Thursday, March 17, 2011
Brazilian Cheese Puffs (Pão de Queijo)
If you have ever been to Brazil you know that there is nothing better than a cup of coffee and a pão de queijo in the afternoon.
The other day I was reading the latest Saveur and saw an article on Cassava (we call it Yuca in my house), a root that I really enjoy and use at home. I think it is worth a read and you can find it here. I was a bit disconcerted by the corresponding recipe for the famous Brazilian cheese puffs, pão de queijo. I’ve seen many recipes for pão de queijo and I myself make at home a non-conventional recipe without eggs, as you know one of my twins has egg allergies. However I had never seen a recipe asking for yeast and flour. But, I decided to keep an open mind and give it a try. It was a disaster. The dough was not thick enough to roll and the end result was cheesy cookies as my children called them.
So I went to the kitchen and quickly made a batch of my egg-free pão de queijo that my children devoured in a few minutes. This, although not a traditional recipe with eggs, is much closer to what you would find in Brazil both in look and taste.
Egg-Free Brazilian Cheese Puffs (Pão de Queijo)
2 cups Tapioca starch
¼ cup cold water
½ cup milk
8 Tbsp butter (1 stick), salted or unsalted just make sure to adjust salt accordingly
Salt to taste (I use about ½ tsp)
½ cup grated parmesan
Preheat oven to 400oF
Put tapioca starch in a large bowl. Pour cold water over it and mix it well.
Boil milk with butter in a saucepan. Mix in the salt. Then pour over tapioca starch.
Mix well with a wooden spoon until it becomes a homogeneous dough.
Add cheese and mix thoroughly.
When the dough has cooled off, oil your hands and roll the puffs the size of a walnut.
Place puffs onto an ungreased baking sheet although I like to use either a baking mat or parchment paper.
Bake until they puff and the bottom starts to become golden, approximately 18 minutes.