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Parmesan and Thyme Brazilian-Style Cheese Buns with Balsamic and Maple Macerated Strawberries

Serves 12


    Scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam are a typical afternoon tea treat. Here, we’ve given the idea a savoury-sweet twist and some added protein with this riff on a Brazilian-style cheese bun. The airy centres, like those of a cream puff, are perfect for filling with fresh strawberries macerated in balsamic and maple syrup and finished with a touch of vanilla yogurt. The light, textured buns are made with tapioca starch, so they’re suitable for those looking for gluten- or grain-free options, but everyone will enjoy the thyme and Parmesan flavour that makes a savoury complement to the sweet filling.


    A tiny poke of the bun

    Piercing cheese buns with a pin when they come out of the oven helps them crisp up by letting steam escape. Use a clean meat thermometer or cake tester and pierce the bottom of each bun.


    Parmesan and Thyme Brazilian-Style Cheese Buns with Balsamic and Maple Macerated Strawberries


      Vanilla yogurt
      • 1/2 cup (125 mL) Greek yogurt
      • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
      • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) maple syrup
      Macerated strawberries
      • 1 lb (450 g) fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
      • 2 tsp (10 mL) balsamic vinegar, divided
      • 2 tsp (10 mL) maple syrup, divided
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) fresh thyme leaves
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 Tbsp (15 mL) for greasing tin
      • 1 organic egg
      • 2/3 cup (160 mL) 2% milk
      • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) tapioca flour
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely grated Parmesan cheese
      • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
      • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cayenne powder
      • Pinch of black pepper
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme leaves


      Per serving:

      • calories232
      • protein3 g
      • total fat8 g
        • sat. fat2 g
      • total carbohydrates36 g
        • sugars18 g
        • fibre3 g
      • sodium139 mg



      In small bowl, combine yogurt, vanilla extract, and maple syrup, and set aside in refrigerator until ready to serve.


      Dice strawberries and, in small bowl, combine with 1 tsp (5 mL) balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp (5 mL) maple syrup, thyme, and black pepper. Allow to macerate for 1 to 2 hours, tasting from time to time and adding remaining balsamic and maple syrup only as required, depending on the sweetness of your strawberries.


      Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Into small glass or dish, pour 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and use pastry brush to grease cups of a standard muffin tin.


      In blender, add 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil, egg, milk, tapioca flour, Parmesan, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. Blend on high, scraping down sides as necessary, until all flour is incorporated. Add thyme and pulse gently to incorporate. Pour this runny batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each halfway. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and flip each bun using palette knife prised against the side of each cup. Pierce bottom of bun (see tip) and allow to cool in pan for 2 minutes.


      To serve, set out buns and 2 small bowls: in one bowl place strawberries and in the other the yogurt. Allow guests to choose and fill their own buns.



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