Tapioca-choux dumplings with turnips and cheddar

Turnip & cheddar choux dumplings

As I was making these, I thought to myself, “I really can’t imagine anyone else in the world cooking these.” Not that they were hard to make, or that they didn’t taste good (they did!). It was just such a strange and winding path that led me to them. First of all, I bought some tapioca flour at the Super Tropical Food Mart. This reminded me of an intriguing recipe I’d seen in the New York Times for Brazilian cheese puffs. And my tapioca flour is called “Yuca flour.” For some reason this made me think of Japanese Takoyaki. I thought maybe they add yucca root to that. Which is an entirely different thing, of course, but the connection had been made! I like watching how-to videos about takoyaki on youTube. (In fact I like watching any short cooking videos with non-English narration. I really do.) Anyway – takoyaki always seemed like a messy-fun thing to make and eat (and say!), and I had dreamed of trying a version of my own, with a muffin tin instead of a real takoyaki pan. And I’ve always wanted to try making something with a choux batter … but with something tasty stuffed inside!! Why roasted turnips, sharp cheddar and thyme? Why? Why not, I say! I wasn’t sure what to expect when I pulled these out of the oven, but I liked them a lot. They were soft and dense and cheesy on the inside, and nicely crispy on the outside. We ate them with leftover vegetarian haggis, cause everyone knows you’re supposed to eat turnips with haggis!

I should mention that if you don’t have tapioca flour on hand, these will work fine with regular flour – just use 1 1/2 cups. And if you’re not a turnip fan, you could substitute roasted parsnips or butternut squash, or just use cheese – any cheese you like!

Here’s Duke Ellington with Tapioca
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