The Great Northern War – Part Deux

Editor’s note: here’s the second post in the republication of my 2-part series on poffertjes vs. aebleskiver!

Behold the contender: Aebleskiver (Danish Pancakes)!

Aebleskiver are little puffed pancakes often filled with a variety of delicious fillings. The recipe makes about 30 pancakes and I made 10 with milk chocolate ganache, 10 with blackberry jam (store-bought), and 10 plain.  (Get the original recipe from Williams-Sonoma, and mine here!)

These pancakes are delicious, but they were kind of a pain to make.  My biggest issues were with keeping the filling from leaking out of the pancakes and turning them.  Maybe I need a set of these?

(picture from http://jessicaburns.com/2011/11/aebleskivers/)

Probably not, though.  I think the keys to perfect aebleskiver are:

1. making sure you put enough butter in each well (see all that buttah?)

2. finding a good dough to filling ratio (which I did not excel at).
These look okay, but really in the bottom well and top-right well, there’s way too much jam. Those will eventually leak out, burn in the bottom of the well, and keep other aebleskiver from cooking properly in those wells until I can clean them out…
A few things to keep in mind are:
  • make sure you keep the fillings nice and cold – the warmer they are, the soupier they are, the more likely they’ll leak out of the pancakes and mess up the pan
  • use a swirling motion to fill the pan – when you 1st put the batter in, if you swirl from outside in, you’ll create a little well for the filling; then, when you cover the filling up, swirl from outside in again to create a filling-leak-proof pancake barrier
(this one came out nicely!)

I noticed that the batter looked really yellow in comparison to other pancake batters, I think because of the buttermilk.  I thought the plain pancakes were the best – the ganache ones may have been better with dark chocolate, and the jam ones were a bit too sweet for me.  The plain ones, though, were like the glorious child of fried dough and pancakes in bite-sized puffs.

I had the same pancake-testers try both the aebleskiver and poffertjes and they came out tied, so I guess I’m the official tie-breaker.  I’m struggling a little I think the poffertjes win the easier-prep battle, while the aebleskiver win the taste battle.  Ultimately, taste has got to win…

4.25 out of 5 stackies: 

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The Great Northern War* – Part 1

Editor’s Note: Last week’s post made me start reminiscing about the first time I made aebleskiver so I decided to republish my first series on Northern European pancakes…yeah, that was a thing. Enjoy!

*So, technically the Great Northern War is already a thing…as in part of a series of wars fought in northern and northeastern Europe, but who’s really keeping track of those?  What I do keep track of is pancakes, so this will be the first in a two-part blog post comparing Dutch Poffertjes and Danish Aebleskiver – let the skirmish begin!

Poffertjes are basically baby buckwheat pancakes (get the original recipe here, and my converted one here!).  They’re a little smaller than a half-dollar, but bigger than a quarter and the recipe makes about 100.

There are some specialty tools you’ll need to make both these and the aebleskiver.  First, the pan:

This is actually an aebleskiver pan, but it’ll work for both types of pancakes.  I got mine from Amazon, I think it was $11.  Poffertjes pans are usually a lot bigger, with shallower (and many more) wells…something like this:

poffertjes pan

(picture from http://fantes.com/aebleskiver.html).  I just compensated by putting in less batter.

I guess you’re technically also supposed to have special sticks that help you turn the poffertjes, I just used chopsticks, and I saw a bunch of recipes that said to use knitting needles!

Lastly, a squirt bottle.  This made making 100 poffertjes sooo much easier, can you imagine ladling in batter 100 times? No thank you!

Also, if you don’t want to make your own batter, you can buy a mix.  I’ve never seen poffertjes mix in my grocery store, but apparently it exists.  The batter is pretty easy to put together, though, so I’m not sure if it’s worth the trouble to hunt down poffertjes mix.  Plus,  I got to work with buckwheat flour for the first time! (I felt very sophisticated checking out.)

The batter smells very nutty, and the pancakes have a really nice buckwheat taste – not too strong, but definitely present.  Poffertjes are traditionally served with powdered sugar and whipped butter, which make everything taste good, and these pancakes were definitely delicious.  Also, they were mini, and mini things just taste better, it’s science.

(close-up!)

The aebleskivers will have to be pretty delicious to beat these.  Tune in next week to see who triumphs!

4 out of 5 stackies: