Gruyere Puffs

These light and savoury puffs are a favourite for children’s tea-parties.

4 SERVINGS

2 egg whites

4 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated

2 oz. fine dry white breadcrumbs sufficient vegetable oil for deep-frying

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with a wire whisk or rotary beater until they are frothy. Add the grated cheese and, with your fingers, work the mixture into a soft paste. Form the paste into small balls by rolling teaspoon-fuls between the palms of your hands.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on to a sheet of greaseproof or waxed paper. Roll each ball in the breadcrumbs so that they are coated on all sides.

Place the crumbed cheese balls on a plate and put them in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours.

Fill a large deep-frying pan one-third full with vegetable oil. Place, the pan over moderate heat and heat the oil until it reaches 350°F on a deep fat thermometer, or until a cube of stale bread dropped into the oil turns golden in 55 seconds.

Carefully drop a few of the balls into the oil and cook them for 2 minutes, or until they are puffed and lightly browned.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the balls to kitchen paper towels to drain. Keep them warm while you fry the remaining balls in the same way.

Serve hot.

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