You can portion and freeze these gougères in advance, then bake them just before guests arrive (you may need to add a few minutes of baking time). This recipe makes soft gougères that are custardy in the center. If you prefer a firmer puff, use 4 eggs.
- 2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cups (6 oz.) coarsely grated Comté, gruyere, or white cheddar cheeses
- In a small, heavy-bottomed skillet, add the walnuts over medium heat. Cook, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly toasted, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Pour into a bowl and set aside.
- Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 425°.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a medium saucepan, add the milk, water, butter, and salt; bring to a rapid boil over high heat.
- Add the flour all at once, lower the heat and stir rapidly with a heavy spoon or whisk. The dough will form a ball and there will be a light film on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring to dry the dough slightly, 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Turn the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a medium mixing bowl. Let the dough sit for a minute, then add the eggs one by one, beating with the mixer or a wooden spoon until each egg is incorporated before adding the next. (The dough may look as though it’s separating or falling apart – just keep working; it will come together by the time the last egg goes in.)
- Beat in the mustard followed by the cheeses and the chopped pecans.
- Using a small (1 1/2 teaspoon) cookie scoop or spoon, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each.
- Transfer to the oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 375°F.
- Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom.
- Continue baking until the gougères are puffed, golden and firm enough to pick up, 15-20 minutes more.
- Remove and serve immediately.