Monday, September 12, 2011

Square Pancakes & New age mooncake molds

Hello everybody,
We've all seen and eaten round pancakes for most of our lives, but how many of us have eaten a square pancake?  When I think of square pancakes, I think of something that stands out from the crowd, something that dares to be different.  A salmon that swims downstream instead of up.  Here is a really good fluffy pancake recipe to mold these square pancakes. 

They were fluffy and delicious.  Slightly sweet.  The buttery flavor really comes out.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk (It is ok to substitute milk.)
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing
Vegetable oil, for greasing (both the pans and the mold)

Spray the ring with a little cookie spray or grease the edges with a little butter (If you need to re-grease later, make sure the ring is not hot.)

Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.  Add the buttermilk, eggs and cooled melted butter to a second bowl and whisk to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Stir with with a fork or use this Tovolo Better Batter Tool.  It really does work out the lumps faster and prevents the formation of gluten.  This means that your pancakes will be fluffier.  Over-mixing is the number one cause of dry and chewy pancakes.  The same principle also applies to making cakes.

Place the Square Pancake Ring, in the middle of the pan.  (There is no need to grease the pan).  Add a large tablespoon of batter to the middle of the ring until it is about 3/4 full.  Do not overfill because the pancake batter has rising agents and your batter will overflow out of the ring.

First attempt, almost overflowing.  But it didn't.  Phew.
When the top looks like it's solid, lift the pancake ring up using the handle (It will be hot, so be careful), release the pancake and flip it over for another 1 minute. 

This recipes makes about 14 square pancakes.

Recipe adapted from: Food Network: Neely's Strawberry pancakes

While we are on the topic of "square pancakes", check out the images below for an innovative, outside of the box thinking for mooncake molds. You see, mooncakes are eaten during Mid Autumn Festival when the moon is usually at his roundest.   The buttocks metaphor for "the moon" is not only unique in the Western context.  The moon is referred to in Chinese as "Ba Yue Shi Wu"(Literally translated as the 8th month, day 15), and this term can also be used to denote one's gluteus maximus.  In usage, you can say "Hey, I have been eating too many pancakes, my 'Ba Yue Shi Wu" is getting larger, time to hit the gym." (haha).  So this company in Hong Kong has taken this phase literally and made a mooncake mold out of it.  "Moon cake", get it?  It is pretty clever, isn't it?  Admittedly, is very cheeky, and I hope you don't find it a bit too much. It's all in good humor.
Photo credit: Photo generously provided by Goods of Desire (GOD), a lifestyle company based in Hong Kong.  Reused with permission.
Photo credit: Goods of Desire- G.O.D
Photocredit: Goods of Desire G.O.D.
Too bad the molds aren't for sale.  The mooncake makers that makes the mooncakes own the rights of the design.  However, if enough people like this mold, they might re-consider releasing the mold.  So please comment on on this post if you like the mooncake mold. They might change their minds about releasing the mold so that it is available for purchase by everyone. 

Thanks for reading everybody, and Happy Mooncake Festival!

Have a good week ahead!

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