I remember when I was scheduled to have my First Communion – a few weeks before we had to prepare by going to our first confession. For those who don’t know what this means, basically, you enter a little booth, divided by a wall – one side sits a priest and one the other end is you. You tell the priest your sins and transgressions and ask for forgiveness. Some classmates planted this notion that the more sins we could confess, the better. Not only that, the longer I could drag out my confessions – the more chances I would go to heaven. So my first confession (and the subsequent ones for several years!) contained lots of trivial and irrelevant confessions from “I was angry with this friend”, “I did not finish my vegetables for dinner” or “I told my Mum I took a bath when in fact I just ‘wet’ the soap so she would think I did”
I can imagine the poor priest on the other end of the confessional wishing that this little girl would just shut up!
Why I bring this up is because, well, there is another something I’d like to get off my chest. These Danish Pancakes – well’ they aren’t really Danish.
When Simone from Jungle Frog and Nurit from 1 Family. Friendly. Food posted their Dutch pancakes I was very interested in participating in the next challenge. The idea was to make aebleskivers or Danish pancakes.
Confession Number 1: There was a time I couldn’t tell the difference between the Dutch and Danish pancakes. Try to google these two, and well, they look the same! In fact, I think I must have emailed Simone three or four times asking “what is the difference between the pancakes that start with A and P” . That is, A stood for the aebleskivers, the Danish pancakes and P stood for the poffortjes, or the Dutch pancakes. I also had no idea how to pronounce either Dutch or Danish pancakes.
Confession Number 2: I used the wrong pan. I couldn’t find an aebleskiver pan in Sydney (if anyone knows where I can get it please let me know!). So I thought, well, since I couldn’t immediately tell the difference, maybe most readers wouldn’t as well. So off I went to buy the Dutch pancake pans only to realize after that the Danish pancakes are deeper, allowing you to put more filling in each.
Confession Number 3: - I didn’t use the traditional aebleskiver recipe. Because the pan I had bought was not deep enough, it was difficult to fill (you normally fill the pancakes with your choice of filling – whether it be chocolate, jam, fruit compote etc.). Instead, I used Bill Granger’s Ricotta Hotcake with Honeycomb Butter recipe. Bill’s is one of those iconic breakfast joints in Sydney. One of his most popular breakfast items is the ricotta hotcakes – they’re delicious, especially with the honeycomb butter.
Confession Number 4: My geography is SHOCKING. Remember I told you I couldn’t tell the difference between the two pancakes? Well, this is probably the most embarrassing confession so far – I called the Dutch shop to ask where I could buy the aebleskiver pan.
The lady on the line was quite curt and said “I don’t know what you are referring to”.
So I thought, well, maybe I didn’t know how to pronounce it. So I asked again, “aebleskiver pan – A E B L E S K I V E R “
“No… I don’t know what that is”
So I said “The one you use to make pancakes”
“You mean the poffertjes pan?” she asked
“No… no, the other one – the aebleskiver – you know, the one used to make the Danish pancakes?”
“My dear, she said – this is a Dutch shop – we don’t sell Danish goods”
OH MY… silly silly me.
I can just imagine Ellie cringing now!
Ah yes, you must be like the poor priest on the other end of the confessional – wishing this lady with the shocking lack of knowledge of geography would just shut up and give the recipe… okay – without further ado – here it is.
Recipe – from BBC Food
For the honeycomb butter
- 250g/8¾oz unsalted butter, softened
- 100g/3½oz sugar honeycomb, crushed with a rolling pin (you can use a Crunchie or Violet Crumble bar for this)
- 2 tbsp honey
For the hotcakes
- 225g/8oz ricotta
- 170ml/6fl oz milk
- 4 eggs, separated
- 140g/5oz plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- a pinch salt
- 50g/1½oz butter
- banana or strawberries
- icing sugar for dusting
1. Make the honeycomb butter first. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Shape into a log on clingfilm, roll, seal and chill in a refrigerator for two hours.
2. Place ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a mixing bowl and mix to combine. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add to the ricotta mixture and mix until just combined.
3. Place egg whites in a clean dry bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites through batter in two batches, with a large metal spoon.
4. Lightly grease a large non-stick frying pan (I used the dutch pancake pan) with a small portion of the butter and drop two tablespoons of batter per hotcake into the pan (don’t cook more than three per batch).
5. Cook over low to medium heat for two minutes, or until hotcakes have golden undersides. Turn hotcakes and cook on the other side until golden and cooked through.
6. Transfer to a plate and quickly assemble with other ingredients.
7. Slice one banana lengthways onto a plate, stack three hotcakes on top with a slice of honeycomb butter. Dust with icing sugar. You can use strawberries in place of the banana.
Note – hotcake batter can be stored for up to 24 hours, covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. You can store leftover honeycomb butter in the freezer and slice as required – it’s great on toast!