon zipper bag with one of the bottom corners clipped. Set either one in a cylindrical container and fold over half the top. Spoon in one-third of the dough, pressing it down, then fold the unfilled cuff up and twist. Hold the bag tightly in the middle so the dough does not escape from the top; this also keeps the air out.
9. Pipe the dough into golf ball-sized rounds. Refill the bag and continue piping until all the dough has been used. Brush the rounds lightly with the beaten egg glaze.
10. Bake the gougeres for 10 minutes.
11. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees. Continue baking for 25 minutes (total baking time is 35 minutes), or until the mounds are golden brown and firm. Cool slightly before serving. Adapted from Jacky Cattani