I grew up watching the Doraemon cartoon series. Every Saturday afternoon, I would sit down in front of the television and watch a little boy named Nobita Nobi get bullied first, and then get revenged or rescued by his best friend and buddy, Doraemon. I always envied the fact that this boy was able to have such an amazing friend who lived with him and who tended to his every need with fanciful tricks and props that could all be pulled out from that amazingly small and compact little front pouch of his.
Doraemon loved his dorayaki pancakes. I remember how happy he looked every time he took a bite of his pancake and then how I, too, yearned to have one for myself. Those that he ate looked especially delicious, for some reasons unknown. It makes me think of this story that I read about a fox cooking a pot of broth using stones. Stones! Being young and naive (I was only about five years old then), I was deeply mesmerised by this ‘recipe’ and could not stop thinking about how it could have tasted – how special the stones could have been to make the soup such a tasty one. It was fortunate that I did not go on to give this ‘recipe’ a try as I most definitely would have ended up poisoning myself.
On the other hand, Doraemon pancakes are for real. They are existing Japanese snacks that are commonly sold in supermarkets even in Singapore, though I find them a tad too sweet for my liking. Now that I am finally old enough, I decided to make some for myself and my family, and what better way to eat the pancakes than to have them specially customised for the individual members of the family – mini pancakes, medium-sized pancakes and large pancakes for the baby, mummy and daddy respectively. I hope that these pancakes will bring out the same big smiles on their faces too, just like the ones Doraemon had.
And maybe we should sit down together to watch the cartoon soon again too.
- Egg: 4
- Brown sugar (or caster sugar): 100g
- Honey: 3 tsp
- Baking soda: 1 tsp
- Cake flour: 180g
- Azuki red bean paste: 100g
- Whisk eggs till frothy.
- Add sugar and continue whisking till dissolved.
- Dissolve honey in 4 tbsp water. Dissolve baking soda in same water.
- Whisk honey mixture into egg mixture.
- Sieve cake flour into egg mixture. Whisk till just combined. Do not over-mix.
- Cover with cling wrap. Leave to rest for 30min.
- Heat pan. Spoon 2 tbsp batter onto pan. Leave to cook till bubbles form on top of batter (about 90 sec).
- Flip pancake to the other side. Leave to cook for about 30 sec. Remove and set aside.
- Repeat for remaining batter.
- Sandwich 2 pancakes with pre-prepared red bean paste or Nutella.
- I used pre-prepared azuki red bean paste as I didn’t want to spend too much time cooking the red beans (there’s no time to do so much!). This paste (see first image below) can be found at the Meidi-ya supermarket. I love that there are actual soft red beans hidden within the paste, which gives an added texture and bite to the pancakes.
- An alternative to red bean paste is the red bean paste powder that can be found at the Marina Square Japanese Emporium. This paste (see second image below) works in a similar way as the mashed potato powder, though you’ll need to cook it in a pot with hot water and sugar. It still tastes appealing enough though a tad more artificial than the real deal. See also the first image in this blog post – my first attempt at making the pancakes and which used this specific powder paste for the pancakes.
- The original recipe calls for oil to be sprayed on the pan for cooking the pancakes. I realised that this created undesirable pockets on the pancakes which makes the browning very uneven. However, when I tried again without oil, voila, the pancakes were evenly browned and perfect-looking!
- Last but not least, for a neat-looking dorayaki pancake sandwich, try this trick: spoon a dollop of red bean paste right onto the center of one slice of pancake. Place another slice on top of the paste and press down to spread the paste. Press the edges of the sandwich firmly so that the paste doesn’t ooze out and destroy your artwork. And there you have it – the perfect dorayki pancake!
6 – 8 medium-sized pancake sandwiches