Packed with tons of nutty, cheesy flavor in a light, airy crust, these Gougères are the perfectly-poppable snack for your cocktail party, game day, or cozy night in.
1 cup (8 oz) water
4 TB (2 oz/1/2 stick) salted butter
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup (5 oz) bread flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
5 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) shredded Gruyère cheese
1 oz (about 1/4 cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, salt, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then add the flour, stirring constantly with a spoon or rubber spatula, until a dough forms and comes together inside the pot (this took under a minute for me).
Transfer the dough to a mixer and beat on low speed for about a minute. Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating each fully. Beat in the Gruyère.
Transfer the dough to a piping bag, or (my preferred method) form small balls with a spoon (two tsp each). Place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets and sprinkle each with Parmesan.
*At this point, the gougeres can be frozen for future use. Freeze on baking sheets to set, then transfer to plastic freezer bag. When ready to bake, put on baking sheets, frozen, and bake as directed, adding a few minutes at the end of baking.
Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 350° and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately, if possible. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and re-crisped briefly in the oven.
… Use the highest-quality cheese you can find, and grate it yourself. Pre-shredded varieties often contain other ingredients such as cornstarch, and are lacking in flavor.