Viral TikTok recipe for air fryer Babybel cheese wheels is pretty dang tasty

Tech 15-10-2021 Mashable 28

Welcome to AirFryDay, where — you guessed it —every Friday Mashable covers the latest trends, dispenses advice, and reviews recipes for your air fryer.


I'm just going to go ahead and say it at the start: Of course air fried Babybel wheels are tasty — because it's melty, breaded cheese.

It is supremely difficult to screw up melty, breaded cheese. You know why? Because it's melty, breaded cheese, that's why. It doesn't require more thinking than that.

But before we go any further, here's the viral TikTok recipe that I tested out, which was done by user @tabathadsullivan and has racked up some 2.6 million views. It's a simple recipe. Dunk Babybels in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, then egg again, then breadcrumbs again, and pop them in your air fryer for five minutes. It follows your basic frying procedure for something like chicken cutlets.

SEE ALSO: Your guide to the Instant Pot

This recipe is worth doing, especially if you like mozzarella sticks because — spoiler — that's pretty much all it is. And it's super quick and easy. Here's what you'll need.

Ingredients:

  • Babybel wheels — as many as your heart desires or air fryer can fit. I used the original flavor Babybels and cooked four wheels.

  • All purpose flour — roughly 1/2 cup

  • Eggs — two, beaten until no streaks remain

  • Seasoned breadcrumbs

  • Spices - original recipe uses salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder. I added some cayenne and herbs.

Recipe:

  • Put flour, egg, and breadcrumbs in small containers that'll make for easy dunking. I used small bowls.

  • Add all seasonings in both flour and breadcrumbs. The flour needs to be more heavily seasoned, since the breadcrumbs are pre-seasoned. Measure with your heart, but the flour should not longer look completely white.

  • Dunk a Babybel in the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Go back and re-dunk in the egg and then re-dunk in the breadcrumbs. You want the entire thing to be crusted thickly. Repeat this process for as many Babybels as you want to cook.

  • Put the coated cheese wheels into the air fryer basket then airfry at 400 degrees for five minutes.

Here's how the original recipe on TikTok looked.

Here's how the viral TikTok of air fried babybell wheels looked.
Here's how the viral TikTok of air fried babybell wheels looked. Credit: screenshots: tiktok / @tabathadsullivan

I set about making the same thing. First things first, I got organized. I put flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in small bowls. I seasoned the flour heavily — I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried Italian herbs, and cayenne — and seasoned my breadcrumbs lightly, since they were pre-seasoned and pretty salty already. Taste your breadcrumbs and season accordingly. Here was my set up.

Your classic frying stations.
Your classic frying stations. Credit: mashable / tim marcin

From there, I got to coating Babybels. A quick warning: Definitely peel the wax covers off your Babybels before you begin the coating process. It's just easier. But here's how it looked as I dunked the cheese wheels in the seasoned flour, egg, breadcrumbs, then egg and breadcrumbs again.

Almost ready to air fry.
Almost ready to air fry. Credit: mashable / tim marcin

From there, I loaded the breaded cheese wheels into the air fryer. The viral TikTok did not preheat the air fryer before dropping-in the wheels, so I did the same, which meant the cheese wheels would cook for five minutes at 400 degrees and however long the preheating process took.

Here they are going in.

Cheese, ready to be melted.
Cheese, ready to be melted. Credit: Mashable / tim marcin

And here they are, fully cooked, after five minutes at 400 degrees.

Yum, leaked cheese.
Yum, leaked cheese. Credit: mashable / tim marcin

Obviously there was some cheese leakage. But like, what do you expect? Stuff happens. You might have better luck with leakage if the Babybels were frozen or chilled before frying, but who has the time for that?

Here is the final product all plated up, with a cross-section shot to boot.

Mmmmm, hot cheese.
Mmmmm, hot cheese. Credit: mashable / tim marcin

So, how did they taste? Something like a really good snack bar mozzarella stick, I'd say. You know what I mean? Those mozz sticks you might get at the local pool, or the baseball field, or at some school function. They're tasty and salty and if you're super hungry there might be nothing better. And, crucially, the whole process took maybe 10 minutes. You can't beat that.

Since Babybel has a bit more flavor than your run-of-mill, mostly tasteless, mass-produced mozzarella — I'm not talking the good stuff here — the final product actually had a nice added tang. My crust ended up looking crispier than the TikTok, which actually seemed a bit undercooked, so that was a nice surprise. It was crispy, cheesy, and perfectly tasty. I could see these being a nice little snack for something like a game day party.

Again, it's melty, breaded cheese. It'd be an accomplishment to make that taste bad.


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