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Gougeres Au Cumin(Cumin Cheese Puffs)

Servings:
Makes about 40 gougères Servings
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Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 4 cup large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup freshly grated comte or gruyere, about 5 ounces (substitute a good swiss cheese)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1.

Measure all the ingredients before you start.

Combine the butter, salt, and one cup water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.

Remove from heat, add the flour all at once, and stir quickly with a wooden spoon until well blended.

Return the pan to medium low heat and keep stirring until the mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan.

2.

Let cool for 3 minutes.

Add the eggs one by one, stirring well between each addition, until incorporated.

(What you have just made is a pâte à choux.)

Sprinkle with cumin and pepper and fold in the cheese.

The batter will be thick.

Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to a day.

3.

Preheat the oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the batter from the fridge, and use two teaspoons to shape small balls of batter (about 1 inch in diameter) that you will plop onto the baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between each.

If you have to work in batches, cover the batter and return it to the fridge.

4.

Bake for 20 minutes, until puffy and golden – however much you want to peek inside, do not open the oven door during the first 10 minutes of baking, or the gougères will not rise well.

Turn off the oven, open the oven door just a crack, and leave the gougères in for another 5 minutes.

(This helps prevent an abrupt temperature change, which could cause the gougères to deflate and nobody wants that.)

Transfer to a cooling rack for 5 minutes and serve warm, or let cool and serve at room temperature.

Note: You can freeze the gougères for up to a month and reheat them (no thawing necessary) in a 350° F oven for 8 minutes.

They won’t be as moist as freshly baked ones, but they are very convenient to have on hand for unexpected guests.

 Variations: Replace the cumin with caraway seeds, rosemary, or paprika, or omit the spices all together.

Chilling time: 30 minutes