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L'Etoile's Gougere

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Contributed by Chef Odessa Piper

This is low-calorie, but exceptionally satisfying!

pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
4 large organic eggs
1 cup  water,
1/8 tsp. salt,
1/4 pound un salted butter,
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup coarsely grated hard Parmesan type cheese *

L'Etoile highly recommends STRAVECCHIO cheese made in Antigo, Wisconsin

Place whole eggs in mixer bowl and run hot tap water over them to warm. Bring water, salt and butter to boil in a small to medium heavy bottomed pot.  Cut flame, add flour all at once, and stir vigorously until dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball (One minute). Drain eggs and wipe bowl dry. Transfer dough to the warm bowl fitted with the paddle attachment and completely mix in one egg at a time. Scrape bottom of bowl, and re-mix thoroughly. (Don't worry about over mixing, but your goal is to work quickly enough to keep the batter warm). Add the cheese and mix until just combined.  Spoon the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 " opening (round or star tip).  Pipe  8 circles 3 inches wide by 1 inch high  on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Leave sufficient room between them for the gougeres to double in size. Pipe any remaining dough into extra  gougeres for testing doneness (and tasting! ). 

Bake gougeres at 375 degrees in a convection or regular oven for about 25 minutes or until evenly golden.   Take the test gougere out of the oven.  If it deflates, keep the rest in for another couple of minutes.  When done, the gougere will still be moist and cheesy inside.

For breakfast, fill with your favorite breakfast meats (corn beef hash, sausage patties or sausage links, for example) and crack an egg into it. Put in a baking dish and cover with tin foil. Bake at 350 degrees and check it at 7 minutes. Remove when eggs are done to your liking.  Serve while still warm.