Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Mia Bakes: Taiyaki

Due to my recent wedding stuff haul off ezbuy prime, I decided to also pick up something I've always wanted to buy but didn't for fear of incurring ridiculous volumetric shipping fees. 

A taiyaki pan!
Well, I also (always) wanted a waffle pan but I decided to test waters on the quality and ease of usage of such pans with a taiyaki one first.


So now let's get over the ingredients so we can get started!
To get 6 (pancakey/chewy) taiyaki, you'll need:

125g all purpose flour
you may use cake flour if you want to get a fluffier, more tender taiyaki
1 egg
160ml milk
(you may need more depending on hydration level of your flour)
20ml honey
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
Fillings of your choice
(I've tried with chocolate chips, ovomaltine spread, PB2 chocolate peanut butter, and mixed cheeses)
Vegetable oil/cooking spray for cooking

Preparation of the batter can't get any simpler. Get a big, clean bowl, add in all your dry ingredients and give it a good whisk to combine. Then, add in your egg, honey and milk and mix under just combined. Check that the consistency of your batter is similar to that of a slightly runny pancake batter, but not totally liquid (eg. not easily pourable).
If your batter is too thick, add more milk bit by bit until you reach the correct consistency.
Then, leave your batter to rest in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes before making the taiyaki.

To make the taiyaki, first heat up your taiyaki pan on the hob over a small fire until the pan is warm. Then, spray it down with cooking spray or brush the pan with some cooking oil. As my pan is of a non-stick material, I could get away with minimal oiling and my taiyaki didn't stick at all.
Spoon roughly a tablespoon of the batter into each depression and smooth it out to all corners of the mould with the back of your (heat-proof) spoon. Depending on how much or how little filling you are planning to fill your taiyaki with, you may then scoop out the "excess" runny batter at the fish tummy area to create a little more room for your filling to sit in.
Then, fill in the mould with as much or as little of your chosen filling, making sure it's as flat and spread-out as possible.
Spoon another 1 or 2 tablespoonful of the batter over the filling, and do take extra effort to make sure that the batter is covering all (if not, most) of your filling before snapping the pan close and immediately flipping it over.
It's very important to make sure that the batter is covering all of your filling, especially if you're using chocolate or other filling that tends to get melted and viscous when heated, as any tiny gaps in the taiyaki batter will cause the filling to ooze out and your taiyaki will tend to tear apart when you open the pan. I find that I typically need to flip the pan back onto the side when I first added the batter and open the pan in that direction, so that all the gaping chocolate bits will be facing up, and then topping up the chocolate gaps with more batter and cooking it for a few more seconds to patch up the otherwise battered-and-torn looking taiyaki. >.<"

As I'm worried that my taiyaki will burn, I first cook them on small fire for 2.5 minutes on the flipped side, then another 2 minutes on the other side before opening the pan to check for browning.
Then, I will turn up the fire to near medium and cook for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute to achieve the level of browning I desire.

Having tried 4 different flavours of fillings, I highly recommend that you do not use peanut butter, or at least definitely NOT powdered peanut butter (like PB2), as they tend to dry up into a gritty, mushy "bean paste" texture when the taiyaki is cooked. I envisioned a runny peanut butter filling like a Mr Bean pancake but got *points above* THAT.

But it's alright, because Ovomaltine filling is just pure yumminess! 

And mixed cheeses (grated parmesan, shredded cheddar and mozzarella) was quite yummy too! 

Till then,
Mia Foo

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