We affectionately refer to this traditional French pastry/party snack as cheesy puffs. Our friend Gerard Rottiers formerly from Sonoma but really from France never left home for a party without a tray of gougères to share with his friends and no matter how many times I make Gougères I always think of him when I sprinkle that last little bit of grated Gruyère on top of my puffs before baking. I also can't chill bubbles without remembering all the fun times we shared before he and his wife, Amy moved back to France. So, we're still here in Nor Cal without our friends, Gerard and Amy but we still have our delicious cheesy puffs to serve with bubbles whenever we get homesick for French friends.
Recipe for Gougères
makes two baking sheets of puffs, about 24
Preheat the oven to 400F
line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup (150 grams) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (60 grams) grated Gruyère cheese, plus extra for sprinkling on top of the puffs
Bring the milk, butter and salt to a boil over medium high heat in a heavy medium size saucepan.
When the butter melts, immediately add all the flour and stir with a wooden spoon over medium low heat, for about 2-3 minutes, a ball of dough forms in the pan and you will keep stirring it in the pan while it cooks.
Remove the dough from the saucepan and place in a large glass bowl. Give the dough a few stirs to release some steam and cool the mixture down before adding the eggs. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon between the addition of each egg. The mixture will look gloppy and weird but as you continue to beat and stir the mixture it will come together nicely and become quite smooth.
Stir in the cheese with a rubber spatula.
I use a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, filling it no higher than the top, to form the puffs. I put 12 puffs on each sheet times 2 sheets for the grand total of 24 good size puffs that even Gerard would be proud to call his own.
Don't forget to sprinkle extra grated cheese on top, that is truly the pièce de résistance.
Bake for 25 minutes, switching the trays from top to bottom about half way through baking.
Cool baking sheets on metal racks, serve slightly warm.
They are best the day they're made but don't worry you won't have any leftovers.
They also freeze very well, if you want to make these ahead of time. I freeze in plastic zip lock bags and reheat on baking sheets at 350F for about 20-25 minutes., or about 10 minutes if defrosted.