Gougères are made with a classic French pâte à choux (a delicate pastry dough also used in other light pastries such as éclairs and profiteroles). In Burgundy, the airy cheese puffs are also served at wine tastings. Any hard cheese such as Gruyère, Emmentaler, Gouda, or cheddar will work well. Eat the gougères warm as they will lose their charm (that beautiful lightness!) once cooled.
- ¾ cup water
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Pinch of fleur de sel or other fine sea salt flakes
- Freshly cracked pepper to taste
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 3 ½ ounces grated Comté plus a bit extra for garnish
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- ►Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- ►Bring the water with the butter, salt (making sure to grind it finely between your fingers), and pepper to a boil. Take the pan off the heat once the butter is melted and add the flour all at once. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture vigorously for about a minute. Return the pan to a low-medium heat and stir the dough vigorously for another minute, using the spoon to shape it into a ball at the end. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and let it cool for 3 minutes.
- ►Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing them in well with a wooden spoon. You will notice that the dough will separate after you add in each egg. Don’t worry; just keep stirring vigorously and it will come back together. Once all the eggs have been incorporated and you have a smooth dough, fold in the cheese and chives.
- ►Using two teaspoons, drop little mounds of dough (about 1 heaping teaspoon each) onto the baking sheet. Garnish each piece with a little extra cheese. Bake the gougères for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Serve hot!