Devoured by Doraemon, Pulled out of Afros, Held Sadly by Haruka: The Always Appropriate Dorayaki

Dorayaki - Idolmaster 23 - 02

Everyone loves pancakes, right? Now, imagine taking two fluffy, slightly sweet, castella-like pancakes and sandwiching anko (sweet red bean paste) in between. This is dorayaki, and now you are in delicious heaven.

Dorayaki (dora meaning gong, and yaki referring to the method of cooking the pancakes) is a wonderfully sweet and satisfying dessert  frequently appears in anime, mostly in the form of a quick snack or dessert. It is probably most recognizable as the preferred food of everyone’s favourite robotic futuristic cat, Doraemon!

But, Doraemon is not the only character that eats dorayakiI In episode 3 of Nichijou, there is a brief, but funny scene where Sakurai sensei hesitantly asks Tanaka about his afro… only to have him interrupt, rummage in his hair, and pull out a dorayaki for her. What.

In episode 23 of The Idolm@ster, Producer-san comes by Haruka and Miki’s set to deliver dorayaki to the production staff as a friendly gesture. He chats briefly with Haruka who’s feeling down, but before they can really talk, they are interupted by Miki. Haruka sadly holds her dorayaki (this is not how to hold dorayaki… you should be happy when consuming it!), and decides not to confide in her producer…

About the recipe:

Dorayaki - Idolmaster 23 - 01Dorayaki is a common confectionary that originates from Japan. Originally it only consisted of one layer of pancake folded in half to hold the red bean paste at it’s centre. It’s current two-pancake shape was created in 1914. Dorayaki is also sometimes called mikasa in some parts of Japan.

Today, dorayaki can be bought in convenience stores, bakeries, grocery stores, and shopping malls all over Japan. They’re typically individually wrapped in plastic sleeves for ease of eating and preservation.

There are also plenty of variations for dorayaki too, such as whipped cream or chestnuts mixed into the anko, or chocolate, custard, fresh fruit, or even ice cream as a filling! But, if you can’t buy dorayaki where you live, you can always make it! The majority of this recipe is fairly straight forward, and for today’s recipe, I will offer one variation for creating matcha flavoured pancakes.

It’s basically like making pancakes! Here are a few tips:

Dorayaki - Idolmaster 23 - 03To make perfectly round pancakes, I use a ladle to carefully pour the batter into the heated pan, but a plastic measuring jug with a spout could work well too. There’s no need to move or smear the batter into a circle; simply pouring the batter into a fixed point will ensure a perfect circle! Easy, right?

The other thing to make sure to do when cooking up the pancakes is to carefully wipe the surface of your pan or griddle to remove any oil droplets. Doing this will ensure that the surface of the pancakes are an even colour, and not spotty or blotchy. I usually use a piece of paper towel with oil on it to wipe oil across the pan, and then a clean paper towel to wipe off any excess. Make sure to use a pair of tongs or something so that you don’t accidentally burn yourself on the hot oil!

Because of the honey and the light texture of the pancakes, they can become burnt or very dark very quickly. I recommend flipping them as soon as they can be reasonably moved. Adjust your heat if you find your pancakes browning faster than the batter cooks.

About the ingredients:

Doraemon 01Cake flour is a particular type of flour that contains less protein than all purpose flour, and is of a fine texture and very light colour. The lower amount of protein in the flour makes it so that less gluten forms when it’s used in a recipe, which in turn makes it ideal for making soft, fine crumbed cakes. Cake flour is readily available in most grocery stores. Just don’t get it mixed up with cake mix!

While it is, of course, preferable if cake flour is used, if you don’t have any on hand and it’s a total emergency, a possible substitute for cake flour is mixing all purpose flour with cornstarch. I only recommend this if you seriously need to make this dessert and cake flour is nowhere to be found where you live. The recipe is that for every 1 cup of all purpose flour, remove 2 tbsp flour and replace it with 2 tbsp cornstarch. Sift them together 3-5 times to aerate the flour and ensure the cornstarch and flour are thoroughly mixed together. Then, use as directed.

Anko, or sweet red bean paste, is made by cooking azuki beans into a paste and sweetening it with sugar. Anko is available in a can in some Asian grocery stores, but homemade anko tastes much better! Find the recipe here!

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Confectioners sugar, also called powdered sugar or icing sugar, is a very finely ground sugar that typically will also have an anti-caking agent mixed into it. It’s quick to dissolve, so it’s ideal for recipes that don’t contain much liquid for which sugar to be dissolved. Widely available in grocery stores.

Matcha is a finely powdered green tea that is traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies. It dissolves into liquids easily, and does not need to be strained like regular teas. It can be found in some grocery stores and Asian grocery stores. It is also often sold in specialty stores. Matcha might be shelved in a variety of locations in a store, including the Asian/international food section, tea and coffee aisle, or vitamins/supplements department.

Dorayaki 01Dorayaki 02

The recipe:

Dorayaki

Makes 6 dorayaki

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 80 g (~ 3/4 cup) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 50 ml (~ 3 tbsp) water (plus 1 – 3 tsp more for adjusting the consistency of the batter)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 130 g (1 1/3 cups + 1 tbsp) cake flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp matcha (optional)
  • 12 oz (~ 2 cups) anko, (find the recipe for anko here)

Directions:

1. Lightly whisk eggs together. Add sugar and honey, and whisk continuously for 3 minutes. The mixture should be lightly coloured with many small bubbles on its surface.

2. Dissolve baking soda in water, and add to the egg mixture, whisking to incorporate it.

3. If you would like matcha dorayaki, sift the flour and matcha together 2 – 3 times to ensure the matcha is evenly distributed through the batter without any lumps.

Add sifted flour to the egg mixture, mixing until all the flour has been incorporated and the batter is smooth. Do not over mix. Cover the batter and let rest for 30 minutes.

4. Uncover and adjust the consistency of the batter by adding water, one teaspoon at a time. The batter should run off your whisk fairly easily, but still have some thickness to it, similar to a thin pudding or thick pancake batter.

5. In a griddle or nonstick frying pan pre-heated on medium-low, lightly oil the surface using a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. Use a clean paper towel to wipe the pan of any excess oil drops to ensure the pancakes cook with an even colour.

Carefully pour your batter into the pan in a fixed spot, allowing the batter to naturally spread out and form a perfect circle about 3 inches across.

When small bubbles appear in the batter, about 1 – 2 minutes after pouring into the pan, use a spatula to flip the pancakes and cook the second side. Cook for an additional 30 seconds, or until the second side is just browned.

Remove cooked pancakes from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool. To ensure that the pancakes do not dry out, cover them with a clean, lint-free towel as they cool.

Make a total of 12 pancakes for 6 dorayaki (2 pancakes per dorayaki).

6. To assemble the dorayaki, take a cooled pancake, with the nicest side facing down (generally the first side that cooked). Gently spread anko on the pancake, with more mounded in the centre. Place a second pancake on top and press around the edges gently to shape the dorayaki. Wrap individually in plastic wrap to preserve the shape, and refrigerate.

Remove from refrigerator prior to serving to allow the dorayaki to come to room temperature.

Keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freezes well. Defrost at room temperature.

Serve as a snack or dessert with your favourite green tea.

Source: Adapted from Cooking with Dog

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