As a big fan of Japanese food, and knowing that sushi is really a small part of the culinary culture of the land of the rising sun; I am always very excited to experience the unique flavors and special Japanese ingredients.
When I met Renan and Daniel, two amazing chefs that host Japanese dinner parties at their home, I just knew we had to collaborate somehow. We immediately had a great connection, and when we set up a baking date, I just knew it was going to be delicious and unique.
We made traditional Japanese pancakes named Dorayaki. These pancakes are so airy, delicious and have a beautiful dark hew that makes the simply irresistible. Traditionally, they are served with Anko paste (a very common red or black bean spread in Japan); but we filled them with the matcha pastry cream, to keep them Japanese, only with a twist.
Dorayaki – Japanese Pancake Filled with Matcha Pastry Cream
For the pancakes:
- 2 large eggs
- 80 grams of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 50 ml. of water
- 130 grams of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1-2 teaspoons of water (as needed – see instructions)
For matcha pastry cream:
- 125 ml. of milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- 30 grams of sugar
- 10 grams of cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon macha powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 50 grams of soft butter
- whip eggs, sugar, honey and salt in a mixer bowl until you get an airy, stable and bright foam.
- In a small bowl, mix the baking soda and water until combined.
- Add the soda mixture to the whipped eggs mixture, sift in the flour and baking powder, and gently fold using a spatula until fully incorporated.
- Cover the bowl and put the mixture in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes to rest.
- Before frying the pancakes, stir the mixture again. If it is too thick (the texture should resemble nut butte- add a little cold water as needed.
- Frying: heat a nonstick pan on medium flame and lightly grease the pan using a paper towel soaked in some vegetable oil or melted butter.
- Pour 2-3 small pancakes with a small ladle and fry on low to medium heat for 3-4 minutes until tiny bubbles begin to form on the top of the pancakes and they lose its shine.
- Flip the pancakes gently with a spatula and fry for 10-15 seconds on the other side.
- Transfer the prepared pancakes into a plate and cover with a towel immediately. Continue until all the pancakes are ready.
Matcha pastry cream:
- In a pot, put milk and heat to a boil.
- In a small bowl, mix egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, matcha and vanilla until combined.
- Pour 1/3 of the boiling milk over the yolk mixture and mix well until uniform.
- Add the egg yolk mixture to the rest of the milk in a saucepan and mix well with a whisk.
- Return to cooking on a medium flame, while whisking all the time until you get a very thick and firm pastry cream that starts to simmer.
- Remove from the stove and add butter. Mix thoroughly until dissolved.
- Transfer the cream to a flat container, cover with plastic wrap over the cream itself to avoid crust forming, and cool for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator for stabilization.
- Before using the cream, transfer it to a bowl and mix well with a whisk to return to the original creamy texture.
- Place 1-2 generous teaspoons of cream on top of the pancakes and close to a sandwich with another pancake.
- Serve immediately. You can sprinkle a little powdered sugar before serving.
- The pancakes are at their best as fresh as possible, so you should prepare them just before serving.
- The pastry cream can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the fridge.
- Matcha powder can be found in tea shops, nature stores and selected spice shops.
- Of course, you can fill the pancakes with everything you like, including prepared spreads like Nutella, biscoff, jam and so on.