Apam balik, murtabak manis, terang bulan- whichever name you know it by, it's always a thick, fluffy pancake with a thin and crispy edge and a gooey sweet filling of some sort, folded in half to create a crispy, fluffy parcel of sweet sin.
A popular street food staple in Malaysia and Indonesia, apam balik's original filling consists of sugar, butter, chopped peanuts and creamed sweetcorn (shut up, it's magical, trust me), you can now find them with all sorts of fillings, from Asian flavours like sweet red bean to more Western combinations like Nutella and banana. This particular incarnation was inspired by a picture posted by an Indonesian Instagrammer I follow: a slice of red velvet-flavoured terang bulan oozing with cheesecake and crushed Oreo cookies.
|I accidentally picked up the chocolate filling kind rather than regular- the completely opposite of a problem!|
I knew I had to try and recreate it as best I could, even though I couldn't dissect and carry out any forensics on a real one (since I live all the way in merry old England). Besides, it's red- perfect for Chinese New Year!
I puzzled over the cheesecake filling, knowing that creating a true cheesecake batter would be far too runny to scoop in the middle of the pancake. In the end I kept it simple, using just dollops of straight cream cheese and sprinkling with sugar and crushed Oreos. I have no idea if it's a true clone (probably not), but it turned out damn good. Want some damn good pancakes? Follow these instructions...
Makes 2 apam baliks (serves about 4 people- two generous slices per person!)
-125g self-raising flour
-50g caster sugar
-2tsp cocoa powder
-1tsp dry active yeast
-Pinch of salt
-A few drops red food colouring
-2 tbsp cream cheese per pancake
-1tbsp caster sugar per pancake
-2 Oreos per pancake, lightly crushed
1) Put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder salt and yeast into a bowl and crack the two eggs into the centre. Stir from the inside out to avoid lumps, gradually adding the milk as you go along. When you have a smooth batter, add the vanilla and red food colouring, and let sit for ten minutes until bubbly
2) Lightly oil a lidded frying pan (I used an egg poacher and removed the poaching bit) and put on a low heat
3)When the pan is hot, pour half of your batter into the centre of the pan and swirl it around to give it a generous lip- this will create the crispy edge
4) Cover with the lid and let cook for 5-10 minutes until puffy and cooked through, but still a little gooey (be careful- raw eggs and all that)
5) Turn the heat off, sprinkle over the crushed Oreos, spoon on the cream cheese, sprinkle over the sugar and and fold in half
6) Turn out onto a plate repeat with the second half, slice into quarters and serve warm, gooey and delicious.