These delicious cheese and chive puffs make a great savoury alternative to afternoon tea sweet treats.
They're also one of our favourite buffet food ideas - ideal for serving up at summer drinks parties and garden gatherings, or as part of a larger spread for a street party celebration. The pastry for these is just the same as for profiteroles, except with the addition of a cheesy tang and a pinch of paprika. Once you've mastered it, it's an easy swap to make them into one of our favourite chocolate-covered pudding instead. This recipe makes 16 puffs, and we'd reckon on guests at a drinks party want 3-4 each (watch out though, they're pretty more-ish.
- 60g (2oz) butter
- 75g (2½oz) plain flour, sifted
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 30g (1oz) grated Cheddar or Parmesan
- Good pinch of cayenne pepper/smoked paprika
- 400g (14oz) cream cheese
- About 3tbsp finely snipped chives
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Put the butter and 150ml (¼ pint) water in a small pan, heat until the butter melts.
- Bring the mixture to the boil, quickly add the flour and beat well, off the heat, to a smooth dough.
- Cool for 5 minutes, add half the beaten egg, beating well, then gradually beat in more egg to get a shiny pastry.
- Add all but about 2 tsp of the cheese, and a pinch of cayenne or paprika.
- Set the oven to gas mark 7 or 220°C. Spoon 16 tbsp of choux pastry (or use a 1cm/½in piping nozzle) on to baking sheets
- Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and more cayenne/paprika.
- Bake for 25 mins, then turn the puffs over on the baking sheet and bake for another 5 mins until crisp.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Soften the cream cheese and mix in the chives. Season well.
- Pipe or spoon the filling mixture into the split buns.
- Serve on the day of making.
Top tip for making these cheese and chive puffs
You can make an alternative filling for these little choux puffs by adding the filling ingredients to a blender with some smoked salmon and mixing together.
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Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.
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