Gougères are the perfect party snack served with a glass of sparkling wine. They are totally addictive. Gougères are small savory hors d'oeuvre made with choux pastry with addition of some kind of strong dry cheese like parmesan, gruyere, or a sharp cheddar.
You can choose to fill the Gougères with some kind of creamy savory filling, or split them to make tiny sandwiches with ham or salmon.
Makes about 30 small bite-sized puffs.
Preheat the oven to 400℉ (200℃). Grate the cheese and chop the thyme, set aside.
Put water and butter in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. When the butter is all melted add all the flour at once, and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat and keep stirring until a dough is formed and it pulls away from the sides of the pan and is slightly shiny. Remove from heat.
Keep beating the dough with the wooden spoon until slightly cooled, about 2 minutes.
Beat all the eggs in a bowl. Add a little of the beaten eggs, incorporating it thoroughly before adding more. Add the egg in small amounts until you have a thick paste but not runny at all. Stir in the cheese and thyme.
Fill a large pastry bag fitted with an open tip, with the dough. Pipe quarter-size circular mounds about 2 inches apart, onto the parchment paper. To get the best tops on the gougéres stop pressing on the pastry bag before you lift it, make a small circular move with your wrist as you lift the tip of the puff. Dab the tops of each gougéres with a fingertip dipped in water to smoothen the tops.
(You can freeze the gougéres unbaked, at this point, and bake them right out of the freezer, adding a few more minutes to the bake time.)
Bake them for 18-20 minutes, until they are puffed up and golden brown.
DO NOT open the oven while baking, it will cause them to deflate.
Let the gougères cool slightly before serving.
Serve the gougères as a snack with a good glass of sparkling wine.