Sunday, November 24, 2013

8/28 Cooking Challenge - Ebelskivers

I cannot believe that it has been over 3 months since my last 8/28 Cooking Challenge post. What makes it even more ridiculous is that I've known what I was going to make for almost that entire time.

For my birthday this year, I was given Ebelskivers: Filled Pancakes and Other Mouthwatering Miniatures by a friend of mine who was generous enough to also give me the appropriate aebelskiver (it's pronounced /able-skeever/, and the traditional spellings I've seen typically start with that "a") pan and tools. Since it was time for another recipe from a new cookbook, I did the calculations and came out with a recipe for Dark Chocolate Sauce, which I figured I would accompany with a recipe for "basic" aebelskivers. For no obvious reasons, the book and pan have been sitting in the kitchen for the past 3 months. But we've been doing things like travelling and being social, and I've simply never had the time to devote to a cooking post.

This morning, after a blissful sleep-in enabled by Christopher taking care of the pooch, I got up and was trying to figure out what I was hungry for. Christopher suggested that I just go ahead and make the aebelskivers, since we didn't have anywhere we had to be, so I didn't need to hurry.

So I did.

Now, one of the things that takes time in the posts is buying the ingredients. Since I hadn't planned in advance, we were missing two things: heavy cream and whole milk. I figured there was a good change that the Dark Chocolate Sauce might turn out wrong with milk instead of cream, but that the batter would probably be fine with skim instead of whole milk. So I kept the batter in mind, but swapped the Chocolate Dipping Sauce for the Dark Chocolate Sauce.

And away we go...

You can see the specialized pan in the middle, with the two sticks you can use to turn the Aebelskivers. (See below)

Okay, so, first we make the sauce... (Sorry for the blur factor. Not sure why the  camera seemed to feel like the counter was moving...) 
Yeah... The simple syrup took about 90 seconds to clarify - not 3 minutes. And then I whisked in the cocoa.
Not gonna lie. I love putting vanilla into hot liquids and watching them boil up. There's a Christmas cookie I make that does this, and every year it makes me happy.

Once the Chocolate Dipping Sauce was done, I simply slid it off to the side of the stove and left it in the pan, then went on to make the batter.

Top bowl: Dry ingredients; Middle bowl: Egg whites; Bottom bowl: Wet ingredients.
The recipe called for using an electric hand mixer to whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. It was only two egg whites, so I just did it by hand.
Final step - folding in the egg whites.
Start by filling the wells about 2/3 full. (I learned as I went along that putting in more batter was better, because they got puffier and rounder, instead of kind of flat.)
Use the tools (or two skewers) to flip them once the first side is browned.
If you want to fill them, you put in a little dollop of filling (in this case strawberry jam) and then cover that with just enough batter to seal it.
If you flip the filled ones right, you kind of get a "jelly donut" look.
Once you're done, they kind look like this. (The pan actually only makes 7 at a time.)
Aebleskiver "bowl" with chocolate filling. :-)
So... What did we think?

Well... If I had to choose between making "regular" pancakes or making plain aebelskivers, I'd probably actually choose the pancakes. They're less futzy, and they're bigger, so you don't need to make as many to fill yourself up.

However, that said, I'm sure that with practice I'd get much faster. And - more to my liking - the cookbook has a ton of other recipes in it. Things like spinach and goat cheese appetizers, or crab-cake-style aebelskivers. Those I feel like I could make in advance and keep warm for a party.

I'm definitely going to try them again, sometime. Just probably not at 9:30 in the morning, when all I really want is something to eat.

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