One of the more interesting quirks of the human brain (or at least MY human brain) is that once it starts down a path with the wrong set of assumptions it doesn’t return easily to the right track, even if that track is relatively easy to get onto. So it was with me and pão de queijo. Squaring the right technique (since there are at least three possibles) with the right cassava product (since there are at least three of those as well) took me the better part of a week. Thankfully with a little help from some of my readers I finally arrived at the right recipe, cassava flour and technique. Whew! You’ll need:
4 ounces (1/2 cup) water
4 ounces (1/2 cup) milk
2 ounces (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
8 ounces (2 cups) tapioca starch
2-3 ounces finely grated cheese (parmesan is common Mexican Cotija is best)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the liquids and salt in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, put the tapioca starch in a medium bowl. In another bowl grate the cheese and whisk it together with the eggs. When the milk mixture is boiling, pour it over the starch and beat it vigorously with a wooden spoon until you have a gelatinous paste. Let it cool completely. When cool, transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer along with the cheese/egg mixture (you can do this by hand, but the mixer is easier and more thorough) and beat on medium-high for about 90 seconds until the mixture is uniform and fluffy. Spoon roughly 2-tablespoon-sized quantities onto a sheet pan and bake 30-40 minutes until golden. Eat warm!