Gougères are extremely satisfying to make—not to mention eat! You can never tire of watching the dense, silky dollops of batter inflate into crispy balloons of cheesy pastry through the oven window. We’ve decided to push the cheesiness to the max here. An extra sprinkle of gruyère and parmesan adds extra cheese flavor and textural dimension. The cheese topping browns and crisps and creates an elegant contrast to the tender, eggy dough on the inside. For such a magical outcome, this recipe is quite easy.
Recipe for 36 gougères
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
4 ounces unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4-5 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère
1/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan
Heat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Bring milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. The mixture will form a thick mass. Keep stirring for another 2 minutes to dry the mixture out. Remove from heat.
Add eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition until each egg is incorporated. By the fourth egg, the mixture should have a smooth, glossy consistency. If not, stir in a fifth egg. Stir in 1-1/2 cups grated Gruyère.
Drop heaped spoonfuls of dough about 2 inches apart onto lined baking sheets. Combine remaining Gruyère and Parmesan; sprinkle over tops of dough. Bake 15 minutes, reduce heat to 375°F, and continue baking until evenly golden, about another 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Sara Neumeier is a New York food stylist who shares a summer cottage in the Dordogne with her parent who are the authors of: Beginning French by Les Américains.