Submitted - Ben
80g butter, cubed
½-1 tsp fine salt
5 large eggs
150g plain flour, whisked
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
2 tsp mustard powder (optional)
175g gruyere or other hard cheese, grated
MethodLine two baking sheets and, if you’re cooking immediately, heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Put the water, butter and salt in a medium pan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to help melt the butter. Meanwhile, crack four of the eggs into a jug and beat together.
Take the pan off the heat and pour in the flour, stirring until it comes together into a paste. Put back on a low heat, and stir until you have a smooth ball and the dough is starting to form a layer on the base of the pan – this should take two to three minutes.
Take off the heat and use a stand mixer or hand beaters to beat the dough for about five minutes, until cooled.
Beat in the four eggs little by little, making sure each addition is well incorporated before adding the next, then stir in the nutmeg, mustard powder and four-fifths of the cheese.
Dab a little of the mixture on the bottom corners of the baking paper to stick it to the trays, then pipe or spoon walnut-sized blobs on to the paper, spacing them out well.
If baking immediately, whisk together the last egg with a dash of water or milk, then brush on to the buns, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and put them in the oven. (If you’re not cooking them at once, chill the trays overnight or freeze for up to a month, and bake from frozen as below.) Turn down the heat straight away to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 and bake for 20 minutes, then pierce the side of each one with a small knife and put back in the oven for five minutes to let the steam out, before removing and devouring while they’re still warm.