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Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011 01:00 pm


Burgundian cheese puffs


These cheese puffs hail from France’s Burgundy region. They’re a traditional accompaniment to red wine, but make an outstanding pairing with Champagne.

  • tsp. kosher or sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 T. plus 1 tsp. chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 c. water
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1 c. minus 1 T. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 c. freshly grated natural Gruyre cheese (NOT processed)

Preheat the oven to 425.

Mash the garlic clove with the salt to a paste. In a heavy medium saucepan, sauté the garlic in the teaspoon of butter over moderately low heat until soft but not browned.  Add the water, pepper, nutmeg and the rest of the butter and turn the heat up to high. Have the flour ready. Stir the mixture constantly with a large wooden spoon. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat and dump in the flour all at once. Beat vigorously. The mixture will form a smooth dough.

Return the pan to the heat for a minute or so, beating constantly. The dough will cook over the heat and pull away cleanly from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat. Quickly transfer the mixture to an electric mixer or continue to beat by hand. Add the eggs one at a time, continuing to beat until the eggs are thoroughly incorporated and the dough is shiny and smooth. Beat in c. of the cheese.

Use either a pastry bag fitted with a half-inch plain tip, a small ice cream type scoop or two spoons to put small mounds of dough (about a tablespoon each) onto ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining grated cheese. Bake until the puffs are an even golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm, straight from the oven. Makes about 40 puffs.
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