Cheddar Gougères

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From the archives.

If you are looking for a quick appetizer to keep your guests entertained this week, Cheddar Gougères are a delicious option. These airy, eggy, crusty puffs of pâte à choux are delicious right out of the oven. It might take a few attempts to get the pâte à choux the right consistency, but once it comes out correctly it will be simple in the future.  Try a test run tonight and enjoy them warm with a salad or soup.

Traditionally, gougères are made with Gruyère cheese.  I enjoy the bite of sharp Cheddar, but feel free to use any cheese that will grate well and is of a similar fat content.  You may also want to try adding fresh herbs such as dill, rosemary or chives.

Cheddar Gougères
Adapted from Party Appetizers by Tori Ritchie

Makes about 40 - 50 Gougères.  (This is a lot.)

Ingredients

1 C water

8 Tbl unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 tsp salt

1 C flour

4 eggs

1 1/2 tsp mustard powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 1/2 C shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Method

Preheat oven to 375F and line two baking sheets with Silpat mats or parchment paper.

Combine the water, butter and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring to combine until the butter is melted.

Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.

Turn off the heat and add the flour.  Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and pulls away from the sides of the pan.

Remove the pan from the stove and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes, do not stir.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating with the wooden spoon to fully incorporate after each addition.

With each addition, the dough will look glossy at first, but eventually regain its texture and stick to the sides of the pan again.

Once all of the eggs have been added, add the mustard powder and cayenne and beat to incorporate.  Then add the cheese and beat to incorporate.

Scoop one-inch balls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about one-inch between them.

Bake until the gougères are puffed up and golden, about 25 minutes.  For best results, rotated the baking sheets half way through.

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