The gougere is a classic French savory appetizer.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Preheat an oven to 425º F.
- In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine the water, butter, salt, pepper, and Cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring. Put the flour in all at once, and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until a thick paste forms, and pulls away from the side of the pan, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and make a well in the center. Crack one egg into the well, and beat it into the hot mixture, either with the wooden spoon or an electric hand-held mixer. Repeat with three more eggs. Whisk in 1 cup of the cheese, mixing well.
- Line 2 baking sheets with slip mats or parchment paper. Use a teaspoon to shape the gougeres. Dip the spoon into a glass of cold water, then scoop up a generous teaspoon of the mixture, and push it onto the baking sheet with your fingertips.
- Repeat, dipping the spoon in the water each time to prevent sticking. When done, brush the top of each with a little of the remaining egg, lightly beaten, and sprinkle with a little of the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° F and bake until the gougeres are golden brown and crunchy, about another 15 minutes. If underdone, they will be mushy and uncooked inside. When done, vent the gougeres by piercing each with a wooden skewer, and then turn off the oven. Leave them in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve warm, or at room temperature.