cook's illustrated gougères

2 large eggs
1 large egg white
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp unsalted butter
cut into 4 pieces
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
(2 1/2 ounces)
4 oz Gruyère cheese
1 cup shredded, aged for 1 year
Our two year old daughter calls these "cheese balls." These airy rounds have the texture of the top of a pop over with the flavor of cheese. This recipe utilizes two baking sheets stacked on top of each other to prevent overbrowning.
Set the oven rack to the upper third position then preheat to 425°F. Nest the two baking sheets into each other then line the top one with parchment paper.
Shred the Gruyere in the food processor, then swap in the mixing blade for use in step 6.
Beat the eggs, the extra egg white, and the salt. (Save the extra yolk separately.) Measure out 1/2 cup of eggs for use in the recipe. Combine the rest with the extra egg yolk for use in an omelet later.
In a small saucepan, warm the water, butter, and cayenne over medium heat.
Once the butter mixture starts to simmer, mix in the flour with a wooden spoon. Stir, smear, and cook for about 30 seconds until the mixture thickens, forms a ball, and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan.
Transfer the dough into the food processor. Cool it by running the food processor for about 5 seconds with the feed tube open.
With the processor running, stream in the egg mixture.
Scrape down the sides of the processor then add the Gruyère. Process for 30-40 seconds. The dough should turn into a glossy paste with visible specks of cheese in it.
Use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to measure out about 24 mounds of dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Use the back of a spoon sprayed with cooking oil to smooth out the balls. A 1/2-inch plain tip with a pastry bag could also be used to portion the dough.
Bake for 14-20 minutes until the gougères puff and the top 2/3 appears light golden brown.
Turn off the oven and let the gougères continue to brown for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm.
source: January-February 2018 issue of Cook's Illustrated
The gougères can be stored at room temp for 24 hours in an airtight container. Crisp in oven at 300°F for 7 minutes.