“A savory appetizer....so easy and great flavor.”
READY IN:
45mins
YIELD:
12 puffs
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or
  2. silicone baking mat.
  3. Heat the water, butter, salt, and chile or pepper in a saucepan until the butter is melted.
  4. Dump in the flour all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture pulls away from the sides into a smooth ball. Remove from heat and let rest two minutes.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring quickly to make sure the eggs don’t ‘cook.’ The batter will first appear lumpy, but after a minute or so, it will smooth out. (You can transfer the mixture to a bowl before adding to eggs to cool the dough, or do this step in a food processor or electric mixer, if you wish.).
  6. Add about 3/4's of the grated cheese and the chives, and stir until well-mixed.
  7. Scrape the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a wide plain tip and pipe the dough into mounds, evenly-spaced apart, making each about the size of a small cherry tomato.
  8. Top each puff with a bit of the remaining cheese, then pop the baking sheet in the oven.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375F and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until they ’re completely golden brown.
  10. For extra-crispy puffs, five minutes before they’re done, poke the side of each puff with a sharp knife to release the steam, and return to the oven to finish baking.
  11. Serving: The puffs are best served warm, and if making them in advance, you can simply pipe the gougères on baking sheets and cook right before your guests arrive, or reheat the baked cheese puffs in a low oven for 5-10 minutes before serving. Some folks like to fill them, or split them and sandwich a slice or dry-aged ham in there, although I prefer them just as they are.
  12. A bit of troubleshooting: The most common problem folks have with pâte à choux, or cream puff dough, is deflated puffs. The usual causes are too much liquid (eggs), or under baking. Make sure to use large eggs, not extra-large or jumbo, and use a dry, aged cheese, if possible, and bake the puffs until they’re completely browned up the sides so they don’t sink when cooling. If yours do deflate, that’s fine. I’ve seen plenty of those in France, and I actually think the funky-looking ones have a lot of charm—and you’re welcome to quote me on that.

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