Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Brazilian Cheese Roll (Pao de Queijo)

Pao de Queijo is one of Brazil's most popular breakfast food or snack. They taste best when served warm. These puffs are slightly crispy from the outside but soft, chewy and moist on the inside.

First time I had them was 12 years ago. Andy and I were celebrating our FIRST anniversary at one of Fogo de Chao's chain in Chicago. Well, let's just say .. I am a meat-eater.. a BIG fan that is.. but instead of trying out the 11 different of type of those succulent meats, I was busy stuffing my face with the newly-found, scrumptious, little balls of heaven. 

So my new obsession begun. After doing some research, turned out there are many ways to make them. 

One method includes making a choux in which you boiled the flour and wet ingredients first before baking, and there is another method that called out for cooked potatoes as one of the ingredients. 

Recipe after recipe I've tried but none yielded a perfect result like I want them to be. Instead of chewy, they ended up rubbery. Instead of being puffed, they sank (and so does my heart...). 

Until I found this recipe, the best and easiest. No fuss. Even my 9 y.o daughter, Abby, loooves to do this on her own. (ps: she is an "all-cheese" lover and, just like her mom, kinda obsessed to bake these cheese puffs to a perfection). 

You might want to experiment with different type of cheese. We tried Cheddar, Parmesan, Jack pepper and my fave cheese, Havarti but the authentic recipe called for Brazilian cheese queijo minasHere is the basic recipe. Feel free to add some herbs or flavoring to the mixture.


yield: 24 heavenly rolls

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup grated cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place all ingredients (except cheese) in blender and pulse until smooth. Use a spatula to scrape the side of your blender. Add the cheese and pulse some more. At this stage you may store the batter in the fridge up to a week.

3. Pour batter into a mini muffin tin. Batter will be pretty thin, pour carefully! Fill each hole about 3/4 full.

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed up and barely golden. You want the bottom of your heavenly roll to be a bit pale color. Remove from oven, let it cool for a few minutes. Serve warm.

5. Any leftovers can be reheated in a microwave, though they are not as good as when they're fresh.

Hope you like it! Thanks for reading! :)

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