Pão de Queijo For the Gluten Free Valentine

Pão de Queijo

This is what sexy looks like right now. Pão-de-queijo or Brazilian cheese breads…puffs…balls. Crispy in the outside, cheesy and airy in the inside these delicious puffs are love at first bite.

Warning: Maybe be highly addicting but at least they are gluten free.

Happy Valentines Day!

BRAZILIAN CHEESE BREADS – Gluten Free

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cup tapioca flour (sometimes labeled tapioca starch. I used Bob’s Red Mill.)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (preferably medium or sharp. you can play around with the cheese. Monterey Jack, low-moisture mozzarella, Swiss, smoked Gouda and even gruyere in place of the cheddar. All great!)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place egg, milk, oil, tapioca flour, and salt in blender (yes, a blender!) and blend until smooth. Add Parmesan cheese and pulse. Add cheddar and mix a bit by hand. Immediately pour batter into a mini muffin tin (if your muffin tin isn’t non-stick, spray lightly with non-stick spray first), filling each well about ¾ full, or just slightly less.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before removing puffs from pan. Serve warm. These actually don’t re-heat well so I recommend making and eating fresh (not that there’s ever any puffs left anyway!). Muito Bom!

French Macarons: My scariest baking nightmare

It seems like every other food blog out there has a picture or entry about these colorful pastry delicacies. Sure, French Macarons are a food photographer’s indulgence. Even a polaroid photo of these pretty little things will make your mouth water.

I love cooking but I’m baking-challenged. Cooking is a flexible improvisational exercise. Baking is a precise no-room-for-error business. But life is full of challenges, right? So I attended a “How To Make French Macarons” hands-on class at The Grove’s Sur La Table yesterday.

And the French Macaron marathon started. I’m still exhausted from the almost 3 hours that it took to make 30 chocolate Macarons…and all prep work was done for us…and I had a partner.

My quick take on it is that I don’t feel right about aging egg whites for 3 days in my counter or expending a mini-fortune buying essential items to make these little baking nightmares.

Although the class was fun and it’s always a blast to meet new people especially in the kitchen,  I was relieved to come home and share the experience with my family. The kids enjoyed the colorful treats and enthusiastically asked: “Can you make more for us tomorrow?”

“No”, I said. “But we can certainly buy them.”