Blini (Russian Crepes)

Blini

Another quick recipe! I was originally going to make this for pancake day but life (and fluffy Japanese-style pancakes shameless plug) got in the way.

I wanted to make this all because I was reading fanfiction about one of my favourite anime (Yuri!!! on Ice. The 3 exclamation points are very important) and the Russian character started talking about blinis. Which are apparently Russian crepes. Don’t judge me.

I ate mine with some sweetened condensed milk, Marco Polo jelly (or should I say, gelée. Ohohohoho look at how cultured I am. It’s a type of tea-infused jelly), and whipped cream. I think most people eat blinis as something savoury? Like in an hors d’oeuvre. Woah I had to google that spelling.

Ingredients (the original recipe predicted about 7-8 crepes but I ended up with 4, not sure if it was because of differences in the size of the pan/thickness of crepe)

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of milk (or heavy cream if you’re feeling greedy. Guess which one I went for)
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Approximately 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil + more for oiling the pan

Method

  1. Whisk the egg, milk, sugar, and salt together.
  2. Slowly start stirring in the flour. Start with half of the flour and gradually add in a little at a time until you get a runny batter that is thicker than milk.
  3. Stir in the oil. Then cover and let rest for 15 mins.
  4. Preheat a large non-stick pan over medium heat and oil the pan using a kitchen towel lightly soaked in oil. Use either a 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup (whichever is more appropriate for the size of pan you chose) to scoop the batter (for consistency). Quickly tilt the pan until the batter spreads to cover the pan surface.
  5. Cook for 2-3 mins until small bubbles start to form on top and bottom is a light golden brown. Then flip and cook for 30 seconds, or until the other side is a light golden brown as well.
  6. Oil the pan before each blini.

Notes

  • Yeah the recipe seems a little imprecise but honestly it’s quite forgiving and you can always adjust the consistency of your batter with more flour if it’s too thin and more milk if it’s too thick.
  • I found that the batter got quite lumpy and I had to really work to get the lumps out. So I think just be a bit more careful when adding the flour and really whisk well.
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Fluffy Japanese-style Pancakes

It’s Pancake Day!!

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My exams are finally over which means it’s time to eat my (happy) feelings.

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Apparently the key ingredient here is Japanese mayonnaise. Some people seem repulsed by the idea of mayonnaise (they don’t know what they’re missing out on), but okay let’s break it down. Mayonnaise is just mainly oil and egg mixed up (and maybe a little MSG but hey that’s just more flavour), so adding mayonnaise is just making your life easier by mixing the oil and egg first.

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Gotta arrange that pancake stack to hide the fact that I can’t make pancakes of the same size.

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Making my housemate pour syrup #forthegram. Don’t mind her arm shadow.

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And here’s how the texture looks like inside. And also the recommended ratio of butter to pancake.

I got the recipe from here, just skipped the lemon juice. I really liked this recipe! Thought the pancakes did turn out fluffy, like it promised. Did not quite reach the volume reached in the original recipe, but I feel like that could be down to (my lack of) technique.

Ingredients (makes 4)

  • 2 eggs
  • 100g plain yoghurt
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 10g Japanese mayonnaise (I used Kewpie mayonnaise)
  • 70g self raising flour
  • 5g baking powder

Methods

  1. Separate the egg yolk and the egg whites into two different bowls.
  2. Mix the yogurt, icing sugar, mayonnaise, and egg yolk together.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into the yolk mixture and mix well.
  4. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk batter (being careful not to over-mix).
  6. Drop a spatula spoonful of the batter into a non-stick frying pan (lightly oiled if you’re not feeling too confident about the non-stickiness) over medium-low heat and cook it until bubbles start forming in the center of the pancake.
  7. Flip them over and then cook for about 2 minutes or until both sides are browned.

Notes

  • My pancakes browned more evenly when I had less oil in the pan, not sure if it was because those pancakes were the later ones though (and the first few pancakes are always the ugliest).

Min Jiang Kueh (Fluffy Chinese Pancakes)

The pancake of many names.

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This pancake’s a traditional snack in Singapore. It’s called 面煎粿, which if you pronounce it in Mandarin is “mian jian guo”. But no one calls it that, it’s usually called “mee chiang kueh”, “bee chiang kueh”, “min chiang kueh”, or as how my family pronounces it, “min jiang kueh”. I think the pronunciation depends on which dialect group your family belongs to.

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This pancake can either be the moist and fluffy variety, as shown here, or the ultra crispy variety which I actually prefer. Usually it’s filled with a sweet and crunchy peanut filling, but I decided to go savoury here with a cheese and pork floss filling.

If you don’t know what pork floss is, it’s like a dried meat product that’s both sweet and savoury at the same time. Kind of like meaty candy floss? Sounds weird, but everyone I’ve given some to has loved it. It has a Wikipedia page, check it out.

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I also tried putting some smooth peanut butter in (probably overfilled it there), which was good, but the traditional crushed peanuts filling was definitely better.

I got the recipe from here. That website also has instructions on how to make the traditional crushed peanut filling. If you want to try making the crispy variety try this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 130g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 160ml water (lukewarm)

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth.
  2. Cover and let sit for 30 mins.
  3. Oil a pan and use a paper towel to soak up excess oil and make sure the surface is evenly oiled.
  4. Heat the pan over low-medium heat. When the pan is hot, add a ladle of batter to the pan. Cover and cook for 4 mins.
  5. When the surface is bubbly and the sides are dry (just like a normal pancake), add your filling of choice on top of the pancake. Cover and cook for 2-3 more mins.
  6. Fold the pancake into half and serve.

Notes

  • The water has to be lukewarm. I completely missed this note and I think that’s why my pancake wasn’t as fluffy as it’s supposed to be. Still pretty fluffy though.

Hotteok (Korean Sweet Brown Syrup Pancakes)

Yay another excuse to eat sugar.

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So it’s pancake day and I’ve wanted to try this for aaages.

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This is a Korean yeasted pancake that’s usually eaten in winter (perfect season). It’s traditionally filled with a sweet mixture. In this case, a brown sugar filling mixed with walnuts that melts into sizzling syrup when it is cooked. Together with the crispy, yeasty, and slightly salty pancake, it’s pretty obvious why hotteok is a popular street food in Korea.

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The base pancake recipe can also be used to make savoury versions! The website I took the recipe from recommended filling the pancakes with cheese.

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I took this recipe from Maangchi, who is a great resource for Korean cooking. I’ve tried many recipes from her before and they’ve all tasted good so I really recommend checking her food and Youtube channel out!

Ingredients (makes 4)

Pancakes

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (125g)

Filling

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (50g)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix water with the sugar, salt, yeast, and vegetable oil.
  2. Mix in the all purpose flour.
  3. Cover, and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hr).
  4. Knock back the mixture, and let it rise a second time until doubled in size (about 10-20 mins).
  5. Meanwhile, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts together to make the filling.
  6. Knock back the dough. Flour a work surface liberally and divide the dough into 4. The dough will be very soft and sticky, and you will need a lot of flour to be able to manipulate it.
  7. Flatten a dough piece, and spoon a quarter of the filling into it. Seal the filling with the dough. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.
  8. Heat some vegetable oil over medium heat.
  9. Fry the pancake for 30s. When the bottom is golden brown, flip the pancake and press down on the pancake.
  10. Fry for 1 minute until golden brown.
  11. Flip the pancake again and, over low heat, place a lid over the pan and let the pancake cook for 1 minute.
  12. Serve hot so the syrup oozes out.

Notes

  • I ended up with quite a bit of filling left over, but that could be down to my stinginess when filling the pancakes.
  • It’s okay if your filling bursts through the dough when trying to seal the pancake. Just roll it around in more flour and it’ll fry fine.

 

Sourdough Pancakes with Roasted Figs, Walnuts, and Cream Cheese

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Another quick pancake recipe this time round! I used my sourdough pancake recipe again (Sally, my sourdough starter, desperately needed to be used). This time I topped it with some roasted figs, adding that extra bit of sticky fruity juiciness. It matched well with the tangy cream cheese and sourdough base, and the toasted walnuts just added texture to that whole thing.

Honestly though the flavour of this to me was not fantastic. I still thought the stewed apple pancakes were better. I mean it was pretty decent, but I just didn’t enjoy chewing through the skin of the figs while eating a sweet pancake. I’m sure this will be up your alley if you like figs though. I also think ricotta would have been a better choice then cream cheese since the sourdough was already pretty tangy, so try that if you want!

Ingredients

  • Figs (I used 4)
  • Butter
  • Honey
  • Cream cheese (a small tub, about 180g)
  • Handful of chopped walnuts, toasted
  • Sweet alcohol of your choice. I used some raspberry liqueur that was just lying around. Partly for its fruitiness, partly because the colour went so well with the figs.

Method

  1. To make the roasted figs: Cut the stem bit of the figs off. Then cut the figs lengthwise. Place them cut-side up in a baking dish, and place a little bit of butter on top of each half. Drizzle some honey and a splash of an alcohol of your choice on top. Bake at 200°C for 10 mins.
  2. To make the cream cheese: Just stir a couple of tablespoons of honey into the cream cheese.
  3. To assemble: Spread the cream cheese on the pancake stack, then arrange the figs and walnuts on top. Drizzle the leftover liquid from the roasted figs over the whole thing.

Notes

  • The recipe quantities here are really informal as I didn’t measure anything. Feel free to adjust.