- 1/2 cup water
- 3 TBL butter, salted or unsalted, cut into cubes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- big pinch of chili powder or a few turns of freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 large eggs
- 12 chives or 1 to 2 tsp of fresh thyme
- 3/4 cup grated cheese like gruyere or parmesan
Preheat the oven to 425°
Heat the water, butter salt, and chile or pepper in a saucepan until the butter is melted
Add 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. You can transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
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.
Add about three fourths of the grated cheese and the chives, and stir until well -mixed.
Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a wide plain tip and pipe the dough into mounds, evenly-spaced apart, makin each about the size of a small cherry tomato.
Top each puff with a bit of the remaining cheese and put into the oven.
Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until they're completely golden brown.
For extra-crispy puff, 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.
Notes: The puffs are best served warm so if you make them in advance, you can simply pipe the Gougères onto the Silpat and cook right before your guests arrive. Or you can reheat the puffs in a low even for 5-10 minutes before serving. You can also split them and fill them with prosciutto or roasted tomatoes. You can also pipe them on the Silpat and freeze to be baked later.