Gougeres

Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
Yields approximately 4 dozen

Ingredients:

-1 cup water
-1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, roughly chopped
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-4-5 large eggs
-1 1/2 cups finely grated Gruyere cheese
-2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
-Rounded 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Place your racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine water, butter, and salt over medium high heat. Continue to cook, stirring, until butter has melted and mixture has come to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium low and flour all at once, stirring vigorously until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 30 seconds. Continue to cook and stir for an additional 1 1/2 minutes to remove more moistures. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly for about 3 1/2 minutes.

Add your eggs, one at a time, beating each egg into the mixture until it is incorporated. The batter will appear to separate at first, but will then come together in a dough. Continue adding the eggs one at a time until the dough is glossy and just stiff enough to hold peaks, but pliable enough to fall softly from a spoon. This may or may not require the last egg, so monitor your dough accordingly. Stir in the cheese, pepper, and nutmeg until well incorporated.

Fill a pastry bag (or Ziplock bag with a snipped corner) with the dough and pipe 1-inch rounds onto your baking sheets, approximately 1-inch apart. Continue until you have used all the dough. Bake in the oven, switching positions of your sheets half way through, until the gougeres are puffed, golden, and crisp, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

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