There are probably two things going on in your head right now…
2) RED BEAN? (gross)
That’s why yours truly is here- to educate you on the wonderful fluffiness that you are missing out on (unless if you are Danish) and the versatility of the red bean. Here’s a perfect occasion for a haphazard East meets West.
Ebelskivers are traditional Danish pancakes in the shape of a sphere. Wikipedia says it best- “Ebelskivers are solid like a pancake but light and fluffy like a popover.” But unlike your traditional flat American pancake, these treats are filled with anything your heart desires. Is it blueberry preserves? Or chocolate cream? Lemon curd? RED BEAN??
I got the Ebelskiver pan as a gift from Lara, who also generously included a how-to book, a jar of blueberry preserves, and some of the ‘pancake’ mix. When I first opened the box, I saw a pan with seven holes. I had a good idea of what the pan could be used for, but I thought it was missing a top. A quick search on the Williams Sonoma site brought me to this video, which shows you how to properly make and flip the ebelskiers.
My first reaction was. Oh my gosh. I can finally make TAIYAKIs!!!
(via Serious Eats: Taiyaki are pastries made of a pancake-like batter filled with sweet red bean paste)
Obviously the ones I made didn’t look like a fish but it nearly tasted the same! I’ve only had taiyaki once in the States and it was freakin’ $3 per fish!! If only I wasn’t watching watching my weight when I was in Shanghai… They were like 3 RMB at the time!
To make these, you need a few things that you’ll probably have to go out of your way for. The first is clearly the pan. Sorry, there’s no way around this one. The second is the sweet red bean paste. Luckily, that’s what Amazon is for (too bad there’s no Prime for this one though). You can also find it at any Asian grocer.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with sweet red bean, it’s super popular in Asia. They make it into bubble tea and heck, they even make it into ice cream! Don’t let the sweet and bean combination intimidate you. As someone who vehemently abhors beans, it’s shocking that I’ve actually taken a liking to sweet red bean paste. It’s literally just boiled/mashed beans with sugar. Surprisingly deee-licious.
Sweet Red Bean Ebelskivers
Basic batter from “Ebelskivers” by Kevin Craft
Makes batter for 21 pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flower
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, separated
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup of sweet red bean paste
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt). Then, in another bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks and then add in the milk and melted butter. After, add the yolk mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until well incorporated. Batter will be lumpy.
In another clean bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until they’re stiff (but not dry). When peaks form, stop. Then using a spatula, fold in a third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Continue folding until no white streaks remain. Use the batter right away.
You may find that there’s some egg white residue that didn’t get beat until stiff. Instead, they remain watery. No worries. Just add it to the batter. You should, however, try to minimize this by checking to see whether all of the egg whites have been beaten.
Heat the pan on low-medium heat. Grease the pan with butter or cooking spray. Then, using an ice cream scoop, scoop some of the batter and begin filling the holes part way. After filling all seven holes, take another spoon and scoop a tablespoon of red bean filling into the each batter. After, fill each hole all the way to the top so that the red bean paste is hidden. Wait until bubbles form. Flip carefully using two chopsticks (or forks if you must- just be careful not to poke a hole).
The ebelskivers don’t take long to cook. If the heat is too high, they will cook too quickly and char, so it’s best to err on the safe side and let them cook longer. As they heat up, they should get fluffy. These are best served immediately after as they will start to deflate once they get cold.