Make-Ahead Gougeres (Cheese Puffs)
- Water -1 cup
- Unsalted butter – 8 tbsp (1 stick), cut into pieces
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Dry mustard powder – ½ tsp
- All-purpose flour – 1 cup
- 4 large eggs, beaten lightly
- Grated cheese – 1 ½ cups (preferably gruyere or cheddar)
- In a 4-quart saucepan, combine water with butter, salt and dry mustard. Bring to boil and stir until butter melts.
- Remove the saucepan from heat, add flour. Stir passionately until you get a mixture with the texture of mashed potatoes.
- Return saucepan to medium-low heat; cook stirring for 3 to 5 minutes to let the dough dry out. Ready dough will glisten and hold a spoon upright. Don’t try to mix in the starch residue on the bottom of the pan – it is okay.
- Place the dough into a bowl. With a paddle attachment of a mixer or a stiff spatula, beat the dough until it cools down enough to handle and stops steaming. Beat in eggs, one by one; do not add the next egg until the current one has been absorbed and the dough has smoothened out. Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl between adding eggs. After adding the 4th egg you should get a creamy batter. Beat in the shredded cheese.
- Scoop gougeres with a teaspoon or a tablespoon, depending on how big you want them to be, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or onto silicone mats. Put in the freezer together with the baking sheets/mats and freeze till day X. Do not let thaw before baking, but make sure you bake them a little longer.
- When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 450°F/230°C/Gas Mark 8. Bake gougeres for 5 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotate the pan, bake for another 10 to 12 minutes. Ready gougeres will be puffy and dry to the touch; however, a little bubbling from the cheese is possible as well. They will be deep golden brown in color, light and hollow inside.
- Transfer gougeres to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature. You are unlikely to have any leftover, but if it happens, freeze them (for up to 3 months!) and reheat in warm oven before eating.
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