Trinidad cheese puffs are savory, cheesy treats that can be purchased at any local bakery and enjoyed as a quick snack. The puffs themselves are actually choux pastry or pâte à choux and the filling can be made with cheddar cheese and herbs.
The pastry is pretty easy to bring together and is baked at 400°F for about 30 to 40 minutes.
This post contains affiliate links.
Cheese puffs ingredients
For the choux pastry, you will need:
- butter: I used unsalted butter here but feel free to use salted butter as well. I also make this recipe with olive oil (1/4 cup) as a substitute for the butter and the puffs come out great.
- flour: all purpose flour is usually what I use.
For the filling, I used my cheese paste with herbs recipe. This is different from the typical cheese fillings you will find sold in bakeries but I absolutely love it. The ingredients include:
- cheddar cheese: New Zealand cheddar cheese is most commonly used in T&T and is salty and tasty.
- butter: salted or unsalted can work here.
- chives: this adds a wonderful oniony flavor to the cheese filling.
- cilantro or celery: the leaves of the celery complement the chives and add a fresh, herbaceous element.
- pepper: any type of pepper can be used in the filling. Pepper sauce, fresh pepper like pimento or powdered versions like black pepper and paprika are great.
How to make Trinidad puffs
Step 1: Preheat the oven at 400°F.
Cook the dough
Step 2: Place a small pot on medium heat. Add the water and butter. Leave to come to a boil.
Step 3: Whisk the butter and water together and add all of the flour. It should bubble a bit.
Step 4: Stir quickly to incorporate the flour. A soft dough ball should form in the center of the pot. Turn off the heat at this point and continue mixing for a couple minutes to break up any small flour balls in the dough.
Step 5: Leave the dough to cool down for about 15 minutes.
Mix in the eggs
Step 6: Add one egg and mix to incorporate into the dough. Before adding the eggs, make sure your dough is sufficiently cool to the touch; otherwise the heat will cook the eggs and white strands will develop in the dough. That’s not what you want. You can mix the egg in manually or use a stand mixer. The mixer adds much more air to the dough and the puffs will come out larger and fluffier.
Step 7: Repeat the above step for each egg.
Shape the puffs
Step 8: You can use a greased spoon to scoop about two tablespoons of dough onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Or you can add the choux mixture to a piping bag and pipe the mixture into a cone-shape, ending at the top. It’s up to you how fancy you want to be with your puffs (forgive my lack of piping skills).
Step 9: Bake the puffs in the preheated oven at 400°F for 30 to 40 minutes or until there are no longer any moisture beads on the pastry. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before filling.
Add the cheese filling
Step 10: Cut the puffs in half. With traditional cheese filling, you can pipe it straight into the cooled puff. But, with the one I’m using here, you will need to slice into the puff and place a dollop of the filling into that large air pocket.
Step 11: Make the cheese filling. To do this, chop the chives and cilantro leaves. Add to grated cheddar cheese and room temperature butter. Mix together (follow this cheese paste recipe for more details). Usually, I add all the ingredients to my food processor and pulse until all the filling ingredients are combined fully.
Step 12: Add a large spoonful of the cheese filling to each puff. Serve immediately or refrigerate. The puffs will stay well in the fridge for a week. Freeze the rest, if there are any left.
Trini cheese puffs recipe
Trinidad cheese puffs recipe
- Cake mixer (optional)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 100 grams unsalted butter
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups cheddar cheese (grated)
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup chives (chopped)
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves (chopped)
- 1 pimento pepper (chopped)
- Place a small pot on medium heat.
- Add boiling water and butter.
- Bring to a boil.
- Stir thoroughly.
- Add in flour all at once.
- Mix to fully incorporate the flour, breaking any small flour pockets.
- Remove the formed flour ball from heat.
- Set aside for at least 15 minutes to cool down.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Add one egg to the cooled flour ball.
- Mix until there is no sign of the egg yolk or egg white.
- Repeat for each additional egg.
- Scoop or pipe the choux pastry onto a buttered or parchment-lined tray.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 400°F or until there is no more moisture on the puffs.
- Remove and set aside to cool.
- Slice the lower end of the puff to add filling.
- Allow the butter to soften and come to room temperature.
- Mix the chopped chives, cilantro and pepper with the softened butter.
- Add in the cheese and incorporate.
- Fill the puffs.