Chocolate Pan de Yucca

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Pan de Yuca is very popular here in Ecuador. Not only is it quite delicious, it’s easy to make. Also known as chipas in Argentina, pan de queso in Colombia, and pao de queijo in Brazil. I made Pan de Yuca without the chocolate on my first try, and then, of course I had to add chocolate in the next batch! Cassava is plentiful here in Ecuador and living in Ecuador has been my first encounter with it. It makes a great gluten free flour.

Cassava, also called yuca is a woody shrub native to South America. It is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy, tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates. It differs from the similarly spelled yucca, an unrelated fruit-bearing shrub. Cassava, when dried to a starchy, powdery extract is called tapioca; its fermented. Cassava is the third-largest source of food carbohydrates in the world; a major staple food in the developing world. It is one of the most drought-tolerant crops, capable of growing on marginal soils.

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Chocolate Pan de Yuca
Pre-heat the oven to 500 F .

2 ½ cups yuca starch
4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tblsp cocoa
3 packets of stevia
¼ tsp. salt
1 stick of butter = ½ cup, melted and at room temperature
2 large eggs
Optional 1-2 tbs water, if needed
Mix the yuca starch or flour, cocoa, stevia, cheese, baking powder and salt; blend to mix well.

Add the butter and eggs and mix until small dough balls begin to form. If the mix is too dry add 1-2 tbs of water. Roll into small half dollar size balls. Place the dough on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. You can make the dough ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to a day.

Bake for about 7 minutes, then turn on the broiler until the rolls are golden, about 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately.
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