Sharing food is not my strong point. Some would say it is a definite weak point. (To which I say “Keep your hands away from my plate, and we’ll get along just fine. Mmmkay?”) I like to think this is not because I am not generous. To wit: I regularly buy food expressly to feed other people, and no one ever goes home hungry. (Well, with one horrid exception.) I just make v. sure there is plenty to go around so my plate will go unscathed. Except by me.
Those golden little seductresses up there prove me wrong, though.
One batch is twelve little cheese breads, which is too much for any one person to eat in one sitting. So, logically, I should be happy to dole them out to at least five other, lucky people. (To avoid trauma, I wouldn’t advise serving fewer than two per person. Once is never enough with a bread like this.) But I’m not. I am sharing them with my man tonight, but I am frying up a big pan of potatoes as well, hoping he’ll be too full to want more than just the one.
Thing is, pao de queijo is so good I dream about it sometimes. You have a crunchy exterior and a soft interior that manages to be light and delightfully sticky at the same time. Both are infused with a cheese flavor so right that it makes you (me…) want to take bite, after bite. They are best warm, but freeze and re-heat so well that it is unnecessary to bake them fresh every time. Instead, you can take one out of the freezer in the morning, pop it in a warm oven, jump in the shower and by the time you’re clean, a seriously good breakfast awaits. Hence, my difficulty in sharing. Other person eating = fewer breakfast delights for me.
To prove I am generous even in spite of this evidence to the contrary, I will share the how-to with you. And because I cannot claim to be the proprietor of the recipe (Janneke over at nrcnext.nl/koken has that honor), I have even added step-by-step pictures. How’s that for generous?
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Put the following into a large bowl: 350 gr tapioca starch (from an organic food store, or Chinese/Surinamese/tropical store), 1 tsp salt, 150 ml olive oil, 150 ml milk, 3 eggs, 150 gr grated parmesan (can substitute another hard, grated cheese, but drier cheese makes for a crunchier crust so go for a parmesan-style cheese for the full experience).
Mix with electric beaters or stand mixer on high speed for two minutes, until the mixture is a homogenous, thick batter.
Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin pan with olive oil. Evenly spread the batter over the twelve cups and wipe away any spills (using finger or cloth, depending on whether you want to transfer spillage to your mouth; be careful because the batter has raw eggs, but it is seriously good even uncooked)
Pop the muffin pan into the pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until pale golden brown.
And poof, pao de queijo. Cool for about ten minutes and serve, or freeze and re-heat later.