On my six month journey through the Netherlands, I fell in love with Dutch culture and more so with one of their best kept secrets – food. The Dutch are well known for many things and doing my research before arriving, it never really occurred to me that there would be so many new dishes that I would fall in love with! Dutch Poffertjes, or little pancakes as they are more affectionately known in English are found everywhere in The Netherlands.
Originally appearing sometime in the 1700’s, it was initially known as a poor man’s meal because of the simple recipe used to make it. With a little buckwheat flour, water and yeast, a plate of freshly hot little pancakes covered with some powdered sugar and butter could be whipped up are served as a meal in no time. Since then, the recipes have been modified and poffertjes form an integral part of national holidays, festivals and just everyday Dutch life. Today my adventures through cooking are taking me back to The Netherlands and I’m recreating a simple poffertjes recipe.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
1 cup of self-rising flour
3 tablespoons of white sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
½ cup of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter to brush the pan
The batter is incredibly simple to make and follows a basic pancake recipe.
Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl.
Beat together the egg, oil and milk in a jug.
Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix well.
For cooking the pancakes, the best option would be to buy an actual poffertjespan (poffertjes pan) which is a cast iron pan with little dimples for cooking the pancake mix. That might not always be easy to find, so instead you can use a regular pan and 1) spoon little dollops of pancake batter using a teaspoon or 2) add the batter to a clean sauce bottle and squeeze out little circles of the mix.
Lightly grease a pan with some butter and spoon in little circles that are about 3 – 4 cm in diameter.
Cook over a medium heat until little bubbles start to appear on the surface before flipping them over and continuing to cook them until golden brown.
Cool on a rack.
To serve, stack a pile of between 15 – 20 poffertjes on a plate.
Add your own variation of toppings: 1) spoon over some fruity jam and a dollop of whipped cream followed by a sprinkle of icing sugar or 2) just add a small chuck of butter and a generous dusting of icing sugar.
Serve with some coffee, your morning newspaper and enjoy!