Spring out of bed in the morning to make these light, gluten free cheese waffles for breakfast. Perfect with rosemary and honey, made with either tapioca or rice flour. Inspired by Brazilian Cheese Puffs (Pão de Queijo).
Morning Motivation Needs Cheese Waffles from Brazil
The Olympics may be over in Brazil but the spirit continues at home as we are bracing our own starting line on Monday; the return to French school, or la Rentrée.
Motivating teenage medal-potential sleepers to spring out of bed is as easy as trying to place a smaller fitted sheet on a larger mattress; it just can’t happen in the holidays. It will be an uphill struggle in the first few days of routine – unless there’s something that rekindles a particular holiday moment with a fragrance that will drive them to jump over hurdles of inside-out clothes and head to the kitchen in a matter of seconds as soon as that buzzer sounds.
My answer? Our favourite summer holiday breakfast we discovered in Brazil, when we tasted the most delicious cheese waffles at our Pasada in Paraty, a couple of hours drive from the City of Rio de Janiero. They were such a hit each morning that I promised the family to try make them back home. Lo and behold – now I wonder why I didn’t make them sooner, as they are so easy!
The hotel (Pasada Literaria) explained the recipe was a secret but whispered it was based on the Brazilian classic cheese puff balls, Pão de Queijo. So I looked up recipes for them, including from my friend, Denise Browning of From Brazil to You.
Ratio of Tapioca Flour to Rice Flour
Except I had a problem: the main classic ingredient for cheese puffs is tapioca flour but could I find it? I tried health food shops around Paris – even in Corsica this summer – and everyone met me with the same bewildered look until one assistant at La Vie Claire suggested I use rice flour.
So I played with the recipe until it tasted just as we remembered it. Normally the ratio of tapioca flour to rice flour is 2:1 but I found on experimenting with this recipe that a bit more than half of rice flour was a better consistency.
I have given different quantities for both tapioca or rice flour in the recipe below, depending on what you can find.
Developing the Cheese Waffle Recipe with Rice Flour
Recipes suggest using parmesan cheese but as we had an orange cheese at the hotel, I used an aged mimoulette cheese, which is like parmesan in that it’s strong and lower in fat.
This is exactly how the hotel served them: with a sprig of rosemary and an individual pot of runny honey. I loved the rosemary so much with it that I was stuffing it into the grooves! So to make it just as tasty and quicker, I added some chopped up rosemary to the dough. You’ll see how good it is. Add that runny honey and you’re all ready and set to go!
Moreover, if you don’t have a waffle iron – make them as pancakes.
Gluten Free Cheese Waffles
- 300 g (11oz) Tapioca flour or 175g/6oz) for Rice flour
- 1 tsp Salt (fleur de sel)
- 150 g (5.5oz) Hard aged cheese such as parmesan (I used aged Mimolette)
- 4 Organic eggs
- 80 g (3oz) Unsalted butter melted
- 250 ml (9fl oz) Full fat milk
- 1 sprig rosemary finely chopped (and/or for decor)
- Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl then gradually add the eggs, melted butter and milk. If by hand mix with a hand whisk until you have a lovely smooth batter. Otherwise mix together all the ingredients in a food processor.
- Ladle the batter into a hot waffle iron and follow manufacturer's instructions. I found that cooking for 5 minutes was just perfect but you may need to cook them for a minute less.
- Continue ladling the batter in batches until you have finished.
Also delicious topped with a poached or fried egg.
Don’t have a waffle iron? Then serve them as pancakes! Jill Colonna MadAboutMacarons.com