These rich cheese puffs resemble gougères, with tangy Stilton taking the place
1/2 cup ale such as Bass (pour beer slowly into measuring cup; do not measure
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Rounded 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup crumbled Stilton cheese (from a 4-oz piece; rind discarded)
Special equipment: a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/2-inch tip; parchment
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.
Combine beer, butter, and salt in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart heavy saucepan and bring
to a full boil over high heat, stirring until butter is melted. Reduce heat to
moderate and add flour all at once, then cook, stirring vigorously with a wooden
spoon, until mixture pulls away from side of pan, about 30 seconds. Continue to
cook, stirring and flattening batter against bottom of pan, until excess
moisture is evaporated and a film forms on bottom of pan. Remove from heat and
cool 5 minutes.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well
with wooden spoon after each addition. (Batter will appear to separate initially
but will become smooth once beaten.) Add cheese and stir until combined well.
Spoon batter into pastry bag. Line a
large baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper, then secure parchment by
piping a dab of batter under each corner. Pipe approximately 3-inch lengths of
batter 1 inch apart on baking sheet, making about 40 total.
Bake until puffed, golden, and
crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
Cheese puffs are best when freshly baked but can be made 4 hours ahead and
reheated in a 350°F oven 10 minutes.
Makes about 40 hors d'oeuvres.