When I visited Japan two years ago, I swooned after I ate my first takoyaki. I describe them as octopus balls: a piece of octopus is coated in a savoury batter and cooked. Smothered with a Japanese barbecue sauce, mayonnaise and sprinkled with bonito flakes – it is nothing I ever thought would taste so good. When I visit restos, I prefer to order things I can’t make at home, so my go-to dish at Guu and Kenzo’s is takoyaki.
Once I came back to Canada, I wished I could recreate it at home, but you need a special pan with round grooves to make the round balls. The restos were the only way to get my takoyaki-fix. Until now! One of my Christmas gifts this year was a takoyaki/aebleskiver pan! Not soon after Christmas, I whipped the pan out for its inaugural use. Not for takoyaki, though. I had no octopus, you see.
Instead, I made Danish stuffed pancakes, also known as ebelskiver, ebleskiver, aebleskiver, or æbleskiver. These are light, fluffy, round, buttermilk-based pancakes stuffed with your favourite filling. My tip is not to overstuff the pancakes because leaking quickly leads to a dirty pan that is hard to clean!
I adapted Williams-Sonoma’s recipe to experiment with different fillings. We started with blueberries, which were probably my favourite filling. Frozen blueberries can be used but are best when they have thawed. Otherwise, they change the temperature of the batter and it doesn’t cook as well.
Next, we tried mulberry jam as a filling. It was delicious, too, although much sweeter. The only trick is to make sure it doesn’t leak while flipping because it is a bugger to get the jam off the pan.
For the ebleskiver, I employed the two-flip method, but for more round ebelskivers, you can do it in three or four turns. I was so eager to use my pan, I didn’t research how to make proper ebleskiver. I’ll try it next time.
This is my submission to this month’s My Kitchen, My World, featuring dishes from Denmark and to this month’s Breakfast Club for Sweet Treats. Also props to Rob, for the action shots since I can’t cook and photograph at the same time.
Crêpes are incredibly versatile as they can envelope any good food and make it taste great. There are restaurants entirely devoted to crêpes with different fillings. In fact, one of my favourite places for crêpes in Toronto is the Art Square Cafe, across from the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), where they have imaginative and tasty crêpes like grilled chicken and mayan organic dark chocolate (yes, they are together!). I also really like their chocolate and pistachio dessert crêpe. I can only eat one or the other though, as they are so filling. Incredibly yummy with the real chocolate!
When I am at home, though, sometimes I like to keep things simple with my crêpes. As a child, I used to layer the crêpe with homemade jam before rolling it up, or use canned peaches as a filling. I suppose my tastes were quite bland as a kid! Now, I love to use Nutella (a chocolate hazelnut spread) as a base to line the crêpe, then top with seasonal fruit and sprinkle with toasted sliced almonds. You can add the Nutella to a warm or cold crêpe, and find yourself with melted or normal Nutella – tasty either way! Kiwi is one of my favourite pairings with Nutella in a crêpe, but other fruit works well too, like mango, strawberry, banana, blueberry, apple, etc.
These crêpes are great for sweet fillings as they are light and fluffy. I wonder whether anyone can recommend a good whole-wheat crêpe recipe? Do they exist?