Once in a long while, we come across a piece of invention that works so geniusly, we wonder how could it possibly took us so damn long to discover it. For me a few years back, it was a little something magical called… the hair remover. Don’t ask me how it was done before. And then came a little earnest, hard-working machine called the iRobot. Don’t ask me what used to be consider a “clean” floor. Recently, as Jason delightfully discovered a little concept called “fashion” in Paris, I found this – the ebelskiver pan.
This is ALSO known as the takoyaki pan in Japan. Yes it’s practically an identical piece of equipment. Danish or Japanese, both will turn pancake batter into crispy little balls of joy with whatever fillings to your hearts content. I mean do people know about this?? This practically marks the beginning of the end of pancake! I feel bad for pancake by saying this, really I do. It’s like it was always the most popular girl in school then came a transfer student who’s Megan Fox. It just isn’t fair. But dare I be so bold to conclude that the invincible, ever-so-happening pancake could potential face a rivalry in the everyday home kitchens? I guess… I am. I’m afraid this is totally going to end pancake’s long reign as the go-to breakfast item/crowd-pleaser.
Believe that I wouldn’t say this lightly without any hard evidence. If pancake wouldn’t go down without a flight, just ask this. Does pancake dress in an all-around, 360º degree, golden-brown crispy exterior? No… Does pancake come in the most adorable, most wooing-and-awwing geometric shape in existence – the ball? No… Can pancake satisfy the desire to be stuffed with any fillings imaginable without compromising it’s own texture, color and shape? No… Need more? Does pancake guarantee itself to be made in the exact same shape and size EVERY TIME? NOOOO! ANOTHER? Can pancake be flipped ANXIETY-FREE with nothing but a thin metal pick!??? NOOO! ONE MORE!?? Can pancake be whipped up the last minute as an adequate dessert item??!! ABSOLUTELY NOOO!! Give up, pancake! Your time is over!
Yes, the kids may mourn… but only for a few seconds after which they wouldn’t even remember that pancake ever existed (may have to make up a new name for’em though…). I went so over my head that I’ve already tested out 4 different versions of it, and picked out two that’s going to be featured. And I have a feeling that this is only the beginning…
Servings: 14 ebelskivesr
Batter: (I’m using an eggless batter… sob… but by all means replace 1 tbsp of water with 1 medium egg)
- 1/2 cup of cake flour or all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of tapioca starch (or just use all-purpose flour)
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- 3 tbsp of brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp of salt
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 tbsp of water
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp of unsalted butter and 2 tbsp of vegetable oil for frying
- About 5 tbsp of Nutella for filling
- 50 g of unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp of salt (I like it saltier to counteract the sweetness, but use 1/8 tsp of salt if you like it sweeter)
- 2/3 cup of powder sugar
- 1/8 tsp of vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp of water
This may look like it requires some skills but actually IT IS SOOO EASY to do. So easy that I shockingly succeeded on the FIRST try. A couple of tips would make this already-easy process even more effortless:
I substitute 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour with tapioca starch to give it a chewy texture. If it isn’t available, all-purpose will do just fine. Mix flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Then mix milk, water and vegetable oil in another. Pour the wet ingredient into the dry ingredient and fold it in with a spatula until JUST combined. DON’T bother trying to dissolve all the lumps. This is a thick batter and small lumps are fine. Set aside and let it sit for 20 min.
Prepare the glaze during this time. Melt the butter and salt in a bowl in the microwave (approx 20 sec until just melted), then stir in the powder sugar (it would be fairly thick). Mix with a whisk until completely incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and water and stir until it becomes a syrupy consistency.
Met 2 tbsp of unsalted butter and vegetable oil in a small pot for frying. Prepare 2 wooden or metal skewer for turning.
That’s all the prep work. Easy. Now set the ebelskiver pan on the stove on medium low heat. My pan is quite small and makes 7 ebelskivers at a time so I used the smaller burner on the stove on medium low heat. A bigger pan would probably require a bigger burner with higher temperature. Pour about 1/3 tsp of melted butter into each holes and use a brush to distribute it all over the pan. Add the batter to each hole (a spoon works great) up to 90% full to leave room for the fillings. Wait for 10 seconds, then add about 1 tsp of nutella in the middle of each holes (1 small spoon to scoop the nutella, another small spoon to scrape it off into the batter). With the spoon that’s used for the batter, lightly press the nutella into the batter until they are submerged. Add a bit more batter on top if needed.
AND THEN DON’T TOUCH IT! Just like pancakes, the bottom needs to be cooked and solidify for easy turning. When small bubbles starts to appear on the edge, and the batter puffs up in volume (see pic), then it’s probably ready. The trick of turning this is to use the skewer to press on the right side of the ball and push down so the left side of the ball would get pushed up (like tilting). Keep pushing the right side until the ball makes a full turn. Adjust it with 2 skewer at hand and tuck the edges underneath. If you press the ball and it doesn’t turn, then it means the bottom isn’t cooked yet. Be patient!
Drizzle more melted butter on the edge of the holes to let it seep to the bottom. There should be some sizzling sound. Use the 2 skewer to keep adjusting the balls so they get a nice golden-brown crust on all sides. Once they do, they are ready. Pick them up with the skewers and let it cool a on a cooling rack with a piece of parchment paper on the bottom. Watch the heat of the pan while doing the next batch. The pan probably got pretty hot during the “off-time”, so you may need to turn down the heat in the beginning of the next batch. By the way, don’t attempt to sneak an ebelskiver in your mouth now… the center is like LAVA…
When done with the 2nd batch, arrange them on the cooling rack and spoon the glaze on top. Please eat them warm… Crispy on the outside but soft and pillowy on the inside with warm, gooy nutella… I heart you, ebelskiver pan…