It's just as good to use a KitchenAid mixer instead of a food processor here. Food processor was chosen to the machine of choice in the recipe because it does the job faster, but I personally prefer the tidier clean-up of the KitchenAid bowl.
Also, most recipes for gougères do not include the last step of making the slit in each one and drying them out. So if you do prefer a softer centre you can omit this last step.
- Prep Time : 10 minutes
- Cook Time : 60 minutes
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425° F. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a large pastry bag with a 1/2-inch plain tip; set aside. Beat the eggs and egg white together with a fork in a small liquid measuring cup; you should have 1/2 cup (discard any excess).
2. Bring the water, butter, milk, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the flour until well combined and the mixture forms a dough that clears the sides of the pan, about 45 seconds. Return the saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly using a smearing motion, until the mixture is slightly shiny, looks like wet sand, and tiny beads of fat appear on the bottom of the saucepan, about 3 minutes (the mixture should register 175 to 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).
3. Immediately transfer the mixture to a food processor and process with the feed tube for 10 seconds to cool slightly. With the machine running, gradually add the eggs in a steady stream. When all the eggs have been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the cheese and the cayenne and continue to process for 30 seconds until a smooth, thick, sticky paste forms.
4. Fill the pastry bag with the paste. Pipe onto prepared baking sheet into 2-inch mounds, spaced about 1 inch apart. Use the back of a teaspoon dipped in a bowl of cold water to even out the shape and smooth the surface of the piped mounds.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, then without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 375° and continue to bake until no longer soft and squishy, but fairly firm and golden brown, 8 to 13 minutes longer.
6. Remove form the oven and with a pairing knife cut a 3/4 inch slit into the side of each puff to release the steam. Return the puffs to the oven, turn the oven off, and prop the oven door with the handle of a wooden spoon. Let the pastry dry until the centre is just moist (not wet) and the surface is crisp, about 45 minutes. Serve warm. (The puffs can be cooled completely and stored at room temperature for up to 24 ours, or frozen in a zip-lock bag for up to 1 month. Before serving crisp them in a 300° oven for 5 minutes if room temperature, or 8 minutes if frozen)