These light bites are simply small cheese puffs with the addition of Spanish sheep’s milk cheese called Manchego and toasted walnuts. In France, they are referred to as gougères and if you want to say the word correctly, it rhymes with blue hair. These are commonly served in Provençe with a plate of olives and a chilled glass of rosé.
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked pimento powder (can substitute smoked paprika)
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup toasted and coarsely chopped California walnuts
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Manchego cheese
- In a heavy saucepan, bring the milk and butter to a boil.
- In the meantime, sift together salt, flour, and pimento powder. As soon as the milk comes to a boil and the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the flour mixture all at once.
- Off the heat, with a wooden spoon, beat the mixture until it thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Do not add another egg until the previous one has been thoroughly incorporated and the mixture no longer looks shiny. It should look like thick mashed potatoes before you add another egg. Alternately the mixture can be placed in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs as in the previous instructions. Once the eggs have been incorporated, let cool 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Add the walnuts and Manchego cheese to the dough and mix together. Spoon rounded teaspoons of the dough onto the baking sheets 1 inch apart. Bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the puffs from the parchment and serve immediately or warm.