From Paris Cafés by Sharon O'Connor
At the MiniPalais in Paris, customers are greeted with immense, feather-light cheese puffs. The pastry is easy to make and puffs up perfectly. Smaller gougères are perfect served with a cold beer, a glass of white wine, or Champagne.
Preheat the overt to 400°F. Butter and flour 2 baking sheets or a popover or muffin tin.
In a saucepan, combine the milk, half-and-half, sugar, salt, and butter. Bring to a full boil over medium heat and cook until the butter melts. Add the flour all at once, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 3 minutes.
Return the saucepan to low heat and stir for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is slightly shiny and a skin forms on the bottom of the pan.
Remove from heat and let the flour mixture cool for a few minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and stir constantly until blended, about 1 minute. Stir in the cheese to make a smooth dough.
Spoon the dough into 2-inch mounds onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Use the back of a teaspoon dipped in a bowl of hot water to even out the shapes and smooth the surfaces. Sprinkle the tops with fleur de sel.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake 20-25 minutes longer, switching the baking sheets halfway through, or until puffed and golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Turn off the oven, and cool the gougères in the oven by propping open the door with the handle of a wooden spoon for up to 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Make about 30 small gougeres