Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Special day breakfast... every little girl should have one

"Light, puffy filled pancakes known as ebelskiver are a favorite in Denmark. Cooked in a specially designed pan, these ball-shaped pancakes are traditionally dusted with confectioners sugar and served with raspberry jam. Modern versions may be sweet or savory, filled with fruit, jam, cheese, chocolate or meat. Although the origin of ebelskiver is a subject of debate, one story credits the Vikings, who once roamed up and down the European coasts. One band of Vikings had been especially hard hit in battle. When they returned to their ship, with their horn helmets and shields dented and dinged, they decided to have one of their favorite foods to help them regain their strength: pancakes. Lacking fry pans, the Vikings greased their shields and poured the pancake batter on them over the fire. Whatever their origin, filled pancakes are a delicious treat for breakfast, as an hors d'oeuvre or a light supper. "

- William-Sonoma website

It was the above which caused me to buy the WS filled pancake pan. The perfect size pancake for little hands, I thought, and I can sneak all kinds of good for a growing baby food stuffs in there.

Yes, I had that right, this does make adorable, easily-nibbleable, golden filled pancakes. However, if you wish to make these for your should-always-be special Sunday breakfast, get up very early. The recipe is something akin to souffle. Separately whipped egg white, folding, and so on. And the pan requires a bit of technique and trial and error, not to mention skewers. The recipe for the standard batter is on the pan label, but WS sells pancake batters as well.

If you have time and patience, and do not need one of your hands to govern an energetic toddler, this is a fun novelty pan. Generally, while the Hostess cannot stand novelty-anything but, we did really enjoy these little pancakes, far more than their huge relatives. We like fluffy, petite things, generally.

They were pretty true to form once I got the hang of it.

It goes pretty much like this: Make a batter. Beat the egg whites. Fold them into the batter. Melt the teeniest bit of butter in each of the pancake pans depressions. Spoon in a scant tablespoon of pancake batter. Place the filling on top (you must work very fast. Over low heat, this pan is an extremely efficient conductor.) of this little smidge of batter. I made apricot, raspberry, and chocolate because the recipe on the box makes 40! Mercy! Anyway, then top it with the teeniest spoon full of batter again. Now, with a skewer in either hand, check to see they are golden brown on the bottom side and, if so, flip. If not, wait 30 seconds and flip. Cook one more minute on this side. Remove to warm plate with skewers. Really, the skewers are key to this endeavor.

I love great weekend breakfasts. And I do have to admit, these are special, "my Mama's pancakes were great" little gems. Great for Christmas morning or in our house, just as good: the morning after Daddy gets home from deployment...

Filled Pancakes
Makes about 40
Williams-Sonoma Kitchens

2 cups all purpose flour (I used White Lily, it's lighter at breakfast)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for cooking
Fillings: Such as jam, peanut butter, chocolate ganache, chocolate chips...
Syrup, butter, whipped cream or whatever you care for, for serving

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

In another small bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Then whisk in the melted butter. Whisk this egg mixture into the flour/ dry ingredient mixture. Batter will be lumpy.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites on high until stiff, but not dry, peaks form.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter in two additions.

Place about 1/4 teaspoon butter in each of the pans wells. Set over medium heat (you might even need low heat) until the butter melts. Spoon a scant 1 tablespoon of the batter into each well of the pan. Put 1 tablespoon of filling in each well of the pan followed by 1 tablespoon of batter in each well.

Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy. Using two wooden skewers, flip the pancakes over and cook again until golden and crispy. Transfer to a plate. Repeat this process with the remaining batter and filling. Serve immediately.


jbl said...

Hello. I just found your blog via Ruhlman and I have a quick question about this pan. Do you find that it needs a gas burner to work well and have you found it useful for things other than ebelskivers (eggs maybe)? Thank you.

Blushing hostess said...

JBL, When I bought this pan, I noticed a similiar egg poaching pan WS also sells and wondered the same thing (I did notice the egg pan was vented however.). While I have not made eggs in it as I have not owned it long, I went to check when I read your question: I tried to crack a large organic egg into a well and my egg was too large. Since large is the only all-purpose egg size, I would not ever have medium or smalls on hand and consequently probably not be cooking eggs in the pan unless they were scrambled. Mini crustless quiches might work... something along those lines.