Wednesday, November 5, 2014

At Home: Pão de Queijo

When I lived in Los Angeles, I first tasted a popular snack and breakfast food from Brazil called Pão de Queijo.  This Brazilian cheese bread is an addictive mini cheesy bun in ball shape that is always soft but chewy and puffy.  Variations are served in every Brazilian steakhouse as a starter, but now we can easily make them...At Home.

 Pão de Queijo (Makes 24 - Adapted from Rasa Malaysia)
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1½ cups tapioca flour
  • ½ cup grated cheese of your choice
  • ½ teasp salt

- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a mini muffin tin generously.
- Put all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth.
- Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender so that everything gets blended well, it will yield about 2 cups batter.
- Transfer the batter into the mini muffin tins. Fill up about 3/4 full. 
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until all puffy and just lightly browned. 
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for a few minutes. 
- Eat while warm or save to reheat later. 

These were so easy to make - just put all in a blender, blend, and pour.  The batter yielded extra than what the original recipe stated, so I ended up filling up my tins all the way.  This caused the buns to rise too much, creating a weird flat muffin shape as they cooled.  I also think the original temperature was too high, so I amended it above for future use.  Next time, I may try a more round cake ball pan to make these cheese buns, or just pour less batter to see if that will give a more round shape.  Nevertheless, the flavor was on point.  I used a mild Alpine White Cheddar cheese, which was just perfect.  We nibbled on these hot pão de queijo right away as an appetizer with a glass of pinot noir.  Keith easily could have finished them all, but I told him to save room for our main course.  I was already thinking of other flavor combinations to try, but ultimately, you can't go wrong with regular old cheese.  Yum!

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