Cheese Manakish

Middle Eastern flat bread topped with beautiful Kashkaval cheese and/or mozzarella, browned to perfection. 

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I am very friendly and I’ve made friends recently. Well, they’re long time friends, but I didn’t know that they’ve been there the whole time… and when I say ‘there‘, I mean in my brain.

So you know that movie Inside Out? I have some sort of friends inside my brain but they look like more of a food – uh… like pasta, rice, bread, cheese. Yes, I know, because I’ve met them.

So few weeks ago, I’ve been in a pizza kick lately… like I’ve been making pizza for the 2 consecutive weekends and eat 6 slices of them in one sitting. Please, don’t look at me like that! I am still your friend, right? Anyway, let’s not discuss what happened inside my brain during the food war because it was very chaotic. To make the story short, Manakish won on the third weekend.

I’ve been meaning to make Manakish since forever, but I cannot figure out the right cheese the bakery usually uses as a topping whenever I get one. One day, I got a Kashkaval cheese from an amazing friend – kept it inside the fridge for a while until finally decided to use it. I wanted to top it on the pizza, but when I tasted the cheese it was like ‘Aha! This is the cheese the bakery usually uses for Manakish! I need to make one very soon!’ And I said it out loud like it was an emergency.

Excuse me pizza, please make a way for cheese manakish!

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I used Kashkaval cheese alone in some and some, I mixed with mozarella. I love the one with Kashkaval cheese alone – it was closer to the manakish I usually get from the bakery. Oh, it was so simple, yet so good! The recipe below makes about 8 x 4 inches round of manakish. Now, do not ask me how many I’ve eaten. I am not telling you this time. 😛

Now, let me bring these at this week’s Fiesta Friday # 153 with our co-hosts, Quinn and Monika. I am happy to be a part of first FF for 2017. Thanks, Angie!

Cheese Manakish

  • Servings: 8 x 4 inches round
  • Difficulty: easy, needs practice
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or any flavorless oil)

(You’ll also need additional flour for your work surface.)

For the toppings:

  • 1 cup of grated Kashkaval cheese; or
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella + 1 tbsp olive oil + pinch of salt

(You can also combine both cheeses (1 cup of grated Kashkaval cheese + ½ cup grated mozzarella, discard oil & salt when you want to combine them.)

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients for the dough in a large bowl.
  2. Using a wooden spoon or your clean hands, mix the dough until you get all the flour from the bowl.
  3. Transfer the dough in a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. This may take about 10 minutes or so.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, cover using a plastic wrap or lint free towel. Keep it in a warm place and let it rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
  5. When the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few seconds.
  6. By this time, you may need to preheat your oven at 375 F. My oven needs about 15 minutes before it reaches 375 F, so I turn it on when I am about prepare for the final steps.
  7. Divide the dough into eight. Flatten them thinly into about .5 cm or less than. (Optional: You can pinch the edges of the dough as Manakish usually has pinched edges. Most of the Manakish I see are pinched-free so I did not bother… or let’s simply put it this way: I completely forgot to pinch the sides. Haha!) Place them in a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  8. Bake them for 10-15 minutes or until the bottom turns lovely brown. Take the baking sheet out and flip the dough. Now, the bottom is now on top. Place your toppings and put the baking sheet inside the oven and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until the cheese has beautifully melted.
  9. Optional: Turn off the oven and turn on the broil (grill). Place the Manakish under the broil and broil until the cheese turns lovely golden brown.
  10. Enjoy your Manakish warm. They can be kept in the fridge for later consumption and can be reheated beautifully in a microwave.

Notes:

  • The kneading process can be completely done in your stand mixer or even in a food processor. When kneading in a food processor, place the dry ingredients first. While the motor is running, gradually add warm water and olive oil. Turn off the food processor once the dough has turned into a ball. You can now continue with the rest of the steps.
  • In my oven, the heat does not circulate that much like in the fan oven. So I have to flip the dough so I will have browned bottom and tops, then turn on the broil later for the toppings to brown, too. You can place your toppings the first time when you place the dough inside the oven. I did flip my dough because I like browned top and bottom – that flipping gives me the texture I love. Do whatever works better for you.
  • You can also use your pizza dough recipe or you can get the dough from the store.
  • This is just like as if you are making pizza minus the pizza sauce.

I hope you’ll love the recipe!

Always smile and enjoy your weekend! Happy Fiesta Friday! 😉

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{Baking Challenge} Chicken a la King Vol au Vents for Fiesta Friday #100

Baking will always be a challenge for me.

Some might look easy for me and some are not.

It was a dream to make perfect bread. I battled with the yeast beast many times and I finally won.

Taking my dream to a higher level, puff pastry dough came into the scene. I love love croissants, especially the ones with almond and chocolate. Whenever I eat them, I always wish that I could make them someday. I thought that I should learn how to make puff pastry dough first, but I was scared not to get it right. I haven’t pulled my big girl pants yet… until FF #100 came.

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Fiesta Friday #100 came more of a challenge to me because I wanted to bring one of my best efforts and one of my best experiences.

My cousin patiently listened to some of the delicious stuffs I wanted to bring and we ended up with vol au vents. Why vol au vents, you ask? This was inspired by one of the challenges in GBBO during the pastry week. (Hi, Elaine! Thanks for telling me about it.)

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After the six turns, here is it now. (I really need to work on the square and rectangle shape, don’t you think?) This will go to the fridge again before cutting/shaping.
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Cut/shaped dough with egg wash, ready to be topped with parchment paper before placing inside the oven

Chicken Ala King Vol Au Vents - TNSCC 1

Chicken Ala King Vol Au Vents - TNSCC 2

Vol au Vents

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups (177 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp (71 g) cake flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150 ml ice cold water
  • 8 oz unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes
  • plus extra flour for dusting work surface

Instructions:

Before proceeding, please check if your food processor is able to hold the quantity of the ingredients. I halved mine and the bowl of the food processor I used can hold 1.2 liters. If you will make the full recipe (you can find it from the source or just double the one I have here), then make the dough in two batches and combine them later on.

  1. Fitted with the metal blade, place all-purpose flour, cake flour and salt in the bowl of your food processor and pulse to mix. While pulsing, add the ice cold water and keep pulsing until the dough forms a ball on the blade. The dough will be very soft and it feels like a Play-Doh.
  2. Remove the dough from your food processor and from into a ball. Using a sharp small knife, slash the top of the dough in a tic-tac-toe pattern. The slash will help relax the gluten in the dough. Wrap the dough in a damp towel and keep in the fridge for about 5 minutes.
  3. While the dough is in fridge, get your very cold butter and place between 2 sheets of parchment paper and beat in a rolling pin until it flattens to about 1 inch thick. If the butter becomes soft, chill it first before proceeding.

It’s time now to incorporate the butter:

  1. Take out the dough from the towel and place it on your work surface dusted with all-purpose flour. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough to a 10 inch square, making sure to lightly flour the dough when needed to avoid sticking.
  2. Place the flattened cold butter in the middle of the dough. Starting from the four corners of the dough where the pointed corners of the butter is, fold the dough to wrap the butter.

It is crucial to make sure that the dough-butter is cold at all times. If you see the butter starts to ooze out for whatever reason, wrap the dough with a cling film and continue when the dough is properly chilled.

Making the Turns:

Since I halved the recipe, I had to adjust with the measurements of the source recipe. Whatever mentioned 12 inches below, make it 24 inches if you are making the full recipe (double the ingredients above).

  1. Gently but firmly press the rolling pin against the top and bottom of the square, making sure that both sides are floured to avoid sticking. Roll the dough to a 12 inch rectangle. (You can see from my photo above that the butter is visible during my first roll. I kept moving until I reached a 12 inch rectangle. Do not worry about the width – you just have to get 12 in rectangle).
  2. Using a pastry brush, brush off the excess flour from the top of the dough. Make an indention dividing the rectangle into three (do not cut, just make an indention). From the top, fold your dough until the indention at the bottom. From the bottom, fold your dough going to the top. Brush off the excess flour. This is your first turn.
  3. Rotate the dough so that the closed fold is to your left. Repeat rolling again to a 12 inch rectangle and repeat the folding process. This is your second turn.
  4. Wrap the dough using a cling film and chill your dough for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Repeat the rolling and folding process until you finish six turns, making sure to let the dough rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour in between 2 turns. But if anytime the dough will be too soft or butter is oozing out, keep the dough inside the fridge until chilled again.

You can make four turns and do the last two the next day (time of making your vol au vents). Using your fingertips, you can make an indention marking on how many turns you have finished so you will not forget it.

After finishing the 6 turns, make sure to chill the dough first before cutting them.

To cut the dough,

  1. Roll out your dough to ¼ to 1/8 thin on a lightly floured surface.
  2. Using cookie cutters, cut your dough: you will cut full rounds (disc shaped) and rounds with hole in the middle. Place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Take the full round dough and prick using a fork being careful not to prick all the way through the bottom. Now, get the round with hole and brush the bottom with egg wash and carefully ‘glue’ it to the full round dough. Lightly brush the top again with egg wash to brown when baked. Be careful not to drip too much egg wash on the sides with lamination as it will inhibit the rise. Do the same with the others. I used 77 & 78 mm cookie cutters and I got 4 big cases.
  4. When done cutting, place them inside the fridge while you preheat the oven.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  6. Get another sheet of parchment paper and place them on top of the cut/shaped dough and bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Remove the parchment paper on top and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.
  8. Let cool to room temperature if you are using sweet filling or keep warm if using savoury filling.

Source recipe: Vols au Vent by The Daring Kitchen

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Preparing the filling – Chicken a la King

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Chicken a la King

Ingredients:

  • 125g chicken breast, boneless & skinless, cut into small cubes
  • ¼ cup white mushrooms, sliced
  • 30ml heavy cream
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • 2 tbsp red bellpepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsb butter
  • 125ml chicken broth or 1 beef cube dissolved in 125ml water
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a pan, melt 1 tbsp butter.
  2. Add mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add chicken and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. In another small sauce pan, melt the remaining 1 tbsp butter.
  5. Add flour and stir until the mixture forms.
  6. Add chicken broth. Stir until the butter-flour mixture is dissolved. Let boil and turn off the heat.
  7. Transfer the liquid to the pan where your chicken is cooking.
  8. Add heavy cream, bellpeppers, parsley and green peas. Let boil until the sauce thickens.
  9. Add salt and pepper according to your taste.
  10. Transfer the chicken broth mixture to the pan where the chicken is cooking.
  11. Arrange the vol au vents on a serving plate. Fill with chicken a la king and garnish with parsley.

Source recipe: Chicken a la King by Panlasang Pinoy

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What do you think of this close up?

The vol au vents came out very flaky and delicious. I could just eat them like that or dunk them in chocolate sauce. I also love the chicken a la king filling because the filling was not too runny and it complimented the puff pastry cases. This might take a long time to do, but it’s worth every second. I am definitely working with puff pastry dough again. 😉

I am proud and more than happy to share this with my friends and family here at Fiesta Friday #100 hosted by the amazing Angie with the help of our four lovely co-hosts, Aunt Juju, Ginger, Mollie and Suzanne. I can’t say thank you enough to Angie who has always been so welcoming and who made this amazing weekly party possible.

Looking forward to another year of droolicious foods and amazing friendship!

2016-2

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From Selma’s Table: Nutella Espresso Sticky Buns for Fiesta Friday #100

I am super excited today as we are starting to celebrate the two-week long Fiesta Friday #100! Please do link up your yummy treats as I am so excited to devour them! I am sure the others, too! 😀 Don’t forget to link up to Fiesta Friday #100, Angie and our co-hosts – Aunt Juju, Ginger, Molly and Suzanne.

Angie, I am borrowing your beautiful festive photo! 😀 Thanks! xx

100th-Fiesta-Friday

To all my Fiesta Friday Family, 100 parties? Wow! Cheers to more parties and finding new family!

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I couldn’t contain my excitement that I actually made something especially for FF #100 even before Angie announced the two weeks celebration! Well, I planned ahead when I heard rumors about the two weeks. This girl gotta make sure that she brings something special, you know.

Special in a way that this could make us remember The Sparkling Diva – Selma.

We all know that Selma had inspired all of us in some ways and she had always been an amazing woman. So for this FF #100 celebration, I decided that I wanted to bring something from Selma’s Table as I want something of her to be a part of this celebration… and I know you, too. 🙂

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I’ve scheduled the baking of this recipe a month ago, but somehow, I always ended up missing some ingredients – three times! And let me tell yah – I failed twice! I suspected that I overkneaded the dough (electric mixer + my chubby hands = over kneading).

The first attempt was Thursday night: Since they didn’t turn brown like Selma’s, I let them stay too long inside the oven. The result? Burnt bottom and the baked sticky buns were hard as rocks that if I throw them to you, you’re dead! 😛

The second attempt was Friday morning: I let them stay for additional 10 minutes inside the oven as I was waiting for them to brown, but still didn’t. I took them out, but became tough after 5 hours. Still edible, though. You just have to warm them to soften.

The third and final attempt was Saturday morning: This time, I kneaded the dough only by hands. Still, the sticky buns didn’t brown, but I took them out anyway. I loved the texture this time. I was wondering why mine didn’t brown, but later on, I didn’t care! The most important thing is I made everything right and I’ve made a very delicious sticky buns.

So yeah, that’s three days in a row! It was indeed crazy not having the same look as Selma’s, but at the end of the day, who cares if they brown or not?

Now, let me tell you what to expect of these sticky buns:

The dough contains espresso powder which makes it extraordinary. The smell of the dough alone would make you wanna eat them. But no, you silly, learn to wait!

The filling: chocolate with 90% cocoa, brown sugar-espresso mix and Nutella. I know what you’re thinking – you’d want to lie down over that divine filling and roll yourself.

The sliced sticky buns is topped with toasted and chopped hazelnuts, brown sugar-espresso mix and then baked.

Don't you just love those espresso specks?
Don’t you just love those espresso specks?

Now, you can stop at that point or imagine those warm sticky buns with cream cheese frosting. If you think that you can forget about your imagination, then do not proceed. But if you think that you’d have a nightmare if you don’t follow your tummy’s desire, then go ahead and make your frosting!

Warning: You might eat two or three sticky buns right way… just like what I did! 😀 The sticky buns are insanely delicious. Do you want me to repeat that I ate two immediately and other one after an hour?

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Nutella Espresso Sticky Buns

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 60 g butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 250 g all-purpose flour
  • 6 g instant yeast
  • 100 ml lukewarm milk
  • 50 ml lukewarm water

For the filling

  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 2 tbsp chocolate (90% cocoa), chopped
  • Hazelnuts, roasted and choppped

For the topping:

  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions:

For the dough:

  1. In a small heatproof bowl, place your butter and microwave for few seconds just until melted. Allow to cool a little.
  2. Add the lightly beaten egg and mix. Add in sugar and espresso and mix until blended. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, combine flour and instant yeast. Mix well and make a well.
  4. Pour in your lukewarm milk and water. Then add the previous mixture (with butter, egg, sugar and espresso powder). Mix using a wooden spoon.
  5. Once all is blended well, take your dough and knead using your clean hands by holding the dough like a ball and pulling the ends of the dough apart, put it back together and pull apart. (This is the technique I am using and it works perfect for me.) Do this until the dough until elastic and not sticky. (You can do this using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. Knead until smooth and elastic.)
  6. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with cling film. Set aside for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

While the dough is resting, make the filling and topping:

  1. Mix sugar and espresso powder. Set aside.
  2. Grease a 10-inch round baking pan and set aside.
  3. Make the topping: In a bowl, place softened butter and beat until fluffy and pale in color (about 3 minutes). Add in softened cream cheese, vanilla, powdered sugar and salt. Beat again until well combined. Set aside until ready to use. You can keep it in the fridge  or at room temperature. The frosting will lightly melt when its spread on warm bread.

When the dough has doubled in size,

  1. Lightly flour your work surface.
  2. Remove the dough from the bowl and place in on the floured work surface. Shape your dough in a rectangle and slowly roll it out (using a rolling pin) to measure 12 x 16 inches.
  3. Spread the Nutella over the dough, making sure to leave a 1/2 inch border around the edges. (If your Nutella is not spreadable enough, you can warm it up in the microwave. Another trick to warm it up and to get a bowl little larger than Nutella. Pour in hot water to the bowl and place the Nutella jar on it, making sure that the hot water doesn’t reach the lid of the Nutella jar. Take the jar out from the hot water and it’s ready to be spread.)
  4. Sprinkle 2/3 of the sugar-espresso mixture, then the chopped chocolate.
  5. From the long side of the dough, start rolling as tightly as you can.
  6. Cut into 2 inches each. (I cut very small part of the ends and I got 8 rolls.)
  7. Arrange in the greased baking pan and cover with cling film. Set aside again to double in size.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  9. Sprinkle the top of your rolls with the remaining sugar-espresso mix and chopped hazelnuts.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  11. Spread the baked sticky buns with the cream cheese frosting and top again with hazelnuts.

Source recipe: Nutella Espresso Sticky Buns by Selma @ Selma’s Table

And oh, this is how it looks from the inside:

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I hope you try them and let me know what you think. 🙂 But I promise you that this will be one of your favorites!

Have a blessed and full of smiles holidays! 😀 😀 😀

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Beefy Pizza

Have you had those moments when you are trying to tweak or create a recipe then you make a mental list of the ingredients along with the measurements while telling yourself that you will make the actual list later on?

Beef-y Pizza @ The Not So Creative Cook (3)

Then…

You forget about it.

Then…

When you decide to make it again, you can’t even remember the most common ingredient?! 😐

Beef-y Pizza @ The Not So Creative Cook (4)

Some weeks ago, I made Beefy Pizza, but the photos were not that nice, so I decided to bake a new one and use the new photos. The thing is I completely forgot a single ingredient – tomato sauce. So the beef topping became pale. Lucky me, I can’t live without veggies in a pizza and that saved the photos… somehow. The taste? Well, thank you to me for being a ‘sauce [ketchup] person’ as that saved the beef topping. 😀

Beef-y Pizza @ The Not So Creative Cook (2)

You can make the topping before you make your dough to drain the excess oil from the beef topping.

Beefy Pizza

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Beef topping:

Ingredients:

  • 300g ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce or tomato ketchup
  • sugar, salt & pepper, to taste
  • oil for sautéing
  • Pizza sauce (I used tomato ketchup as the sauce)
  • Mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  1. In a pan with medium heat, sauté garlic and onion in oil.
  2. When fragrant, add beef and combine well. Cover and wait for the ‘beef water’ evaporates.
  3. Add tomato sauce or tomato ketchup and cook until it’s dried out. Add sugar, salt & pepper to taste.
  4. You can lay the topping on a paper towel or on a colander.
  5. Make your dough. (Recipe below or you can use your own.)

Pizza Dough:

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or any flavorless oil)

(You’ll also need additional flour for your work surface and oil for your bowl.)

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients for the dough in a large bowl.
  2. Using a wooden spoon or your clean hands, mix the dough until you get all the flour from the bowl.
  3. Knead the dough until it becomes soft and does not sticks to your hands (about 10 minutes or more).  You can also use your stand mixer to do the kneading for you. (You can do the kneading in a lightly floured surface or in a large plastic bowl. For me, since this is a pizza and doesn’t need that much of ‘bubbles’, I decided to knead using a large plastic bowl with ONLY my right hand working on the dough and it worked perfectly.)
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and put in an oiled bowl, cover using a plastic wrap or lint free towel. Keep it in a warm place and let it rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Punch the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few seconds.
  6. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts if you prefer a thin-crust pizza or 2 parts if you prefer something sort of a deep-pan pizza.
  7. Flatten the dough to 12 inches (or whatever you prefer) to fit your baking sheet.
  8. Preheat your oven at 400 F. While doing so, you can let your pizza dough rise before putting  the beef topping.
  9. Bake at 15 minutes or until the mozzarella melts beautifully.
  10. Serve immediately.

I am super late for this week’s Fiesta Friday #75 hosted by the Amazing Angie and co-hosted by  another J & J duo – Julie @ Hostess at Heart and Josette @ The Brook Cook.

I hope you enjoy this super late treat from me. Thank you for spending your time with me. I wish everyone a fab weekend and happy partying. 😉

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Are you a new yeast user and up for some challenge? Why not try the following recipes using yeast? 

Sugar Glazed Donuts

thenotsocreativecook-SugarGlazed donuts

Mini Challah Rolls

thenotsocrativecook-Challa Rolls3

Tomato Cheese Focaccia

thenotsocreativecook-Tomato&CheeseFocaccia2

Chocolate Covered Oreo Overload Muffins

Yipee! It’s Friday once again and I am so excited to be partying with you today. Plus, I am co-hosting with Laurie @ Ten Times Tea. This will be fun as this is Laurie’s first time to co-host – be good to her, okay? And as Angie always says, you can go wild on me.  Hmm, I am thinking of giving you half of your share. 😛 Just kidding, you can enjoy the Chocolate Covered Oreo Overload Muffins I brought for this week’s Fiesta Friday #71. Don’t worry about how others are getting theirs – I have many of them hiding somewhere Angie’s place. 😀

One thing I could say that Laurie and I have in common – we are both carbohydrate monsters! So beware of you bringing carb-stuffs today. 😀

Let’s get the party started. Link up by clicking the badge below and have fun! For new comers, please see the guidelines.

Welcome to Fiesta Friday #71

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Do you have those moments when you want to make something, but it didn’t out as what you’ve expected? Or the photo you have taken did not even match with the name of your food?? I know. I know. Not all days, we are lucky.

I had extra heavy cream which I used with a recipe I can’t even remember.

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I Googled for recipes using heavy cream and I got many that I didn’t know which one of them I should make.

The light bulb above my head just turned on and I remembered the Oreo Overload Muffins I did before. And to give these muffins update, I topped them with chocolate icing. Sounds great, yeah? Well, they are great, but the photos did not prove that these muffins are overloaded with Oreos. I know I just sliced a muffin with very little Oreo pieces, but still, it didn’t prove what it’s supposed to be.

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After all the complaints I said, of course, I did enjoy every bite. As I said when I first published the recipe, these muffins are like Oreo milkshake in muffin form. Now, covered with chocolate icing. You would consider that as the chocolate syrup on your milkshake. 😀

Chocolate Covered Oreo Overload Muffins Recipe

Ingredients:

For the Oreo muffins:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 & 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup chopped Oreos

For the Icing:

  • 2 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
  • 1 ½ tbsp coffee + 2 tbsp hot water
  • 5 to 6 tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare and line muffin pan with 12 paper liners.

For the Oreo muffins:

  1. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix vegetable oil, egg and cream. Pour this mixture to the dry mixture and mix just until well combined.
  3. Add in chopped Oreos.
  4. Sprinkle streusel over the muffins.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Let cool in the muffin pan for few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Cover with chocolate icing (recipe below) and top with chopped/crushed Oreos.

For the icing:

  1. In heatproof bow, add coffee mixture and chocolate. Set over a larger saucepan with simmering water. Stir chocolate and coffee mixture until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  2. Remove bowl with melted chocolate and add in butter, then beat butter tablespoon at a time. Do this over a larger bowl with ice and water. Stir/beat until spreading consistency.

 I hope you enjoy. Happy Fiesta Friday! 😉

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{Baking Challenge} Mini Challah Rolls

Taking a risk is one of the things that I am afraid to do because there is no assurance that I will be victorious. Somehow, baking taught me so many things – being patient, thinking out of the box, going out of my comfort zones and not being afraid to try again.

After the grins and jumps that I did after the success of the first homemade pizza, I moved to a higher level. This time, it’s something that requires more kneading (if by hand). I have a hand-held mixer with a dough hook, but as a beginner in bread-making, I prefer to knead by hand. The feeling of accomplishment is quite different. You get my point?

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I’ve been searching for bread recipes to try and there are so many amazing recipes that I couldn’t choose only one. If you are thinking that I bookmarked some recipes to add to my 5 km list, yes, you are correct. 😀 (I wish having a list of 5 km long means getting to finish 5 km by running.)

For my first homemade bread, I chose Challah Rolls. And mini ones… well, supposed to be mini ones. I just found these from Jonathan @ The Candid Appetite and I just can’t help but adore them. They are perfectly braided and beautifully browned. Who could say no?

I have said multiple times that I don’t like the smell of active dried yeast, so I used instant yeast instead. I don’t think I have divided the dough equally and braided them beautifully. Other than those, the Challah Rolls came out incredibly delicious – so soft and fluffy. I just could make them my pillow. 😀 The house smelled so good. Really, nothing beats the smell of homemade bread. It is crucial to wait for 30 minutes before eating because that’s when you will get the awesome deliciousness of the bread. These rolls are good with simply butter, or can also be enjoyed with a jam… also with Nutella, sunny side up, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs… 😀

During the first FF challenge, many awesome bloggers helped me with my yeast problems, though I want to make some shout outs today –

Angie – I remember her telling me that Gerard @ Bread and Tortillas is pro at bread making, that he could help me.

Gerard – I did not wait for too long and Gerard emailed me explaining everything he knows and patiently answered all my questions. The most important thing that I have learned from him is ‘it is almost impossible to over knead by hand.’ And that’s what I did – I kneaded for more than 20 minutes and the texture came out really perfect.

Selma – she left me with a trick, a very good one:

“When I knead, I keep my left hand on the bottom of the dough and then pull and stretch at the top with my right hand, fold it over, give it a quarter turn and carry on. It’s all about developing the gluten strands.”

I did mine sideways – hold the dough and stretch them sideways like you are using arm equipment. And if you’d ask me if I did that for more than 20 minutes, my answer is a BIG FAT YES! 😛

Linda – she was the one who strongly encourage me to use instant yeast. She also assisted me with all my bread-making problems and patiently answered all my questions and emails.

Also, thank you to all who left their comments on the said post and gave some ideas on yeast/breads. I appreciate everyone and this post is dedicated to all of you. ❤

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Mini Challah Rolls

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all except the last two ingredients.
  2. Mix with wooden spoon until you get all the flour on the sides of the bowl.
  3. Transfer to your slightly floured work surface and knead by hand until smooth and elastic. (You can also do the kneading using your stand mixer with a dough attachment for 7 minutes.)
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to an oiled bowl, slightly coating the dough with oil as well. Cover with plastic wrap, placing the bowl [with the dough] at a warm place (microwave oven tuned off is one of the best place) and let rest for one hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Punch the dough down and let it rest again for another 45 minutes.
  6. Place the dough on a slightly floured work surface. Knead for few minutes.
  7. Cut the dough into 15 equal pieces.
  8. Covering loosely with a damp towel, work one piece at a time – roll the dough into a long rope. Twist it around and tie, tucking the ends underneath. Continue doing the same with the rest of the dough.
  9. Place the braided rolls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover again with plastic wrap.
  10. While waiting for them to rest, heat the oven to 350F.
  11. Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  12. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before eating.

I hope you enjoy these! I want to know your encounters with the yeast beast. Leave your comments below. 😉

Happy partying and have a wonderful weekend!!

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{Baking Challenge} Homemade Pizza Dough

One of my 2015 resolutions includes dealing with yeast again. If you follow my adventures since early 2014, maybe you could remember that I have couple encounters with the yeast beast. All of them were not perfectly successful that I had to say goodbye to the yeast for a while.
thenotsocreativecook-Pizza3I was invited by my colleague to a pizza lunch. I saw her make her pizza using a pizza maker. She told me the recipe except for the yeast. I kept asking her about the ‘smelly thing’ and she said she didn’t use the it. It didn’t come to me that she only meant active dry yeast, so even how many times I asked her, she said ‘No’ multiple times. Her kids were playing and called my name when she was showing me how she made her dough, so my eyes left the dough-making class for a short period. The next thing I know, she already prepared the bowl and the dough to rise. I was really amazed on how the dough has risen despite of the not usage of the ‘smelly thing’.

I emailed Linda to ask for help and she gladly assisted me in the pizza problems I had. After we had exchange of emails, I tried making a dough myself without the yeast. Luckily, it worked. The texture was quite different – very light and airy. Regardless, the pizza was delicious that I ate half in one sitting. 😀 I immediately sent photos to Linda and she was happy for me. Again, she convinced me to try making the dough with yeast and she promised me that no smell will occur again.
The following week, my friend made the dough again and I saw her put instant yeast. She said I did not specify the instant yeast, so when she told me about the ‘smelly thing’, she thought that I was ONLY asking about the active dried yeast. Again, I emailed Linda. (See how many times I bothered her with my problem? 😐 )
This pizza craving did not let me sleep for how many nights. I have two choices – (1) try and accept the fact that it might not be successful or (2) I’ll just go on my life and let the yeast beast scare me again. With Linda’s encouragement + the craving I had for homemade pizza, it made me face the yeast again.

thenotsocreativecook-Pizza4In this, I made an estimate using my colleague’s recipe.

HOMEMADE PIZZA DOUGH Recipe

  • Servings: 2 12-inch round or 3 10-inch round
  • Difficulty: easy, needs practice
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or any flavorless oil)

(You’ll also need additional flour for your work surface and oil for your bowl.)

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients for the dough in a large bowl.
  2. Using a wooden spoon or your clean hands, mix the dough until you get all the flour from the bowl.
  3. Knead the dough until it becomes soft and does not sticks to your hands (about 10 minutes or more).. You can do the window pane test to know if the dough is ready  You can also use your stand mixer to do the kneading for you. (You can do the kneading in a lightly floured surface or in a large plastic bowl. For me, since this is a pizza and doesn’t need that much of ‘bubbles’, I decided to knead using a large plastic bowl with ONLY my right hand working on the dough and it worked perfectly.)
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and put in an oiled bowl, cover using a plastic wrap or lint free towel. Keep it in a warm place and let it rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Punch the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few seconds.
  6. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts if you prefer a thin-crust pizza or 2 parts if you prefer something sort of a deep-pan pizza.
  7. Flatten the dough to 12 inches (or whatever you prefer) to fit your baking sheet.
  8. Preheat your oven at 400 F. While doing so, you can let your pizza dough rise before putting your favorite toppings.
  9. Bake at 15 minutes or until the mozzarella melts beautifully.
  10. Serve and enjoy immediately.

For mess-free eating, I chopped my veggies (green bell peppers, tomatoes, white onions and black olives). I made half Hawaiian and half veggies just the way I love it. For the sauce, I used tomato ketchup. Yep! That’s right – the easiest and a good sub to store-bought pizza sauce or homemade. 😉

thenotsocreativecook-Pizza2The pizza dough has risen to about 1-inch thick (the baking powder’s fault?). Apart from that, I don’t have any comments at all except that… wohoooo!!! I made a pizza dough!!!

I wanted to kiss the pizza as soon as it came out from the oven – it was so soft and so delicious. I better try making it thinner next time and try different toppings. Shawarma, maybe? Now, give me a really good Shawarma pizza topping recipe. Anyone? 😀

So, what do you think of my first pizza? 😀 I hope you like this and happy partying!!

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Glazed Donuts

As this blog turns three months, thenotsocreativecook wants to thank everyone for the nice comments, for taking time to visit, and for the thumbs up. I am also pleased to meet new friends here on WordPress and excited to receive future updates about your life, your kitchen and everything you enjoy doing.

As today is 23, my blog’s birth date, I am sharing something new to me.

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I really love donuts as long as it is not too sweet. I’ve always dreamed of making my own but no matter how I love to cook, I am so lazy when it comes to kneading. When I see a recipe that calls for yeast, like breads and donuts, I automatically reject them – most probably because of this kneading stuff and the waiting time. I am an impatient person and I don’t like to wait that long when it comes to food, haha! So, I knew that I will never, ever make bread or anything that has anything to do with kneading and waiting.

That’s what I thought…

When I saw this video from Laura Vitale, I had no second thought of trying it. She has this effect on me – I feel that she makes everything easy. I just had two small problems – (1) I didn’t have a thermometer; how shall I know the temperature of the oil? And (2) I didn’t know what yeast should I use. But those petty issues didn’t make me changed my mind; I bought a thermometer and I bought an instant yeast. When I bought the yeast, I remembered that instant yeast is directly added to the flour (according to the search I made) and she mixed the yeast with the milk and sugar. So, I bought a new yeast – active dried. Though I was not sure about the effect of it, I still gave it a shot.

When its time to make the donuts…

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I gathered all the ingredients needed and warmed up the milk using a microwave. I mixed the yeast with the milk and sugar and waited for five minutes or until foamy. Five minutes and I guess nothing happened; the yeast did not activate. My friend came to me at the kitchen and saw this sad face on me. She asked me to warm the milk again and she did the yeast-milk-sugar mixture. And after five minutes was a magic, haha. She did it.

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I was glad she was with me that time as her being patient helped me make the donuts a success! 😀 Okay, so after the successful yeast mixture, everything went well.

Glazed Donuts Recipe

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour (you may need more if the dough is sticky)
  • 7 grams active dried yeast
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk, warmed to 115 degrees
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup of shortening, melted
  • 2 eggs

Pinch of Salt

For the Glaze:

  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • water, as needed

Instructions:

  1. Make sure you warm your milk at 115 degrees. Add 1 tsp of sugar and yeast. Leave the yeast to produce foam (about 10 minutes).
  2. In a bowl, beat sugar, eggs, salt, melted butter and shortening. Add the yeast mixture and mix until combined.
  3. Add flour and beat until well combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue beating until the dough is nice and smooth (about 5 minutes).
  4. Place the dough into an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or clean kitchen towel and place it somewhere warm until doubled in size. This may take about 2 to 3 hours.
  5. When ready, transfer your dough into a floured surface, knead It for few seconds and roll out to ½ inch thickness
  6. Place parchment papers on your baking sheets and sprinkle some flour over the parchment papers.
  7. Using a donut cutter or biscuit cutter, cut out your donuts and place them on your baking sheets. Make sure to place them couple of inches apart. Cover them with a lint free towel and place them again a warm place to double in size.
  8. In a large pot, bring the oil to temperature at about 350 degrees. While doing so, prepare your drizzle. Mix together the glaze ingredients, adding water little by little until you reach your desired consistency. Set aside.
  9. When the oil is ready, lift each dough from the baking sheet and place them carefully in the hot oil. Fry them about a minute on each side. Make sure not to overcrowd the pot.
  10. Drain the excess oil in a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
  11. Place your doughnuts on a cooling rack with some papers under to catch the glaze. Coat the doughnuts and place them on another cooling rack to set.
  12. Serve and enjoy immediately!

Source recipe: Glazed Donuts by Laura in the Kitchen

 

 

Like Laura Vitale, I am not professional and I don’t have any cutter except for the cute star-shaped cutters and I only used a small mouthed glass for the little round ones.

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I also covered some with granulated sugar and they’re so GOOD!! I enjoyed the glazed one and the sugar-coated. 

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I’m sure I’ll be making more donuts and this time, I will try to activate the yeast myself; it’s time to test my patience. 🙂

 

Related articles:
Homemade doughnuts with plum jam (http://landofbreadandhoney.wordpress.com)
Glazed Yeast Doughnuts (http://sweetrevelations.wordpress.com)
Mini rainbow vanilla bean donuts (http://justbakedbyme.wordpress.com)