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.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 pint fresh blueberries (frozen is ok but subpar because it reduces the batter temperature) – can use other fillings, Nutella, jam etc.
Confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon for dusting
Maple syrup for serving
1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, granulated sugar and salt.
2. In a small bowl, lightly whisk together the egg yolks and buttermilk. Whisk the yolk mixture into the flour mixture until well combined; the batter will be lumpy.
3. In another bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter in two additions.
4. Using a brush, coat butter in each well of a filled-pancake pan. Place over medium heat and heat until the butter begins to bubble. Pour 1 tbsp batter into each well and cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Put 5 or 6 blueberries in the center of each pancake and top with 1 tbsp batter. Using 2 wooden skewers, flip the pancakes over and cook until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter and blueberries.
5. Dust the pancakes with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon and serve warm with maple syrup.
Makes about 40.