Preheat the oven to 425°F. You will need two racks in the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Bring the milk, water, butter, and salt to a rolling boil in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over high heat. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat, and immediately start stirring rapidly with a heavy whisk. The dough will come together quickly. Keep stirring heartily for another minute or two with the whisk or a wooden spoon until the dough is a bit dryer and very smooth.
Place the dough into the bowl of a mixer and let it sit briefly. Using a paddle attachment add the eggs one by one, beating after each addition and then finally until the dough is thick and shiny. Next, beat in the grated cheese.
Drop the dough by 1 Tablespoon at a time from a spoon onto the lined baking sheets leaving a couple of inches between each. Place the baking sheets in the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 375°F.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, then rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the gougères are golden, firm, and puffed, another 10-15 minutes. Serve warm, or transfer the pans to racks to cool. Best to hide them if not serving immediately!
Optional: serve alongside a simple arugula salad with shaved pears, pomegranate seeds, toasted walnuts and a Champagne vinaigrette.
In Your Glass
A deliciously vivid memory from our travels in France, particularly in Burgundy where they are said to have originated, Gougères are everywhere! Always a welcome amuse-bouche accompanied by a cool, refreshing glass of Champagne where the interplay between its toastiness and the gougères ‘eggy’ richness is a delight! Shafer’s Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay is an equally charming dance partner.