Gougères are part of a classic Burgundian apéritif, served with a glass of bubbly or wine. These airy little cheese puffs are made from savory pâte à choux dough, utilizing the same technique used to make sweet éclairs and profiteroles. See how Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith serve up this classic apéritif at their French cooking school in Burgundy by reading the full story here.
4 large eggs
6 tablespoons (3?4 stick/85 g) unsalted butter
1?2 teaspoon fleur de sel
2?3 cup (80 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1?2 cup (55 g) coarsely grated Comté or Gruyère cheese
1?2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
1?2 teaspoon ground mustard (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
1?4 cup (25 g) finely grated Comté or Gruyère cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
In a small bowl, whisk one of the eggs and set aside.
Crack the remaining three eggs into a separate bowl or measuring cup with a spout. Do not mix; set aside.
In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine 2/3 cup (165 ml) water, butter, and salt over medium heat. Cook until the butter has melted, then bring the mixture to a full boil. Immediately add the flour all at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon. Stir until the mixture forms a smooth ball that pulls away from the sides of the pan and a film forms on the bottom of the pan, at least 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and beat the mixture to remove any excess moisture and dry out the dough, at least 1 minute.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly. Add the remaining three eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly with a wooden spoon after each addition. The dough should be shiny and smooth. Stir in the coarsely grated cheese, along with the Dijon mustard and ground mustard (if using). Season with the pepper.
Transfer the choux paste to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe a very small amount of dough in the corners of a baking sheet to hold down the paper, then line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pipe roughly 11?2-inch (4-cm) rounds onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, allowing enough room for them to double in size.
Use your fingertips to gently brush the tops of the gougères with a small amount of the reserved beaten egg, being careful not to smash them or let any excess egg fall on the parchment. Sprinkle the tops with the finely grated cheese. Bake until the gougères are puffed, nicely golden, and feel light for their size, 20 to 22 minutes. Serve immediately. Gougères are best the day they are made. You can make them early in the day and warm them in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes right before serving.