Gougères sound fancy—even more so when you say they're made with pâte à choux (the same pastry used to make cream puffs)—but they’re not tricky to make, and are immensely satisfying. Tiny cheese puffs are elegant and perfect for pairing with wine, but also irresistible to children. (If you happen to have meatballs on offer at the same time, people will figure out how delicious it is to tuck one into the other and eat it.) They can be baked all at once, or freeze half the dough on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag; thaw on a baking sheet when you’re ready to bake them, or freeze extra baked ones to reheat later, uncovered, in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.
By Julie Van Rosendaal
In a saucepan bring water and butter to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to low and add flour all at once, then stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from side of pan.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and beat in the eggs one at a time with an electric mixer on high speed, beating well after each addition. The batter should have the consistency and colour of thick pudding.
Preheat oven to 375°F and spray two baking sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.
Stir the cheese into the pâte à choux and spoon about a tablespoon at a time an inch apart on baking sheets. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until puffed, golden and crisp. Makes about 2 dozen gougères.