Cabana’s Best of Brasil – Pão De Queijo Recipe
To celebrate the launch of our Carnival! Cookbook, we’re letting you in on the recipes for some of our Cabana classics. Crispy puffs of dough with a mild, cheesy flavour, pão de queijo are eaten for breakfast or as a snack all over Brasil. The secret to this addictive treat is the use of cassava flour (povilho azedo), which gives the balls an irresistibly moist, chewy texture. The best ones we’ve ever tasted were from a tiny hole-in-the-wall bakery in São Paulo, and we like to think this recipe comes pretty close.
Makes about 30
125ml whole milk
75ml vegetable oil
1 tsp sea salt
250g cassava or tapioca flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
250g Parmesan cheese, grated
Put 125ml water, the milk, vegetable oil and salt in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as it rises up the sides of the pan, remove it from the heat. Quickly tip in the flour and stir vigorously to combine. Keep stirring until the mixture comes together as a wet dough. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and leave to cool slightly.
Once slightly cooled, add the eggs and start mixing at a low speed. After 1–2 minutes, increase the speed to high and beat vigorously until all the egg has been incorporated and the dough is smooth. Add the Parmesan and keep beating until the cheese is evenly mixed in.
With damp or lightly oiled hands, roll tablespoons of the dough into small balls, about 30g each. You may need to wash your hands occasionally, as the dough is quite sticky. (If you have one, use a small ice-cream scoop to make this easier. Dip the scoop briefly in water, then flick away any excess water before scooping each ball). Arrange the balls 2.5cm apart from each other on a baking sheet lined with silicone liner or baking parchment. If preparing ahead, put the tray in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until puffed up and evenly golden brown. They should have a crisp exterior and a doughy, chewy centre. Serve immediately while warm.
Find this recipe and many more in our NEW Carnival! Cookbook, grab your copy HERE.