Friday, September 19, 2014

My recipe for Pão de Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread or 'cheese balls')

I am SO sorry, if anyone tried this recipe I posted years ago, I only just realized that I had made a very big mistake as to the quantity for the flour, which means the recipe would've been a disaster.   I can't believe I have been referring friends and readers to this blog for the recipe and had not realized that until now. I am so so sorry! I have read and re-read this, and since I now know this by heart (I can make these with my eyes closed now), this is now correct. 

Pão de Queijo are one of my favourite things to eat. Ever. These Brazilian little gummy cheese 'balls' are so delicious, they are literally always a hit.

I made these again today, as friends and family were invited to join pre-preschoolers at my daughter's Montesori centre for a picnic lunch.  Lil' Brigs #1 was SO excited and looking forward to it, her excitement was uber contagious.  The weather cooperated, and it was absolutely lovely.

Pão de Queijo (GF)


1 kg tapioca flour (I buy this at Asian grocery stores - it says 'tapioca starch' on the packet, ideally I'd use sour cassava flour if I could find it, which I can't here in Australia)
600 mls of milk
200 ml melted butter
1 tsp of yeast (optional)
1 tsp salt
500g grated parmesan or pecorino cheese (or a mixture of both)
4 eggs

1. Place the tapioca starch in a large bowl.
2. Add 300ml of cold milk to the 'flour/starch', crumb it with your fingers.
3. In a saucepan, heat the 300ml of milk and the butter/oil until it reaches almost boiling point, then turn off the heat. 
4. Add the hot milk/butter mixture to the flour in the bowl, then add the salt and yeast.
5. Mix with a wooden spoon until it cools.
6. Add the eggs one by one, stirring in between.
7. Lastly, add the grated cheese and knead the dough until smooth and homogenous.
8. Roll into little balls.
9. Place on a greased (or lined) baking tray allowing a little room for it to 'grow'.
10. Place in a preheated oven at 180ºC or 360ºF (fan-forced) until golden (usually 20-25 mins)

The texture should be crispy/crunchy on the outside, gummy/gooey on the inside....
You can also freeze the balls and store in the freezer so you can bake as required after thawing them at room temperature for 15 mins (that is what I do, as these are best eaten freshly baked). 
If you make them, please do leave a comment below ;) 
Or if you already make Pão de Queijo, please feel free to share your recipe!  

 OOTD:  Top and tote: Everlane (Fall's Seed stitch raglan in merino and Petra Market tote), Shoes: Chanel espadriles, Jeans: Frame Denim (available at Shopbop and Net-a-Porter), Watch: Larsson Jennings (available here at Net-a-Porter), Ring: Balenciaga  (updated version available from Matches Fashion and Barneys), Picnic rug: Christmas present from my lovely sister.
Happy Friday everyone!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My trick for breaking in shoes in fast-forward' and painless mode...

It's all about comfort these days, grey marl (or marle) sweatshirt and cashmere...uber comfy!

Remember my recent post when I purchased my Dieppa Restrepo Cali oxfords?  I had heard how notoriously hard/painful they were to break in, but that once they did, they'd be more than worthwhile.  Since it is all about comfort for me nowadays, I can't remember the last time I've had to break in a pair of shoes.  So as soon as it arrived I used a trick I learned several years ago, to fast-forward the process.  So instead of months (yes, I heard some people saying it took them months! Yikes!), it took me less than a couple of hours.  It is nothing new, but I don't think all employ it: it is the hairdryer 'trick':

Simply take your hairdryer, and blow the sections that would rub or are snug from within the shoe (others blow from 20 cms or so away from the outside, but I do from within), for about 2 mins or so, my feet are wide, so I am for where my feet are widest.  Then quickly slip your feet while the shoes are warm with some socks on.  Many use thick socks for initial discomfort that pays off, but I merely used sockettes.  Presto! I wore them around the house for a little while, and very quickly they went from a little-too-snug and stiff to very very comfy, like I've had them for years!

Easy peasy!

I had already bought these half a size smaller than my usual size, on the recommendation of Need Supply Co. (where I bought my shoes from), even though I had heard mixed opinions as to whether they ran big or not (some said not).  I do find these fairly narrow but long (my feet are very wide).  Whenever I first put these on now, they feel narrow for one minute before relaxing into uber comfy shoes.  Needless to say, I have been wearing them almost every day since their arrival!

I'm now eyeing what other colours I should get it in next, haha, black patent?

PS. Remember my post on 'How to wear Oxford shoes' a few years ago? Never say never...

 Watch: Daniel Wellington (available at East Dane (i.e. Shopbop's counterpart), Need Supply Co. and at Selfridges), Madewell 1937 sweatshirt (sold out, I'm afraid), Alexander Wang swing tank cashmere dress (from years ago), Celine knot bracelet, Balenciaga bow ring (available at Matches Fashion), and Sarah & Sebastian line ring next to my wedding/e-ring.
 Glasses from Jimmy Fairly (remember this post?) Dieppa Restrepo Cali Oxfords in Antilop (available from Need Supply Co. and The Dreslyn) and Issue 2 of Peut-être Magazine (Issue 9 is at the printers! We're so excited! Watch this space!)
Dieppa Restrepo Cali Oxfords in Antilop (available from Need Supply Co. and The Dreslyn)

photos via iPhone/Instagram

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Peanuts' Snoopy and Belle dressed in designers threads (by designer I mean: Dries Van Noten, Rodarte, J. Mendel, Opening Ceremony and Calvin Klein)

For Peanuts' 65th anniversary, the 2014 iteration of “Snoopy and Belle in Fashion,” which features vinyl beagle dolls wearing the designer looks, launched Sept. 8 at the New Museum during New York Fashion Week.  From there, the exhibition will travel to the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Moscow and Milan (sadly it won't come Down Under). 

Dries Van Noten crafted some made-to-measure outfits from his Spring/Summer 2014 collection, lucky Snoopy & Belle! 

Were you a Peanuts' fan growing up? I sure was!

Happy Friday everyone!

pic via DVN's blog

 Dries wasn't the only designer to dress the brother & sister duo:

 Betsey Johnson
J. Mendel

Pics via

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Black & gold

A few essentials in black and gold:

Lumira travel candle, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse body/hair oil (available at Sephora), Little Black book and Black croc-effect leather wallet from Nomadic, and Daniel Wellington black Classic Sheffield Men's available East Dane (i.e. Shopbop's counterpart), Need Supply Co. and at Selfridges.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Healthy chocolate mousse? Dairy-free, refined sugar free, guilt-free, but so so yummy!

I grew up eating avocados, I think we ate it almost everyday growing up in Brazil.  Even back then in the 80's my mom had heard it was a 'superfood', and she wanted us girls to benefit from all its nutrients.  I must admit I didn't quite like eating it, so we had it with condensed milk,  then blitzed as an avocado smoothie, and when after we got tired of having avocado smoothies, my mom froze them into popsicles.  Fast-forward a few avocado-less years, and I rediscovered it a few years ago.  I had never seen it used as a spread, and when I tried it in a wrap filled with salads and turkey breast, I fell in love.  I love it in salads, but when I heard of it being used in chocolate mousse, I was intrigued yet hesitant, I thought it'd be too clawy, heavy or that it'd taste like avocado instead of chocolate mousse.  I looooooooove chocolate mousse, but have made it maybe once, and as it's not the healthiest of desserts, I don't eat it often.  Now that's about to change.  I finally decided to try my hand at this vegan-friendly (not that I'm vegan, but I love vegan foods too), refined-sugar free (yes!) and nutrient-filled chocolate mousse:

 pic from The Healthy Chef

I adapted (only very slightly) this recipe from Teresa Cutter (aka The Healthy Chef) (I have made several recipes of hers and bookmarked countless more).

Healthy Chocolate Mousse


1/4 cup dark Agave syrup (or honey, or coconut nectar, 4 fresh pitted dates, brown rice syrup or organic maple syrup)
2 ripe avocados (I had the flesh of two avocados in the freezer and only half-thawed them as I wanted my mousse to be an ice cream)
1 tsp vanilla extract (or paste or pods from 1 fresh vanilla bean)
1/2  cup raw cacao powder (you can also use cocoa)
70ml of coconut milk/cream (mine was in the freezer and I partially thawed it, as I wanted it firm and semi-frozen)
Pinch of sea salt and cinnamon


Blitz everything in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
Spoon into a bowl and allow to set in the fridge. (I didn't have to do that because my main ingredients were still half-frozen).

I love mine with raspberries, the acidity cuts through the sweetness, marrying the cacao beautifully!
Teresa's suggestions:
A splash of water or coconut water will make the mousse lighter.
Adding 2 tablespoons melted cacao butter or cold pressed coconut oil will firm up the mousse.

She says the mousse will make a great topping for cakes and cupcakes.