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Oh so French, gougères are savory cheese puffs made from pâte à choux, or cream-puff dough, with a generous amount of cheese folded in. Slightly warm with a crisp shell and a cheesy, pillowy interior, they are the perfect little bite to pop in your mouth between sips of sparkling wine or cocktails.
Since gougères are best served warm from the oven, you can keeping the scooped dough in the freezer, ready to bake. You can slide them into the oven straight from the freezer before your guests arrive; just allow a few extra minutes in the oven.
To begin, bring the milk, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.
Add the flour all at once.
Lower the heat to medium and, using a wooden spoon, immediately start stirring energetically.
The dough will form into a ball and there will be a light film on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring for another two minutes or so to dry the dough: Dry dough will make puffier puffs.
Turn the dough out into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or work by hand in a large bowl with a wooden spoon and elbow grease).
Let the dough sit for a minute, then add the eggs one by one, followed by the white, beating on medium speed until each one is incorporated before adding the next.
The dough may look as though it’s separating or falling apart — just keep going, and by the time the egg white goes in, the dough will be beautiful.
Beat in the mustard, then add the cheese.
Mix to combine.
Give the dough a last mix-through by hand, then scoop or spoon out heaping tablespoon-sized balls of dough, and drop the dough on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the mounds. (The scooped dough can be frozen on the baking sheets.)
Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 375°F. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate thepans from front to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the gougères are puffed, golden, and firm enough to pick up, another 15 to 17 minutes.
Serve immediately — these are best directly from the oven.