On Radio Live yesterday morning, Tony Murrell and I were having a free range conversation about flowers, foliage, seed heads and ongoing harvesting in what is now early winter when Tony asked me for this recipe for cheese puffs. I had whipped up a batch for an impromptu lunch when he called in on Thursday.
The Brazilian Cheese Puffs
Preheat the oven to 160 or 170,
Put into the bowl of the food processor:
generous 2 cups of tapioca flour
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup milk
pinch of salt
generous amount of cheese (any cheese or mixture of cheeses) – one cup grated or half a cup packed.
Whizz it up. Pour the batter into muffin pans (makes 12) and bake until they have puffed up and sound hollow. The finished result should be crisp on the outside with a slightly chewy, almost hollow centre.
I adapted the recipe from one on the internet but I did not record the source so I can’t credit it.
Nor can I vouch for its authenticity in terms of being Brazilian but they are delicious.
I suspect the critical ingredient is the tapioca flour which neither of my usual supermarkets stock but I find it either at the delicatessen or Asian supermarkets. As far as I know, tapioca flour is gluten free, being cassava-based. In texture and consistency resembles finely milled rice flour or what we know as cornflour.
If you have never worked out the differences between tapioca, sago and semolina and their close relatives of couscous and corn grits, I once unravelled the various base ingredients here.