Recipe from Tartine, by Elisabeth Prueitt.

Choux paste:
310 ml nonfat milk or water
140 g butter
pinch of salt
140 g flour
5 eggs
115 g grated cheese*
1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced

Topping:
1 large egg
pinch of salt
grated cheese*

*The recipe calls for Gruyère and this is what I’ve used. Next time I would use a cheese with a stronger flavour.
Next time I would also add some more salt and some more thyme.

Preheat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit or 180˚ Celsius and line a baking sheet with parchment.

To make the choux paste, combine the milk, butter and salt in a sauce pan and place over medium heat until butter melts and the mixture comes to a full boil. Add the flour all at once, stirring until the mixture has formed a smooth paste and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 3 minutes. Transfer the paste to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or may be mixed by hand).

Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix on medium speed (or mix by hand vigorously), incorporating each egg completely before adding the next egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding each egg. When all of the eggs have been added the mixture will be thick, smooth and shiny. Add the cheese, pepper and thyme, and gently mix in by hand with a rubber spatula.

Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain or round tip (no. 6 or 7), filling it about 1/3 of the way full so it is still easy to handle. Pipe the mixture out onto the parchment, making quarter size (about 1 inch) mounds. Leave about 1 1/2 inch space between the mounds. Or, you can use a spoon to drop the mounds onto the parchment, but it is harder to control the thick mixture.

The mounds may have cheese poking out in odd directions. With a wet finger just pat the mound into a more uniform shape.

To make the topping, whisk together the egg and salt. Brush the tops of the mounds and then sprinkle with the cheese.

Place the gougères immediately into the preheated oven and don’t open the door until they are nicely browned or they may collapse. Bake until they have puffed and are nicely browned, about 25-30 minutes.

They are delicious served hot, warm or room temperature. They can also be frozen in an airtight container, and re-crisped directly from the freezer in an 350˚ Fahrenheit or 180˚ Celsius oven for 5 minutes.