Many years ago, Boomer treated all of her daughters to a weekend “boot camp” at a swanky dude ranch in California, where she and our dad had taken swanky vacations long before we were born.
For a little flavoring shot, here’s Boomer and one of the horses. Sadly, I can’t seem to find the picture of Boomer with the horse named Boomer; the staff at the ranch was very excited to pair the two of them up.
The day we flew in for our dude ranch weekend, we had a little time to kill between deplaning and being able to check in, so we swung through the town of Solvang, which Boomer remembered as having a really good stitching shop. It turned out that the shop was no longer nice at all, and the town was like some supremely crazy twilight zone, but in the course of our few hours killing time there, we did get to enjoy a plate of fresh ebelskivers. And when we found ourselves, a couple of years later, with gift certificates at Williams Sonoma, we decided we totally needed to buy that ebelskiver pan they were selling, so we could make our own. (Because no way, no how are we ever going back to Solvang.)
That’s a powerful combination of smizing and crazy eye right there.
Because I don’t like to rush into things, I spent a good deal of time contemplating the ebelskiver pan. Like, years. It sat in a box in the dining room during the kitchen renovation, and remained in that box in the dining room long after the renovation was done. You don’t want to just race willy-nilly into making ebelskivers. That’s something you have to be really ready for.
You can imagine Pookie’s and Boomer’s surprise, then, when I woke up on the first Sunday morning of my Christmas vacation, the world blanketed in beautiful snow, and announced that I was actually going to do it — I was going to make ebelskivers. The horror!
I had a new ebelskiver cookbook, thanks to a more recent gift certificate-spending trip to Williams Sonoma, and I picked the chocolate chip ebelskivers as my first attempt, taking into serious consideration the cookbook’s warning that it’s probably better to experience the whole process before trying to graduate up to making filled pancakes.
The recipe was very simple, pretty much the old waffle recipe I’d grown up with. It was a pancakey batter, lightened with beaten egg whites, and then with chocolate chips folded in. The recipe specified using mini morsels, but I didn’t have those on hand, and figured that the Schokinag baking chips I have would melt better, creating a sort of middle ground between “pancakes studded with little unmelted mini morsels” (as the recipe stated they should turn out) and “pancakes filled with molten ganache” (as I really wanted to be eating).
As it turns out, the cookbook I had seemed to think I was working with an ebelskiver pan with a larger cup size. And one without a nonstick coating. The first batch was a bit of a disaster, with the burning and the uncooked middles and the too much batter and the unnecessary buttering. The second batch was a tiny bit better. By the time I finished off the bowl of batter, I was beginning to figure this thing out.
For the most part, my ebelskivers need a lot of work. If I was trying to sell these bad boys in Solvang, I’d have to do it at quite a discount, because no one in their right mind would pay full price for them. They were misshapen and maladroitly turned in the pans, but I think, if I keep forcing Pookie, Boomer and myself to have to eat plates of cute round pancakes, I might be able to get up to speed.
The lessons learned were that I need to use less batter than the recipe specifies (or get a bigger pan), I should turn the pancakes with knitting needles rather than bamboo skewers, and I need to keep an extremely careful eye on the heat, because the nonstick pan gets crazy hot crazy fast. Until the kinks get worked out, I don’t think I’ll be making molten ganache-filled pancakes. We’ll just have to stick to chocolate chip.
[Posted by Schnookie]