Poffertjes (mini Dutch pancakes)

With St Nicholas on the horizon in The Netherlands and elsewhere, (6th December), I thought it would be a nice idea to remind my husband of home with a delicious sweet Dutch dish, Poffertjes. In case you haven’t come across them before, they are small fluffy pancakes traditionally served with icing sugar or syrup and they can be eaten at any time, breakfast, lunch or teatime.


I didn’t have a special cast iron poffertjes pan, and I wanted things to be easy, so I experimented with cooking these mini pancakes in a silicone mini muffin sheet and a 12 hole tart tin, both in the oven. It worked well both ways, although they are a bit fluffier in the tartlet tins, but are easier to get out of the silicone sheet.


I have served the poffertjes here with a Cointreau and chocolate dip to make them more of a sweet canapé but, when served with a simple dusting of icing sugar, they are just as delicious. They reheat beautifully too and the batter will keep overnight, so great for easy entertaining.


Ps: in case you are wondering (and I definitely was) - poffertjes are pronounced poff-er-churs.


Ingredients - makes about 40

250g plain flour

350ml milk (whole or semi skimmed)

1 egg beaten

7g dried yeast

2 tbsp caster sugar

Pinch of salt

40g butter approximately


Icing sugar to dust


Silicone mini muffin

Or 12 hole tartlet tins

Or a poffertjes pan if you have one, and then you will know how to cook them on the stove top I hope.


Method

Heat milk to lukewarm (40°c)


Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and stir. Leave 10 minutes to become slightly frothy.


Add flour, salt and sugar to a bowl and mix together.


Add the milk and lightly beaten egg to the bowl and whisk together with a hand whisk or electric whisk, until you have a smooth batter.


Leave the batter covered and at room temperature for an hour or so, until the batter has become frothy and almost doubled in size.


Heat oven to 190°c.


Method 1:

Using non-stick tart tin - place it in the oven for about 5 minutes to become hot.


Working quickly put a small knob of butter in each recess and as it melts, brush the butter around each one. Put the tin back in the oven for 1 minute.


Still working quickly, fill the tartlets to about a third full (a tablespoon measure is good for this)


Cook in the oven for 7 minutes. Turn the poffertjes over using a wooden toothpick, and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes until golden on the underside as well.


Method 2:

Using a silicone mini muffin sheet -


Put the silicone tray on a baking sheet. Put a small knob of butter in each recess to melt.


When the butter has melted, quickly spoon some batter into each recess to fill to about a third full.


Cook in the pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes until the undersides are golden (they take longer in silicone), then turn over and cook for another 5 minutes..



To serve:


Sprinkle the poffertjes generously with icing sugar and serve warm. Chocolate and Cointreau sauce is great to dip the poffertjes in as well.


Chocolate and Cointreau sauce


Ingredients

150g caster sugar

150ml double cream

3tbs cocoa powder

2 tbsp Cointreau (or liqueur of your choice or for non-alcoholic, just a dash of vanilla)


Method

Put the cream and sugar in a pan and sift the cocoa powder over. Gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the Cointreau and serve hot, warm or cold.


The great thing about this sauce is that it doesn’t go hard as it cools.



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