If there is a dish that speaks to me of home, it would have to be these babies. The recipe, handed down from my Great Aunt Mary, has been in our family for a long time. No celebration, grand or small, would go by without these fabulous mounds of cheesy goodness. My mother, has been making these for as long as I can remember. When she was in hospital, recovering from a mastectomy, to remove a particularly aggressive tumour, It was left to me, to cater for my brother’s final year, art exhibit. I decided that I would make a batch of these. Yes, they were delicious, but they have never quite tasted as good as my mom makes them. Isn’t it funny how certain things just taste better when someone else makes them for you? Growing up, whenever my brother or I were ill, my mother would make us a slice of hot buttered brown toast with a scraping of Marmite, she’d cut the toast into fingers, and somehow, as sick as we may have felt, we always managed to eat it. Now, as I’ve grown older, sometimes, in need of comfort, I will make myself a slice of Marmite toast – and if I feel really sad, I’ll even cut it into fingers – but it still does not taste quite the same as when my mother made it for us, as children. Go figure, maybe the secret ‘ingredient’ – as twee as it may sound, is love.
The recipe below, will make 24 cupcake size cheese puffs, we use fairy cake tins to bake them in. My mother always serves them buttered with a spring onion ‘butter’, and in staying true to the original recipe – she uses margarine. Good ‘ol Rama margarine! But if this offends you completely, do feel free to use butter.
2 cups flour
1 cup milk
about 300g cheddar cheese, grated (The original recipe said to use R5 worth of cheddar cheese! Back in the ol’ days that would have been a whole block’s worth!)
2 tbsp margarine, melted
1/2 tsp salt
2 xl free-range eggs
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Coleman’s Hot English mustard powder
A few shakes of paprika
For the Spring onion butter
25og softened Rama margarine, or butter.
1 bunch of spring onions, chopped
Preheat the oven to 240C. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and milk, then add the dry ingredients. Pour in the melted margarine/butter and add the grated cheese. Mix well. Spoon into greased fairy cake tins and bake at 240C for 10 minutes. Remove from the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack.
For the butter, combine the softened margarine/butter with the chopped spring onions.
Serve the cheese puffs warm with the spring onion butter. These are best eaten the day they are made. Shouldn’t be a problem…