Gougeres (Cheese Puffs)

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Make these light little puffs and you’re emulating Taillevent restaurant in Paris! Reader Pat E. made these Herbed Gougeres a mainstay until she lost the recipe. Published in 1979 as part of an appetizer feature by Abby Mandel in Bon Appetit, and reprinted here with permission from the magazine, the recipe was based on an herb-and olive version from the famed Taillevent. The puffs can be frozen and reheated.

Makes 40 puffs

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp cold milk
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese (rind removed), shredded (1 cup)
  • 2 green onions (1 oz total) minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced parsley
  • 1 tsp dried dillweed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 40 small pimiento-stuffed olives (optional)

Instructions

  1. Position rack in center of oven. Preheat to 400 degrees. Butter two baking sheets.
  2. Combine water, cup milk, butter, salt, nutmeg and pepper in small saucepan and heat to boiling over medium-high heat, making sure butter is completely melted. Remove from heat and immediately stir in flour, using wooden spoon, until all flour is absorbed and mixture leaves sides of pan. Return to medium heat 2 minutes to cook flour.
  3. Transfer to mixing bowl. Beat in 4 eggs, one at a time until mixture is thick and smooth. Add milk and mix thoroughly. Blend in cheese, onion, parsley and dill. (Batter should hold shape on a spoon.)
  4. Lightly sprinkle prepared baking sheets with water, shaking off excess. Spoon batter into 16-inch pastry bag fitted with 3/4-inch tube. Pipe 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch mounds onto baking sheets. Combine remaining egg and salt and blend well. Brush over tops of gougeres, being careful not to drip onto baking sheet or rising will be impaired. Bake until well browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks. When cool, slit sides of puffs and insert olives.

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