Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
- 1 cup water
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut in 6 or so pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 4 medium eggs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
- 1 cup shredded Gruyère, Emmental, Comté or other cheese (4 ounces)
- 1 beaten egg
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (210°C).
- Place the water, cut up butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a medium sized saucepan and place on low heat. As soon as the water boils and the butter has all melted, remove from heat.
- Immediately stir in all of the flour using a wooden spoon. Stir for at least 2 minutes making sure everything gets well blended. The dough will form a single mass and the heat of the pan will dry it out somewhat.
- Add one egg and beat the dough for about 1 minute to completely incorporate the egg. The result will be a very sticky dough. Repeat with the other three eggs, making sure you blend in one egg completely before moving to the next.
- Add the shredded cheese and all but two tablespoons of the Parmesan. Stir to blend completely.
- You can either use a pastry tube or two spoons (one to scoop and one to scrape) to form the balls. Use about a tablespoon of dough for each puff. Pipe or scrape the balls onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, spacing them about an inch apart.
- Brush the tops of the balls with a pastry brush dipped in the beaten egg. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining Parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 425°F (210°C) for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm.
Makes about 40 puffs.
You can add different combinations of the following ingredients. My favorite combination is the above recipe, plus 1 cup diced ham, 1/4 cup chopped chives, and a good pinch of cayenne pepper.
Au roquefort -1 cup crumbled blue cheese replaces the other cheeses; you can add a couple handfuls of chopped walnuts as well.
Au jambon - 1 cup finely diced ham. This would work with crumbled sausage or finely diced chorizo as well.
A la ciboulette - 1/4 cup chopped chives.
Epicé - 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper