These deep-fried pastries can be filled with meat, hearts of palm or shrimp, while these sweet versions are filled with guava paste and oozy cheese. While queijo fresco would be used in Brazil, we’ve substituted mozzarella and cream cheese.






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (8 votes)


  • 250 g (1⅔ cups) plain flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cachaça (see Note) or vodka
  • 125 g cream cheese, softened 
  • 65 g mozzarella, grated 
  • 160 g guava paste (goiabada) (see Note)
  • vegetable oil, to deep-fry
  • pure icing sugar, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time 30 minutes

Combine flour, egg, sugar and cachaça in a bowl with a pinch of salt and 60 ml (¼ cup) iced water. Knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Roll pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to 2 mm thick. Cut into 14 x 9 cm squares. Combine cream cheese and mozzarella in a bowl and slice the guava paste into 14 thin slices. Place a heaped teaspoonful of the cheese mixture and one slice of guava paste along one side of the square, leaving a 5 mm border. Fold over to form a rectangle, pressing edges to seal. Repeat with remaining pastry, cheese mixture and guava paste to form 14 pastries.

Fill a saucepan or deep-fryer ⅓ full with oil and heat to 180°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds). Working in batches, fry pastries for 2 minutes on each side or until golden and crisp. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Dust with icing sugar, to serve.


• Cacahça is a Brazilian fermented sugarcane liquor from select bottle shops.
• Guava paste (goiabada) is available from Portuguese, Asian and Indian food shops.



Photography Brett Stevens. Food preparation Phoebe Wood. Styling Anita Jokovich.


As seen in Feast magazine, July 2014, Issue 33.