A great option to dazzle your guests are this Cheese-Stuffed Baked Yuca Balls, a combination of soft, buttery cassava root and melted cheese.
This post is sponsored by Arla®
The idea for this recipe started with a simple question: Can I make baked bollitos de yuca, instead of frying them?
It was a question I got very often, so I decided to see if I could come up with a baked version for the popular Dominican cheese-stuffed yuca balls.
Baked vs fried yuca bollos
As you can probably imagine, it wasn't just a matter of switching to baking our other bollito recipe in the oven. When I tried that the disappointing result was exactly the opposite of what I hoped. They were dry, tasteless, and pale.
The solution was to add more butter.
Sure, this isn't exactly the fat-free concoction my readers hoped for, but it just doesn't work otherwise. The good news is that if you, like me, hate frying, these balls are for you. It's also much less work in the end.
If you're wondering if they can be made in the air fryer, the answer is yes! It's the same procedure as baked in the oven.
About this recipe
The final result of all this experimentation is baked bollos de yuca that, while not quite the same flavor and crispiness as the fried version, are absolutely lovely in their own way, and will be greatly appreciated by our readers looking for non-fried alternatives to our traditional picaderas.
I used Arla Dofino Gouda for these amazing yuca bites. Yuca has a very mild taste, so you want a cheese with a bit of punch to balance things out. Follow Happy Havarti Holidays on Pinterest to get fantastic ideas and recipes.
Baked Yuca Cassava and Cheese Balls Recipe
- 2 lb [0.9 kg] of yuca (cassava)
- 1 ½ teaspoon of salt
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder (optional)
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to grease your hands
- ¼ lb [0.22 kg] (about 1 cup) of diced Arla Dofino Gouda Cheese
Boil yuca: Peel the yuca and cut into 1 ½" [3.8 cm]-thick pieces. Place in a deep pot, pour in 2 qt [2 lt] of water, add the salt and boil over medium heat until it is very tender (10-15 mins).
Mash yuca: Remove the yuca from the water, remove the central nerve (careful not to burn your fingers), and mash until there are no lumps. Mix in egg yolk, butter, parsley and garlic powder. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, it should be firmer then.
Make balls: Cover your hands with oil to prevent the yuca mixture from sticking to them. Place 1.5 teaspoons of the mixture on the palm of your hand and flatten. Put a cheese cube in the center and wrap the yuca mash around it making sure the cheese is not poking through the yuca. Freeze for an hour.
Bake the balls: Heat the oven to the maximum temperature it can reach, if your oven has a broiler function, it's better to use that. Place the balls on a mini-muffin tray, or mini paper cups (see notes). Bake the balls until they turn a light golden color.
Serving: Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.