Of all the food courses of a menu what would be your favorite? Mine would be dessert without any hesitation. If I have to plan a menu I would go backwards to start with the dessert and narrow down other dishes in accordance. While eating out I check the sweet dishes first to see if there is something worth trying and then I pick an entrée keeping in mind how much space my stomach would require for the sweet treat that follows. Last year we were invited to an iftar/dinner buffet and my iftar began with a slice of creamy strawberry cheesecake. There are a couple of things that I have reservations against, first: desserts are over garnished to look appealing yet they lack taste. Well how about making a good, flavorful dessert in the first place that would save you from the trouble of going overboard with unnecessary décor? Second: Short cuts while preparing desserts. Why oh why!! I cry!! If you have enough time to make mutton broth for that aromatic and rich pulao why not make gajjar ka halwa (carrot halwa) the proper way instead of just steaming and adding milk powder? Why not invest some time to show respect to all that is sweet in this world?
Today’s recipe isn’t sweet but it is shaped like a cupcake. Again I am not a fan of such variations still this one made think a little outside my box and to made me appreciate things I don’t usually do. You see I am so happy in my comfort zone inside my own bubble/box clinging to things I know, stuff that I am familiar with that I barely change the basics and when I do take a baby step in this direction it makes me feel so adventurous, so daredevil-ish! By the way exploring new cuisines, new techniques and new dishes do not fall in this category as this is learning and experimenting which is essential to grow culinary skills and better understanding of ingredients. My reservations are reserved for microwave baking ( though I am guilty of doing it myself which includes Black Forest Cheesecake (Baked in Microwave!) ), desserts with over and extensive use of condensed milk kind of things are on my not-so-favorite list. So why make pizza cups when you are so not on board with short cuts and hacks? It happens when your cravings make you take unconventional steps, make you rethink about food philosophies and literally make you eat your words.
Remember that old animated movie Hercules? Our hero says “People do crazy things when they are in love.” Later Megara, Hercules’s love interest, repeats this dialogue when (spoiler alert) she pushes Hercules and throws herself under a falling pillar to save him. Hashtag sad moment! Just like that people do crazy things when they are hungry. Pizza requires advance planning and ample time for the whole process of making the dough, proofing the dough, collecting and preparing toppings and eventually baking. In my scenario I need extra time to make Gluten Free Pizza along with Regular Pizza . So like a regular human being I wanted to have pizza without much effort and time investment. My daughter is good at finding cure for such unforeseen food requirements and she found this recipe at Bigger Bolder Baking. We stirred tomato puree with some herbs and seasoning to create cheat pizza sauce and voila!
There is no dough for these golden, flavorful and cheesy pizza cups instead there is a batter which you pour into greased muffin tray then you put some tangy pizza sauce with toppings (or simply omit toppings like I did) and grated mozzarella. It is done in layers to make each bite flavorsome. Bake to perfection and give it a couple of minutes to rest once taken out of the oven so all elements in each cup get a chance to settle. Remove from the tray, slice or pull apart to see stringy stretchy cheese with dots and dollops of tasty sauce.
MMmm magical! These cups are tender and soft and since there is no yeast they will appear to be pressed when pressed or when a bite is taken. Still they will not be dense or dry. If you prefer homemade pizza sauce (I salute you)try my previously posted homemade pizza sauce or see cheat pizza sauce at the end of the recipe.
Do I have your attention now? Have I convinced you to bake some right now? Because I seriously wanna bake another batch, very secretly, so I don’t have to share with anyone. It is ok to be a little selfish even as a mother… I have accepted and forgiven myself 🙂
We all need pizza in our lives. If you don't have enough time to make a regular pizza try this cheatversion f pizza baked in muffin tray. They are as flavorful and as addictive as pizza itself.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp mixed dried herbs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven at 375 F / 190 C.
Generoulsy grease a 12 hole muffin tray with cooking oil.
In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and dried herbs with a whisk.
Combine milk and egg in a small bowl and beat slightly.
Add milk mixture to flour mix. Stir well until well combined.
Put 2 tablespoons of batter in each hole of the muffin tray. Put some shredded cheese, then sauce and then cheese again. This will keep sauce in the center.
If you want to, add some topping of your choice over the cheese. Like pepperoni, sliced sausage, olives, capsicum etc but do not over load, two or three small pieces will be enough otherwise it will all sink.
Add 2 tablespoons of batter over it and top with remaining shredded cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes till golden and puffed.
Remove from the oven and rest the tray on a wire rack for about two minutes. Take pizza cups out of the tray and enjoy.
Note: For quick pizza cheat sauce, mix together 3/4 cup tomato puree, 4 tbsp tomato ketchup, 1/4 tsp garlic paste, 1/3 tsp dried mixed herbs. Season as per taste with salt/ pepper.