A delicious, quick treat that everyone will enjoy!
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 ounce)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (plus 1/8 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 1/2 ounces bread flour
2 extra-large eggs
3 1/2 ounces gruyere cheese (grated)
2 ounces black forest ham (finely chopped)
1 extra-large egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 ounces gruyere cheese (grated)
fleur de sel (to garnish)
Set a rack on the center level of the oven and preheat the oven to 365˚F.
Meanwhile, prepare the Gougeres Batter: Insert the paddle attachment in a stand mixer. In a heavy metal saucepan, combine the the water, butter, cayenne, and salt, bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the pot from the heat and, all at once, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined to form a smooth paste. Return the pot to medium heat and cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer.
Put the paste in the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix at medium speed for 1 minute. One at a time, add the eggs, beating at medium speed until each is fully incorporated and stopping after each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the 3 1/2 ounces of grated gruyere and beat until it has fully incorporated and melted from the heat of the mixture. Add the ham and beat briefly, just until fully incorporated.
To form the gougeres, fit a piping bag with a number-4 plain tip. On a nonstick baking sheet, pipe evenly spaced small balls of the gougeres batter, each about the diameter of a nickel. (Reserve any remaining batter to pipe and bake after the first batch on a clean, cooled baking sheet.)
To top the gougeres, in a small bowl beat together the egg and egg yolk to form an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, lightly but evenly brush each of the balls of dough with the egg wash. Sprinkle evenly with the grated gruyere cheese and a small pinch of fleur de sel.
Bake the gougeres on the center rack in the preheated oven until they are nicely puffed and deep golden brown, about 8 minutes. With a thin spatula, transfer them to a serving platter or basket and serve immediately.