Monday, May 20, 2013

Dorayaki (Japanese Pancake with Red Bean Paste Filling)

One of my favorite Japanese desserts/cake is Dorayaki. It looks like 2 silver dollar pancakes filled with sweetened red bean paste in the middle. The pancake is slightly sweet and a little more dense than the regular western pancakes. This pancake is great for dessert or for breakfast and can be very portable! 

I made a healthier version of dorayaki a few years ago. Although it tasted pretty good, this recipe that I'm sharing with you today will taste more authentic! It takes quite a bit of patience to cook this pancake so that the color is nice and even. When making this, I also realized that the pan used is very important to achieve the perfect texture and color. I think it has something to do with the heat distribution of the pan. I made the dorayakis using a crepe pan from Crate and Barrel and they turned out perfect. The color was nice and even, and the pancakes developed bubbles as they cooked (see below) which  made them slightly lighter. Upon tasting the dorayaki I made, my neighbor asked me to show her how to make it. This time, we used 2 pans to cook the dorayaki in hopes that we can finish making this quicker. Little did we know a difference in the pan used will give us different results in the dorayaki. The ones I made using the crepe pan turned out perfect. The ones my neighbor made using a regular non-stick pan was a little dense, no bubbles developed when the pancakes were cooking and the color was not as even. We eventually used my crepe pan to finish the rest of the batter and it came out perfect! 

Anyway, I turned to my now favorite Japanese food blog for a dorayaki recipe and loved the end product. It was overall quite easy to make these yummy Japanese desserts. I made my dorayakis just a tad smaller so that I can make a little more dorayakis! =) Nami's blog is excellent with step by step instructions on making dorayaki. Here's the recipe extracted from Nami's blog. 

*Makes about 14 (2-1/2") dorayakis

  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar (OK to reduce to 1/2 Cup)
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp Water
  • 1 Can/Package Sweetened Red Bean Paste (You will have some leftovers)

In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar and honey. Whisk well until mixture has a lot of bubbles and is fluffy. Sift flour and baking powder into the egg mixture and mix well. Let the mixture rest in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. 

Stir in 1/2 tbsp of water at a time to get the right consistency. The batter should be slightly thicker than regular pancake batter. If batter is too thin, dorayaki will be too flat and not fluffy. 

Heat a large non stick frying pan (in my case, crepe pan works perfectly!) over medium low to medium heat. Dip a piece of paper towel in oil and rub the bottom of the pan with oil. The pan should be slightly oiled but shouldn't be visible. Scoop the batter with a table spoon (for a smaller dorayaki) and drop the batter from about 1" above the pan to create a 2" diameter pancake (batter will continue to slightly spread). When you see the surface of batter starts to bubble, flip over and cook the other side just till it's slightly browned. Transfer to a plate and cover up with damp towel to prevent from drying. Repeat until all batter has been used up.

Before assembling, roughly pair 2 pancakes together to ensure they "match" properly. The nicer/more even surface will be the outer layer. Scoop a heaping teaspoon of red bean paste and place it in the center of the one the pancakes. Slightly spread the red bean paste to the side, but ensuring the center is slightly higher. Sandwich with another piece of pancake, gently pieces together. Wrap each assembled dorayaki with saran wrap until ready to serve.

Serve the dorayaki with some green tea or coffee. It's great for an afternoon pick me up!

June's Notes: I ended up adding 1 tbsp of water to the batter to slightly dilute it. Oiling the pan is very important. You need to ensure that no oil is visible as this is the trick to get a nice and even color on the pancake. I also noticed that the first batch after oiling the pan will usually turn out a little ugly; though still edible. The heat is also important, too high heat you'll get a burnt (and slightly under cooked) dorayaki. Too low, the dorayaki might not develop bubbles that it needs. It literally made about 3-4 bad pancakes to learn from my mistakes and yield perfect ones after. So, don't be discourage if you had some bad pancakes in the beginning! 

Amount of red bean paste to fill is up to your personal preference. Fill more (without it spilling out from the sides) if you like more, less if not..If you're not a fan of sweet red beans (though I think you're missing out!!), fill it with some peanut butter or perhaps nutella! 

Since these dorayaki does not have any preservatives, I wouldn't keep this for more than 3 days. The husband and I had no problems finishing the dorayakis in 2 days... They are so good and convenient to eat! 


Simply June 


Baking Scientist said...

Your pancakes look perfect! It's Doraemon's favorite snack :)

Anonymous said...

i love to fill my dorayakis with cream cheese, or a slice of processed cheese. nommers :)

Simply June said...

@Baking Scientist: Oiling the pan very very lightly is the key to the nice even color..though the first batch might not be perfect, the latter batches after oiling the pan is perfect! =) Yes, it's Dorayaki's fav snack...and mine!

@Anonymous: Hmm, that's an interesting filling... I'm sure it taste great... is the cream cheese you used sweet or savory?

Unknown said...

SO Glad your recipe popped up on my search. I wanted to use my paste in a breakfast way this morning, and this was PERFECT. Minor substitution was chick pea flour in the 'cakes; a tablespoon of honey. Thank you for sharing. I know we will enjoy these again and again! ~Laura

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