Gruy√®re and piment d’Espelette goug√®res
Gougères are so old fashioned. Absolutely untrendy, and quite inelegant too... But who cares!!? These little puffed balls with a delicious cheesy flavour are also heavenly clouds of pure taste gold, the ultimate regressive treat, marvelously crispy on the outside and airy and tender on the inside, and sooo dangerously addictive. Be warned. You are about to lose your edge and thoroughly enjoy it.

Gruy√®re and piment d’Espelette goug√®res

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Recipe by: 
Busy:25 min, Total prep time: 50 min
Serves: makes about 20 gougeres 
Pour 25 cL water into a large saucepan, add in the butter cut into chunks and the salt. Bring to the boil.

Meanwhile, sift the flour.

When the water-butter mixture is boiling, take the saucepan off the heat and pour the flour over at once. With a wooden spatula, mix energetically until you obtain a compact and homogeneous dough that leaves the edges of the saucepan clean. If the dough sticks to the saucepan, place it back on the heat and keep stirring until it gathers around the spatula.

Stir in one by one 4 eggs, adding the next only after the previous one has been well mixed in. The dough must be firm and supple.

Add the Piment d'Espelette, a pinch of nutmeg and 3/4 of the cheese and mix well.

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees.

Line an oven tray with baking paper. Fill a cup with cold water. Dip 2 teaspoons in it and with the help of the wet spoons, scoop out some dough from the saucepan and shape it into a little ball of a diameter of about 3 cm (a bit over 1 inch).

Leave at least 3 cms between each ball. You may insert a grape in the middle of some gougères so add variety and because grapes and cheese go so well together (see my picture).

Beat the last egg and brush the dough balls with it. Finish by sprinkling the remaining cheese on top of each ball.

Place the gougères in the oven and bake them for 5 minutes with the oven door slightly open (stick a bunched up tea towel between the top of the door and the oven). Then close the door and bake for another 20 minutes, until the gougères are all puffed up and browned.

When ready, turn the oven off, open the oven door wide and for extra crispiness, leave the gougères in the open oven for another 5 minutes.

Serve immediately or transfer to a grid and let cool completely.

Pour 25 cL water into a large saucepan, add in the butter cut into chunks and the salt. Bring to the boil.

Meanwhile, sift the flour.

When the water-butter mixture is boiling, take the saucepan off the heat and pour the flour over at once. With a wooden spatula, mix energetically until you obtain a compact and homogeneous dough that leaves the edges of the saucepan clean. If the dough sticks to the saucepan, place it back on the heat and keep stirring until it gathers around the spatula.

Stir in one by one 4 eggs, adding the next only after the previous one has been well mixed in. The dough must be firm and supple.

Add the Piment d’Espelette, a pinch of nutmeg and 3/4 of the cheese and mix well.

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees.

Line an oven tray with baking paper. Fill a cup with cold water. Dip 2 teaspoons in it and with the help of the wet spoons, scoop out some dough from the saucepan and shape it into a little ball of a diameter of about 3 cm (a bit over 1 inch).

Leave at least 3 cms between each ball. You may insert a grape in the middle of some gougères so add variety and because grapes and cheese go so well together (see my picture).

Beat the last egg and brush the dough balls with it. Finish by sprinkling the remaining cheese on top of each ball.

Place the gougères in the oven and bake them for 5 minutes with the oven door slightly open (stick a bunched up tea towel between the top of the door and the oven). Then close the door and bake for another 20 minutes, until the gougères are all puffed up and browned.

When ready, turn the oven off, open the oven door wide and for extra crispiness, leave the gougères in the open oven for another 5 minutes.

Serve immediately or transfer to a grid and let cool completely.

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Piment d'Espelette is a regional hot pepper grown in the Basque region in South Western France. It is less hot than chili pepper and more aromatic, with a a fruity taste and a scent reminiscent of sun-dried tomatoes and toasted bread. It has become quite popular in French cooking recently, with some restaurants even offering it on tables instead of black pepper.
Ingredients

100g butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
150 g flour
5 eggs
a pinch of nutmeg
150 g Swiss gruyère
1/2 teaspoon ground Piment d'Espelette (optional)
Grapes (optional)

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