Yesterday, you read about the Beef Bourguignon I made this past weekend. I decided to base the entire meal around a French theme. I hadn't decided what to make for appetizers, and as I was thinking about it, I flipped through the April issue of Bon Appetit I had just received. There was what I would make: Classic Gougeres. I had thought earlier about making them, and after seeing this article, knew it was meant to be. And the recipe was by Molly Wizenberg, whose book "Cooking Life" I had just bought and was reading.
If you're not familiar with gougeres, they're basically a French cheese puff. They are made from pate a choux, which is the same dough cream puffs and eclairs are made from. But they have the addition of Gruyere cheese. I made them a few hours ahead, and just reheated them at 350 degrees F. until they were warm. They were great-the four of us ate the entire batch, which was about 2 dozen.
By Mollie Wizenberg published in April 2009 Bon Appetit
Yield: Makes 2 dozen 1 1/2-inch Gougères
1 cup water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
4 large eggs, chilled
1 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Bring 1 cup water, butter, and salt to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking until butter melts. Add flour; stir rapidly with wooden spoon until flour absorbs liquid and forms ball, pulling away from sides of pan. Stir vigorously until film forms on bottom of pan and dough is no longer sticky, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat; cool dough 2 to 3 minutes. Using electric mixer, beat in eggs 1 at a time. Stir in cheese and pepper.
Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto baking sheets, spacing about 3 inches apart. Using damp fingertip, press down any peaks of dough.
Bake gougères until golden brown, about 30 minutes, reversing position of pans halfway through baking. Using small sharp knife, pry open 1 gougère to check for doneness (center should be slightly eggy and moist). Serve hot or warm.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 hours ahead. Transfer to racks; cool. Rewarm in 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.