A winter tradition in Denmark, these puffy fried cakes called Aebleskiver, are baked in special pans with half-sphere shaped cavities. They are generally served with a dusting of sugar and a generous portion of black currant or some other tasty jam.
In the Netherlands, smaller but similar cakes are called Poffertjes, baked in pans with shallow rounded cavities. They are so popular that you will commonly find them in restaurants and at fairs. You can also use these specially shaped pans for Gem Scones.
The Danish Aebleskiver are also known as Danish Ball Pancakes, Norwegian Puff Balls, Ableskiver, Aebelskiver, Ebelskiver and Poffertjes, as well as Puffers, Merfeilles and Krapfchen. The pan is also referred to as a Munk Pan.
Non-stick aluminum pans should be washed by hand with hot sudsy water, before and after use.
Wash your new unseasoned cast iron or cast aluminum pan by hand with hot sudsy water, then rinse well and dry thoroughly. The pan must be seasoned before use, by rubbing it with cooking oil over a medium flame until the oil starts to smoke. After seasoning, use only hot water and a stiff plastic-bristle brush for cleaning, so that your pan will retain its non-stick performance. (More on Seasoning & Care)
Also known as Dutch Mini Pancakes, Tiny Pancakes, and Puffers
125 g (4-1/2 oz by weight) of wheat grain flour
125 g (4-1/2 oz by weight) of buckwheat flour
(if you can’t get the latter, just use all wheat grain flour, i.e. 250 g of flour in total)
3 dl (10 oz.) of lukewarm milk
10 g (0.35 oz by weight) of yeast
2 tablespoons of sweet syrup
Pinch of salt
75 g (2-1/2 oz by weight) melted butter
Sieve (and or mix) all the flour, make a depression in the middle and pour a small portion of the lukewarm milk, in which the yeast has been dissolved first, into the hole.
Sprinkle the salt along the outer edge of the flour and start making the ‘poffertjes’ mix, stirring from the center, adding slowly the remaining milk and afterwards the beaten egg and the syrup.
Leave the mix to rise for about three quarters of an hour in a warm place.
Put some butter in each depression of the ‘poffertjes’ saucepan and pour a small amount of the mix into each depression, filling approx. half of the depression. Let the poffertjes become light brown and dry at the bottom. Turn them (with a small fork) to cook/bake the other side.
Serve as hot as possible.
Sprinkle generously with the powder sugar and put a small lump of butter on top of the poffertjes.
Or put some sweet syrup in the poffertjes instead of the sugar and butter.
Poffertjes Recipe from Patisse
250 g (9 oz by weight) flour
3 dl (1-1/4 cups) lukewarm milk
10 g (2 teaspoons) yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
A bit of melted butter
Sift the flour and put it in a mixing bowl.
Add the yeast and the teaspoon of sugar to the lukewarm milk and let it dissolve.
Make a little hole in the flour and put a yeast mixture in it. Do not stir. Cover the hole with flour and let it all rest for 15 minutes in a warm place.
Then stir it up. Add the eggs and a little bit of melted butter to give the dough the desired consistency. Stir once more.
Let the dough rise for 1 hour, under a humid cloth in a warm place.
Put the poffertjes griddle on the stove or oven and lightly grease the cavities. Fill the cavities only half-way, or less, with the dough.
Bake the poffertjes quickly until they are golden brown, then use the poffertjes fork to turn them around, baking the other side golden brown as well.
Arrange the baked poffertjes on a warmed plate. Dust with powdered sugar and put a lump of butter on them before serving. Serve hot.
Danish Aebleskiver Recipe
Makes about 2 dozen
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter
Optional: apple slices or other fruit
Beat egg yolks until light and fluffy, then add the sugar and salt.
Sift the flour with baking powder and baking soda, then add it to the egg mixture, alternating small amounts with the addition of the buttermilk, as you continue mixing.
Beat the egg whites until stiff, then gently fold them into the batter.
Heat the Aebleskiver pan. Place approximately 1/2 teaspoon of butter in each cup and heat until foamy.
Drop batter into cups, filling each about 2/3 full.
If you wish to use apple slices or other fruit, drop a slice in the center of each cavity.
Cook over medium heat until browned and crisp on bottom.
Turn each cake with a fork to cook the other side.
The Aebleskiver is done when a toothpick, or cake tester, inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove cakes from pan and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar, if desired. Best when served warm.
Aebleskiver Recipe Variations
They can be served with ice cream, powdered sugar, bananas, chocolate sauce, and other sweets.
They are nice as a snack with hot chocolate and whipped cream. Also great as a dessert with liqueur and ice cream.
You can also fill the inside by pouring some batter in the mold, adding a teaspoon of your filling, and covering with another layer of batter.
Sweet fillings can include: Jam, raisins, pieces of apple, marzipan (almond paste), pieces of banana, pieces of chocolates.
Savory fillings can include: Butter cheese with herbs, grated old cheese, strips of bacon, strips of salami.
3 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 cups flour
1 ounce yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cardamom, crushed
Sift flour into a bowl, add half of milk and butter and beat thoroughly.
Add salt, sugar, and eggs, one at a time.
Dissolve yeast in one-fourth cup of the remaining milk with a little sugar and add to remainder of milk.
Add this, the butter and the cardamom to the batter and stir well.
Cover and allow to rise for one-half to one hour.
Heat monk iron, put a little butter in each cavity and, when the iron is hot, place a tablespoon of batter in each cavity.
A piece of apple or a little jam may be added when the cakes have cooked for a moment.
Turn with wooden fork, picks or skewers and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until done. Serve warm with sugar or jam.