Easter Baking: Paos from Brazil

Bao (Hanyu Pinyin) or 包 in Chinese means bun. Within them, there exists numerous types of stuffing, both orthodox and unorthodox. All sinful, except for perhaps the vegetarian variety.

My favourite is the savory one typically found in dim sum places – the 流沙包 (liu sha bao) or the Salted Egg Custard Bun.

One generous bite gives a good dose of warm, gooey, golden yellow, salty-sweet custard accompanied by bits of melt-in-the-mouth soft and fluffy white bun; And the butter that it is cooked in unceremoniously dribbling down your chin.

Then there is the Brazilian Cheese Puffs or the Pao de Queijo. Another Bao I really like for its gloriously cheesy taste and chewy texture.

Good food is seldom too healthy – I saw how much oil there was when I made them today. But c’est la vie, food makes life extraordinary!


Recipe (from epicurious.com)

2 cups tapioca flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
A pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2. In the mean time bring the milk, salt, and butter to a boil in a sauce pan while constantly stirring mixture.
3. Once boiling remove the mixture of milk, salt and butter from heat
4. Slowly add tapioca flour, stirring constantly until thoroughly mixed
5. Add the cheese and eggs to mixture
6. Mix until smooth, incorporate air!
7. Fill each muffin cup
8. Bake until golden brown, usually about 20 minutes


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