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Our Chef's Recipes
These little cheese balls are served warm with a glass of Kir as the perfect Burgundian apéritif.
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour with the salt, black pepper, thyme and cayenne.
In a large heavy saucepan, combine the water and butter. Bring to the boil over a high heat, stirring as the butter melts. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the seasoned flour all at once. With a wooden spoon, stir vigorously just until the dough masses into a ball and does not cling to the side of the pan.
Transfer the dough to large mixer bowl. On medium speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition until the egg has been completely absorbed. Add the other egg and continue beating. The dough should be smooth and satiny and just hold its shape when a small quantity is scooped up on the tip of a spoon. Add the Gruyère cheese to the dough and beat in thoroughly.
Using two teaspoons or piping bag, shape balls about 2 cm (¾ inch) in diameter onto buttered baking sheets, setting the gougères 4 cm apart (1½ inches) apart.
Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the gougères reach a rich golden brown. Serve warm
The gougères can be made ahead and frozen. Before serving, thaw and reheat in a 175C/350F oven for about 10 minutes.