You guys. These hot cakes.
I’m not fucking around. Well, let’s back up: so, I’m walking through the Japanese market and I do an actual double-take (seriously, I’d like to see the security footage) at this box of hot cake mix. I never before until that precise moment understood that I had an unrealized hot cake fantasy wherein inch-thick, supernaturally golden brown stacks appear before me on the wings of angels. And it’s not just me: a five year-old post at Brown Bread Ice Cream is all the proof I need to know I’m not insane. I mean, about the beauty of Japanese hot cakes.
I’m not interested in their little included packets of single-serve artificial maple syrup, but I appreciate the gesture. And classically, a complete lack of English matters not at all when the infographics are useful enough:
Apparently you vibrate a whisk with 100ccs of something white and an egg until your bowl shouts in Japanese, and then you add the powder mix. I have to tell you, I was mesmerized and titillated from the start. With an egg and a little under 1/2 C. of milk (100ccs is something like .42 fluid cups) the batter was the texture of frosting. I added a few more tablespoons of milk until I could at least form a hot cake with it, even though I realize a lot of that magical loft comes from the thickness of the batter. And the smell! No kidding: vanilla cake batter. Cake batter! Even Mike had a lightbulb appear over his head. Why haven’t we tried to make pancakes out of cake batter before?
The only reason the hot cakes didn’t turn out exactly like on the box was from the shaking of my hands as I made them. How illicit! I mean, I’m the person that makes homemade pancakes with ground flax in them for christ’s sake. And here are these cartoonishly perfect, vanilla-cakey little patties that cooked up perfect in less than five minutes.
We ate them and chicken sausages with our fingers like we were getting away with something. Which we were, I guess. We ate cake with sugar syrup for dinner.
I realized then what is so terrifically charming about certain Japanese foods: this idealized version of something crafted with no preexisting expectations in mind. What’s this “hot cake” you say? Like a cake in a pan? Like this? YES, CLOSE ENOUGH.May 29th, 2010 | Obsessed