Welcome to Our Pancake Blog

Welcome to Our Pancake Blog!

So, what does a married couple with no children and free time do? Why think of creative ways to eat of course. So begins the Around the World in Pancake Sundays project.

One day while eating pancakes made from sprouted wheat and chocolate chips, we started talking about how fun it would be to eat a different type of pancake each Sunday. I know, you must be stuck on the whole sprouted wheat pancakes. I'm sure many are thinking eeeeewwww, sounds yucky right now. However, they are actually quite tasty. We were given our first taste of them by a friend last New Year's Eve (well, technically the morning after New Year's Eve). We were so enamored of them that we went searching for our own sprouted wheat to make some for ourselves a couple of months later.

O.K., enough digressing. While eating the above mentioned pancakes, the conversation started about eating a different type of pancake each Sunday. We began to wonder if we could find a different type of pancake for each Sunday for a whole year. So we set ourselves the challenge of finding a unique pancake recipe to try out each Sunday.

We continued to talk about this idea for the next couple of weeks. We started thinking about how most cultures actually have their own versions of pancakes. This led us to try to find a pancake from each country in the world. We finally began our project last Sunday, and decided to chronicle it here in this blog.

So welcome to our pancake blog, we hope you enjoy it as much as we are sure to enjoy making and eating them! Heck, we hope you make some and enjoy them too!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Brunei, You Make My Tummy Hurt in a Good Way

We now arrive in Southeast Asia in the country of Brunei.  I must mention that we made a few detours on our way here.  We detoured through Bouvet Island, British Ocean Indian Territory, and British Virgin Islands.  We opted not to make pancake stops in any of these places because they are in fact territories of the United Kingdom.  As such, everything we found for pancakes in these places were typically British pancakes.  Hence, we made the decision to not include any places that are territories of other countries in our blog.  Of course, if someone from one of these places has a pancake recipe that is unique to that region, we'll be happy to revisit them!

As a result of this decision, we are now in Brunei.  We found quite a few Bruneian dishes that could qualify as pancakes, some more than others seemed to qualify.  In the process we discovered some yummy looking savory dishes called martabak asin, which is a savory type of pancake thing.  However, it looked to us more like a pastry with a savory meat filling in it.  It looks fantastically yummy, but it didn't seem to fit what we think of as a pancake.  Ultimately we decide to make a sweet version of martabak.  Here are the ingredient for sweet Bruneian martabak:
  • 250 gr flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 150 gr white sugar
  • 375 ml warm coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
For the filling you will need:
  • Peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Milk Chocolate, finely chopped (the recipe called for chocolate sprinkles, as in what you might see on doughnuts, but we opted for better quality chocolate instead)
First take your slightly warm coconut milk (we put it in a bowl and warmed it for about 30 seconds in the microwave) and add the yeast.  Stir until the yeast is mostly dissolved, and then set aside in a warm place for about 10 minutes.

While your yeast is sitting in the coconut milk, chop your peanuts and milk chocolate.

We did not use the whole block of milk chocolate that is pictured.  We only used a small portion of it (probably somewhere between 200-300 grams).

After chopping the nuts and chocolate, mix your dry ingredients together to begin making the martabak.

Next make a well in the center of your dry ingredients, and put the eggs in the center.

Mix the eggs in (it will get sticky in one part, and the rest will be dry), and then add the coconut milk/yeast mixture.  Whisk until you have a smooth, thick batter and all of the flour is incorporated.

Now set this batter aside in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.  We cleaned the kitchen while we waited, but feel free to do whatever you want during the wait time.  After the time is up, heat up a frying pan and melt some margarine in it.  The original recipe says to use margarine, but we didn't have any.  So we used butter instead.  We attempted to make one using olive oil to fry as well, but it didn't taste very good, so we went back to the butter.  Margarine would probably have been better if we had it since it doesn't brown a quickly as butter does.  We used a wok style frying pan, but any frying pan should do.

Next ladle some of the batter into the frying pan.  Since it is a thick batter, it will not spread out.  We actually had to spread it out a little bit with the ladle.

Let it cook until it is dry around the edges, and almost completely dry on top, then flip it to cook the other side.  These pancakes were very delicate, and it was tough to flip them without breaking up.  I ended up using a two spatula approach to flipping them to insure they wouldn't break apart as I flipped them.

Cook until the other side is lightly browned.  Remove from heat, and immediately spoon some sweetened condensed milk on top.  Then sprinkle on some nuts and chocolate.

After putting on your toppings, fold the martabak in half.

Continue making martabak until all of the batter is used up.  Make sure you wipe out the old butter from the pan before you melt new butter to make the next martabak.  If you don't, you will end up with burnt butter tasting martabak.   This recipe makes 5-6 martabak, depending upon how large you make them.  These things were so good.  I wanted to keep eating them, but my stomach said no more after I ate one.  They are very rich, but in a deliciously satisfying way.

Mmmmmm . . . .

So Sorry Botswana, We Have to Move on to Brazil

So our next stop takes us to Botswana, but try as we did, we just couldn't find a recipe for pancakes in Botswana.  We did find that they are called diphaphatha.  After a couple of weeks of trying to find a recipe for diphatphatha without much luck, we decided to move on to Brazil.

We discovered that Brazil has a savory stuffed pancake.  As in Argentina, Brazilians call their pancakes panqueques.  They are not as thin as a crepe, but they also aren't as thick as a typical pancake that you would find in the United States.  So, without further ado, here is how to make Brazilian panqueques.

For the panqueques you'll need:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • salt to taste

For the filling you'll need:

  • 500 grams of ground beef
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 cup of tomato juice
  • 1 beef bullion cube
You'll want to make the filling for the panqueques first.  We didn't use ground beef for our filling, instead we made it veggie style with ground soy crumbles.  First you'll need to chop your tomato and onion, and then mix it with your protein.

Next cook your protein, tomato, and onion mixture in a pan.  Once your protein is about halfway cooked, add the oregano, tomato juice, and bullion cube (you can use a veggie or chicken bullion cube as well, we used a veggie bullion cube).

At this point your filling should be filling the house with really yummy smells!  Once your filling is cooked, set it aside and begin to make the panqueques.

For the panqueques, mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.  We beat the egg first before adding it, but that's just out of habit.  You can just put the eggs in and mix all of the ingredients in one bowl.

As you can see from the picture above the batter isn't as thin as a crepe batter would be, but it's not quite as thick as an American pancake batter either.

After you've mixed the batter, get your crepe pan, heat it, and lightly oil it.  Ladle a spoonful of batter in the middle of the crepe pan and swirl it around to spread the batter out.

Cook it until it is almost dry, then flip it and cook it on the other side.

Once it is cooked, you're ready to stuff the panquque.  Spoon about 3 tablespoons of filling at the edge of a panqueque, and then roll it as you would a burrito, just without folding over the ends.

Serve with beans and rice.

These things were fantastic and very filling!  They reheated very nicely, as I ate them the rest of the week for lunch.  Brazil, we will definitely be visiting you for pancakes again in the future!

Did Someone Say Chocolate Sauce? - Bosnia and Herzegovina

Once again I find myself slightly behind in blogging. This seems to be a common theme for me.   I think I sometimes live too closely by the quote "Procrastinators unite . . . tomorrow!"  Either that, or I'm a complete hedonist and let other things distract me from the important ones like pancake blogging.  Either way, I'm attempting to catch up again.  The good news is that there were a couple of weeks where we didn't make pancakes because of a half marathon run/bike ride race and company in from out of town; which means I only have about 3 countries to catch up on.  Yay!

So off we go to Eastern Europe once again as we visit Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Bosnians like to eat crepes.  They call them palacinke (pronounced pah-lah-cheen-kah).  While finding a crepe recipe isn't too hard, finding one that is a Bosnian crepe recipe was a bit challenging.  Alas, we prevailed in our search for a Bosnian palacinke recipe.  We also discovered that Bosnians like to put chocolate sauce, jelly/jam, fresh fruit, or chopped nuts in their palacinke.  Since we were definitely opting for the chocolate sauce, we decided to use fresh fruit.  We thought a nice combination would be a tart apple, so that's what we chose.  Here we go with the ingredients for palacinke.

To make the palacinke you will need:
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup water
To make the chocolate sauce you will need:

1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

I started by making the chocolate sauce.  Gather all of the ingredients you will need to make the chocolate sauce.

Mix everything except the chopped chocolate in a pot, and heat it on low heat until the sugars and cocoa are all melted.

Obviously everything hasn't melted yet in the above picture.  Make sure to use your whisk and continuously whisk the mixture as it melts.  After it all melts, get your chopped chocolate.

Mix the chopped chocolate into the sugar/cocoa mixture.  While doing this completely remove the mixture from the heat.  It should be hot enough to melt the chocolate without having to keep it on the burner.  If you keep it on the burner, you could end up burning the chocolate instead of just melting it into the mixture.  Blech!  After all of the chocolate has melted, remove it from the pot, and allow it to cool.

It will make much more than what you see above, but I separated out what I thought we would use for the actual palacinke from the rest.  I wanted it to cool more quickly so that it would thicken up.  After it has cooled, you can store the excess chocolate sauce in a jar in the refrigerator and use it however you would normally use your chocolate sauce.

Now that we've made the chocolate sauce, it's time to make the palacinke.  Place the eggs in a bowl and lightly beat them.

I think we should probably do a show displaying all of the different egg pictures we have like this.  It seems like every time there is a pancake recipe that requires eggs, we take a photo like this.  Make sure both eggs are in the bowl before you beat them.

After you lightly beat the eggs, put all of the ingredients into a medium sized bowl and beat until smooth.  Unfortunately we didn't take a picture of the batter like we usually do, so all you get to see are photos of the ingredients.

Remember, crepes are a thin batter, so this batter should be pretty runny.  If it's not, add a little bit more milk or water.

Let the batter rest for 20-30 minutes.  Once it has rested, it's time to get out your crepe pan and begin making the palacinke.  Heat the crepe pan up and place a small amount of oil on it.  As always, we used olive oil, but use whatever you have on hand.  Then pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the middle of the pan and swirl the pan until the batter completely covers the bottom.

Let the palacinke cook until it looks completely dry (about 3-4 minutes).

After it looks dry, flip it and cook it briefly on the other side for another minute.  Continue cooking until all of the batter has been used up.  We got about 8 palacinke from this recipe.

Now we're ready to stuff the palacinke.  First slice your apple.  We used an apple slicer/corer to cut large slices.

After cutting the large slices, we used a paring knife to slice them even thinner.  Of course, the dog smelled the apples and had to come and get his share.

After slicing the apples, we placed them in a corner of the corner of a palacinke and drizzled chocolate sauce over the top.  We then folded the palacinke into quarters and drizzled more chocolate sauce on top.  Here is the finished product:

While these tasted good, I'm not sure we'd use apples again as the fresh fruit filler.  They provided a nice textural contrast, but they were a bit too tart for the chocolate sauce.  We would probably use strawberries in any future palacinke recipe.  If you try out this recipe and decide to use apples, you probably want to use a milk chocolate instead of dark or bittersweet to make the chocolate sauce.

Join us soon as we head to Botswana for our next stop!