A recent article on Serious Eats featuring Brazilian cheese puffs had me craving these chewy treats again.

I’ve made them before, but I previously only knew them as Korean tapioca bread (also sometimes called mochi bread in Japanese bakeries).

These breads are made with tapioca flour, giving them a super chewy texture (this is the same flour used to make the chewy tapioca balls or boba served at Tapioca Tea places. However, texture-wise, these chewy breads taste a bit like mochi and they are often called mochi as a result even though mochi is made with a glutinous rice flour). You can do all sorts of different flavors but the only ones I’ve had so far are black sesame (which is usually the most common one for the Korean tapioca breads), and cheese (which is the most common one for the Brazilian breads).

I have yet to find a recipe that makes them look like actual balls, which is how I’m used to seeing them at bakeries. The recipe I previously found required baking them in a mini muffin pan. Since the batter is completely liquid, there really isn’t an option for making round balls. The recipe provided by Serious Eats was very similar to the one I previously used, and also required the mini muffin pan.

I decided to stick to my previous recipe and I whipped some up this weekend for a get together I was having. These little breads are a cinch to make. You pour a few  ingredients into a blender (or food processor in my case) and then mix it all up. Then you spoon the batter into your muffin pan and 20 minutes later you have some light, airy, chewy, puffy breads.

Recipe: Brazilian cheese bread puffs

(recipe found on Lily’s Wai Sek Hong)

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F and grease a mini-muffin tin. Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. (Your batter will be liquid) Pour batter into greased mini muffin tin about 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the breads puff up and are a light brown color.
  2. Serve the breads after they have finished cooling. The breads don’t store well (they harden and lose their chewy texture) so please eat within 24-48 hours. Any uneaten breads should be stored in an airtight container.

 

 

   

32 Responses to “Brazilian cheese puffs”

  1. Jess Wakasugi — April 5, 2011 at 5:49 am

    Bookmarked! Have you ever been to Fogo de Chao? It’s a Brazilian Steakhouse and they serve baskets of these little cheesy rolls and I am OBSESSED with them! I go to that restaurant just for those. I’ve been searching for a recipe somewhat similar to them and this looks like it might be it!

    • Kirbie replied: — April 5th, 2011 @ 9:18 am

      No I haven’t been there. I do love Brazilian Steakhouses though. Hopefully this is the recipe you are looking for!

  2. SewLindaAnn — April 5, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Just printed this off, cannot wait to try them. I love your site, thanks for all the amazing information and inspiration!

    • Kirbie replied: — April 5th, 2011 @ 10:52 am

      Hope you like them!

  3. Rosa — April 5, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I don’t know if you read my Bad Movie night post when we had it sponsored by Foodbuzz but Kristen and I tried to make these and we tried two different recipes. The first one came out tasting good but didn’t puff up at all. The 2nd recipe looked right but came out bland! We used grated queso fresco though. Maybe I’ll try your recipe and see how it works out… We ended up using a box mix we got from the Portuguese market.

    • Kirbie replied: — April 5th, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

      Oh I did read your post, but I didn’t realize you were trying to make these! I remember being curious what kind of cheese puffs you were trying to make and why they didn’t turn out. I’ve had no problems with this recipe.

  4. Faye — April 5, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    These remind me of the cheesy biscuits you posted awhile back. If I don’t have blender or food processor, can a whisk or hand mixer work just as well? Did you get the tapioca flour as 99 Ranch (is there a certain brand name?)

    Can’t wait to try these out – looks amazing…i love these things at Rei Do Gado and loved them!

    • Kirbie replied: — April 5th, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

      I think you can whisk them by hand too. I was actually thinking of doing that but my cheese was shredded instead of grated and I wanted them to be smaller, so I thought it would be better if I threw it into the food processor. Yes I got the tapioca flour at Ranch. I just got the cheapest one available, I don’t even remember if there was more than one brand.

  5. Taz — April 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    these sound great – I’m keen to try them. Do you think they use a special pan at the bakeries or just a different recipe?

    • Kirbie replied: — April 5th, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

      I’m not sure, but my guess is that it is a different recipe. The reason why I think it’s a different recipe is because for the korean version, there is a mix you can buy, and I’ve bought it before. The mix is much more solid and you can shape them into balls and bake them as balls. I’ve never been able to find the korean recipe. I’ve looked for it for a long time and the only recipe I came across was this one for the Brazilian ones.

  6. Ruskaya — April 5, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Hi! I’m brazilian and can say these cheese puffs are really yummi! But our recipe is different. We use “minas cheese” and “canastra cheese” instead of cheddar and I can say: makes all different! Try replace cheddar for 1/2 cup of parmesan or gruyère cheese. It’s delicious!!!!

    • Kirbie replied: — April 6th, 2011 @ 12:13 am

      Does the recipe you use have a liquid batter or is it more dough-like so that you can make round balls? I love parmesan and gruyere cheese, I’ll definitely try that next time.

  7. JehanP — April 6, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I love, love these!!! They are so yummy, you can’t eat just one! I love how round and beautiful yours are.

  8. blogbytina! — April 6, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    ooooh. I want to make these. I will call them tina’s cheesy poofs

  9. Ellen — April 7, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Hello! I am Brazilian also and I would like to share the recipe I use:
    Boil 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of oil together. In a bowl, mix 3 cups of tapioca flour*, 1 tsp of salt and a cup of cheese**. Pour the liquids over the other ingredients and mix it all. If you want to make them into balls you might need to add a bit more of tapioca flour. I usually just scoop spoonfuls of the dough into the pan and they get an irregular shape with some spikes that turn golden brown when baked and I like that. Bake at 400º for 20 minutes or so until they get a hard golden shell but are still chewy on the inside. You don’t have to wait for them to cool, you can eat them while they are still warm.
    *Here in Brazil we have two types of tapioca flour, the sour one and the sweet one. In my recipe I use 2 cups of sour tapioca flour and 1 cup of sweet tapioca flour, though we can also use only one or the other, and I don’t know which type you have there in the US but it shouldn’t make a big difference, I am just letting you know about that.
    **Also, I use any kind of cheese for this recipe and it always works, you can also mix cheeses. I usually use the cheese that has been forgotten in the fridge and instead of throwing it away, I turn it into beautiful and delicious cheese breads.
    Send me an email if you try this out ir if you have any doubts or questions ;)

    • Kirbie replied: — April 7th, 2011 @ 7:55 am

      Hi Ellen! Thanks for providing the recipe! I’m excited to try it out!

  10. Ellen — April 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Hey! I forgot to mention one important thing: add one egg to the flour and cheese mixture before you mix in the liquids.

    • Kirbie replied: — April 7th, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

      Oh thanks for the correction! So there is no baking powder required or some other leavening agent?

  11. Ellen — April 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    In this case the tapioca flour acts as a leavening agent and you don’t have to use anything else. Just make sure they have a crispy shell when you take them out of the oven so it will hold their form without shriveling.

    • Kirbie replied: — April 8th, 2011 @ 8:22 am

      Thanks for all the tips. I need to go buy some more tapioca flour so I can make this again.

  12. Memoria — April 10, 2011 at 10:47 am

    These cheese puffs are actually called PÃO DE QUEIJO, which literally means “bread of cheese”. They look yummy!

    • Kirbie replied: — April 10th, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

      Thanks for the info!

  13. Arudhi@Aboxofkitchen — April 11, 2011 at 4:58 am

    Wow, I want the cheese puffs! They look so adorable and yummy! Thanks for the recipe :))

  14. Barry — May 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Great recipe, worked out really well (I used a Fontina, Parmesan, Asagio blend) ! Needless to say, I could have polished them all off in one go but was able to exercise some self-restraint. They freeze well and, if you use a toaster oven to gently re-heat, tastes just as good later on.

    • Kirbie replied: — May 6th, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

      Hmm, never tried freezing them. Next time I’ll do that.

  15. Cat — May 17, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    This recipe looks wonderful! I’ve been dying to try it out ever since I found it a few weeks ago :)

    Unfortunately, when I finally go to make them, I find I’m out of tapioca flour! Do you know if ‘glutinous rice flour’ can serve as a substitute? I imagine it would still manage to create a chewy texture give the glutinous quality.. but I’m not sure.

    • Kirbie replied: — May 17th, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

      I don’t think glutinous rice flour will work the same way. I know glutinous flour creates a chewy texture, but it’s not really the same. There may be a way to use glutinous rice flour, but I think it would require changing a lot of other steps. I haven’t actually tried, but this is just my thoughts based on working with glutinous rice and with tapioca flour.

  16. Jackie Adams — November 6, 2011 at 7:24 am

    i love cheese puf, and all brazilian food, is the best.

  17. Hang — February 15, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Hi, i have looked for the chewy puff for years. Glad i found your post. But wonder can i not add cheese in the batter? As i ll fill the puff by custard. And eat just like choux pastry. :-)
    Looking forward your reply! :)

    • Kirbie replied: — February 15th, 2012 @ 11:14 am

      Hmm, Well yes you can not add cheese to it. I don’t know if you call fill these. They aren’t like choux pasty in texture and I think it would be very hard to fill them. You might want to stick to a choux pastry recipe if you want to fill with custard. Good luck!

  18. Isaac Kojima — August 1, 2013 at 10:08 am

    In Brazil, we have two kind of tapioca or cassava starch. One is called sweet tapioca (polvilho doce) and it’s the usual tapioca stard. The another one is fermented and it’s called sour tapioca (polvilho azedo). The first one make a very puffy “pão de queijo” and the second, a chewy one.
    Recipes vary from region or family, as well the sour and sweet tapioca proportion. Mine is 50/50.
    So that’s my recipe.
    In a bow, mix 250 grams of sour tapioca and 250g of sweet tapioca with 100 ml of warm water. Mix everthing until you have a humid flour. Set aside.
    Boil 100ml of milk and 100ml of vegetable oil (back in the where there wasn’t vegetable oil industry, people in Brazil used to use porl lard) and scald the humid flour with this mix (if you like, you can add some fennel seeds). Ad 2 eggs, one by one, mixing up everthing. To finish, ad 350 grams cured grated cheese (like parmesan or gruyere). Mix everthing until you have a thick dough.
    In the begining, it will a little liquid, but hard enough to mold in small balls.
    If you put in the fridge, after 6 hours the flour will absorb the liquids and it will be easier to shape.
    Bake at 240°C, until slightly brown or dark yellow.

    • Kirbie replied: — August 1st, 2013 @ 11:37 am

      Thanks for sharing! I will have to try this out

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