Saturday, November 1, 2008

Down memory lane in the kitchen

Cheese puffs risen and baked to perfection
Cheese puffs are still a firm favourite with my husband

As a young girl while dating my boyfriend, (now my husband) I was allowed to visit him at his parent’s home on a Sunday afternoon. Apart from his younger brother, there were always at least three or four friends visiting at their house at the same time. Being the only female, I would normally be convinced to make something for the guys to snack on. Before I married, I was not a keen or very good cook. This particular day, though,to impress my boyfriend, I thought I’d try my hand at cheese puffs.

Asking permission from my boyfriend’s mother to use her handwritten recipe book and ingredients (and mess her kitchen!), I began to gather all the items I would need to bake cheese puffs. I also set the boys to task: one to sift the flour, another to grate the cheese and so on. I beat the eggs into a bowl, adding milk and flour alternatively. By this time I was feeling very grown-up amongst all these clumsy, but dear sweet boys. I added the baking powder and salt and then rescuing the bowl of grated cheese from under one lad’s elbow, I added this last. This was a big mistake. Even though I managed to drop blobs of batter into the patty pans (which my boyfriend greased and floured beautifully – he was the oldest and most mature, after all!) the consistency did not look as good as I imagined it should. Once in the oven, the puffs tried their best to rise but they were not a success. The texture was heavy and the puffs were stodgy and inedible.

Fortunately my boyfriend’s mum came into the kitchen (chased all the boys out!) and said she’d help me to make a new batch of cheese puffs. As I did that day and down the years after she became my mum-in-law, I watched carefully how she did it. (A while ago I did a post about learning to cook at my mum-in-law’s elbow – you can read about it here) She sifted the flour, salt and baking powder together. She added the grated cheese (oh, I seeee...) and then she added beaten egg and milk until the consistency of the batter was correct. Oh yes, she added half a teaspoon of mustard powder (to bring out the flavour of the cheese, she said) and sprinkled cayenne pepper over the dollops of batter in the patty pans.

Cheese Puffs
2 cups flour
½ cups grated cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs beaten into 1½ cups milk
2 tablespoon melted butter
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
Cayenne pepper for sprinkling
Finely chopped spring onion (green part/leaf only)

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and mustard powder together in a bowl.
Add grated cheese
Blend in beaten egg/milk mixture
Drop spoonfuls into greased patty pans
Sprinkle with cayenne pepper
Bake at 240 ° C for about 10 minutes


  1. What a lovely story & trip down memory lane that was, Jo - thanks for sharing it with us :)

  2. Yes, Lynda, like so many posts, this brought back many fond memories for me. I love blogging! Thanks for visiting. Hugs Jo xxx

  3. Hi Jo,they look delicious, I have made cheese scones and used mustard powder for the same reason but I am finding it almost impossible to get it now.Everything is premixed in jars!
    Best Wishes

  4. Hi Peggy, we still manage to get Hot English Mustard Powder here in South Africa. We also get the same brand pre-mixed in a jar which is just about as good. When I only have this, I use a teaspoon of the mix with the same results. Thanks for popping by. Hugs Jo


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