An appetizer that impresses, but is not difficult to make. These are small puffs of golden cheese goodness, are light, airy and melt-in-the mouth.
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1⁄4 cup milk
1⁄4 cup water
1⁄8 tsp. sea salt
1⁄8 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1⁄8 tsp. baking powder
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2 eggs, beaten
1⁄2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
Additional milk, grated Parmesan cheese, and sea salt for topping
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, milk, water, salt, and pepper to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat and add the sifted flour and baking powder. Stir well and return to heat. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is dry, 1-2 min.
2. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl with a paddle. Paddle until mixture cools to warm temperature, about 8-10 min. With the motor running, slowly add the eggs and then the Gruyère cheese. Mix until smooth and shiny.
3. Spoon the batter into a pastry bag with a #3 tip; pipe into mounds 1 in. apart onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the tops with milk; sprinkle with Parmesan and sea salt.
4. Bake at 375°F for 7-10 min., until a deep, golden-brown color. Serve warm. Or hold at room temperature up to 2 hr. and reheat briefly.