Gruyère Gougères, Oysters, and Champagne

cuisine French
difficulty Easy
makes 24
season Year Round

Ingredients

1 cup water 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes 1 cup flour 4 or 5 large eggs 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, finely grated 1 egg, beaten for glazing Maldon Sea Salt Flakes 1 egg for egg wash

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two half sheet baking pans with Silpats or parchment paper. 
  2. Make an egg wash by whisking an egg with 1 teaspoon of water. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the water, salt and butter and heat gently until the butter is melted.
  4. Wasting no time, turn up the flame on the melted butter to bring to a boil and as soon as it boils remove the pan from the heat and turn off the burner.
  5. Add the flour and vigorously mix with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the pan to form a loose ball.
  6. Beat another 30 seconds to 1 minute over the burner that was turned off but still warm to dry out the dough a bit.
  7. Beat each egg thoroughly into the dough, one at a time. The fifth egg may or may not be needed, but use a bit or all of it until the dough is shiny and just falls off the wooden spoon. The dough will be too soft to hold a shape if too much egg is added.
  8. Beat the Gruyère cheese into the dough.
  9. Use a spatula to transfer the dough to a ½” plain tip pastry bag. Pipe 1/2 inch circles of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. For maximum puff and elegance, pipe vertically rather than in a mound. The mounds should be 1/2 inch in diameter by 1/2 inch high.
  10. Brush the mounds with the egg wash and sprinkle each with a hint of Maldon sea salt.
  11. Bake the mounds for 25 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Take one out at 25 minutes, let it cool for a minute and taste it. It may need a couple more minutes to be cooked enough on the inside. The texture should be crisp on the outside and light and airy on the inside.