Home Savory Mkharkas or “Chebbakias

Mkharkas or “Chebbakias

Difficulté : Medium
Catégorie : SavorySweet
Cout : Low cost
Here are the “Mkharkas” or “Chebbakias” according to the regions where they are found. It must have other names. I have often passed by these little pastries during my travels in the Maghreb and I had never really been tempted to try them. Who knows why! I really don’t know what’s taken me all these years. Yet it corresponds to everything I like: an ancestral recipe, spices, a particular folding… But at least I waited to go to Morocco to Lalla Myriam, who prepared them for me with the help of her mother, to taste these delights. We found ourselves together preparing and folding the dough. It takes a little time and patience, but the result is well worth the work. It is especially the folding that requires some work. 
A small sweetness with the perfumes of sesame, cinnamon, anise, olive oil, honey and orange blossom… It still leaves me dreaming and I have the pleasure to share with you today this wonderful recipe thanks to the wonderful Touria, Lalla Myriam and Lalla Fatima! 

Recipe of Mkharka or Chebbakia:
-110g of ground toasted sesame
-500g of flour
-3g of ground anise
-3g of powdered cinnamon
-70g of olive oil
-40g of melted butter
-4g of baking powder
-1 teaspoon dry baker’s yeast
-70g of orange blossom water
-1 egg
-10g of white vinegar
-1 pinch of saffron yellow dye
-a little powdered gum arabic (optional if you don’t have any!)
– frying oil
honey and flower water of orange tree for soaking
Here are the toasted sesame seeds. If you buy white sesame, you can simply fry it in a pan, being careful not to burn it! 

Put it in a small blender and grind it into a very fine powder. 

Place flour, sesame powder, baking powder, baking powder, cinnamon powder and ground anise in the bowl of a mixer or in a large dish (if mixing by hand).

Mix well and add olive oil and melted butter. 

Mix in a food processor with the hook or by hand! Add the egg, powdered gum arabic, saffron coloring and white vinegar.

Add the orange blossom water , then water in sufficient quantity to obtain a homogeneous ball of dough. Knead for about ten minutes.

You can knead with a meat grinder (little tip from Lalla Myriam!).
Take a ball of dough and roll it out with a rolling pin. 

It can be rolled, but if you knead it enough, it may not be necessary. 

Roll out the dough thinly and then cut a 12cm by 25-27cm rectangle with a serrated wheel. Cut in half widthwise and in three lengthwise. 

Then cut 4 strips inside each rectangle. You don’t have to go all the way, you just want to cut interior lines like in the picture. 

Here are pictures of the folding method. I show this with a sheet of paper, but photos will never replace a live demonstration! 
My hand is roughly equivalent to a finger, as the rectangle of dough is much smaller than the demo paper! You have to run your finger (my hand here) between the strips of dough, starting with the right one  underneath. 
The width is on the top and bottom, and the length on the sides…

While keeping the right finger (here my hand always!!), it will be necessary to bend the left side. The left length must be folded over itself, with the bottom-left corner going over the top-left corner.

You have to pinch to stick the dough. The right finger is always in position…

Now you have to turn it over like a sock. It’s almost clearer in the photo with the real dough a little lower! 
Basically, you need to position the left length, the one that was folded on itself, down. The straight length is at the top, but we’ll drop the strips down the sides of the cake. See below to understand.

Here is what it looks like when the dough is closed. 

And the result once turned over like a sock. You have to pinch the sides a bit and open the middle like a flower. 

It’s a little time consuming, so we’ll need some kind souls to come and help! 

Prepare the oil on one side and the honey on the other.
Heat oil in a large skillet. You need at least three centimeters of oil. When the oil is hot, dip the mkharkas. You can put several at the same time.
For the honey, put 1 kilo of honey in a saucepan, heat over low heat (without boiling) and add a little orange blossom to “soften” the syrup. 

Turn over when the bottom is golden brown. It takes 4-5 minutes. See more, it all depends on the heat of the oil. You don’t want it to be too hot to avoid burning them! 

Once cooked, put the mkharkas in the honey heated on low heat. 

Leave them in the hot honey for at least 10 minutes, then remove them with a skimmer and place them on a tray. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. 

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