Sour Cream Mini-Pancakes

Dalken

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes about 28 pancakes, about

    4

    servings

Appears in

It was my dear friend Karitas who introduced me to Dalken at (as I recall) Cafe Central. Dalken originally came from Bohemia, the part of today’s Czech Republic that supplied Vienna with a virtual army of accomplished bakers in the late nineteenth century. Dalken are more than just small pancakes sandwiched together with preserves or fresh fruit: They are always cooked in a special pan with indentations to keep the batter in perfect rounds. A true Dalken pan is something you’ll have to bring back with you from a trip to Vienna or Prague. You can also use a Swedish pancake pan (also called a Platte Panna), available at many specialty kitchenware shops and Scandinavian grocers. The truth is, you can also spoon tablespoons of the batter onto a conventional griddle and still have Dalken. This recipe is too good to be restricted for use with the “correct” pan.

Dalken can be leavened with yeast or baking powder, but I prefer these delicate sour cream pancakes lightened by no more than air. The recipe makes an odd number of pan cakes, allowing for a few not-so-perfect specimens for the cook’s treat.

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Ingredients

Fruit Filling

  • ½ pint fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or hulled and sliced strawberries
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Pancakes

  • 4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Melted butter, for greasing pan
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for serving

Method

  1. To make the fruit filling: In a medium bowl, mix the berries, sugar to taste, and lemon juice. Crush a few of the berries to release their juice. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes so the berries can lose their chill and release more juices.
  2. To make the pancakes: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel (be sure it doesn’t have any residual perfumes from washing, or the pancakes will pick up the scent).
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, flour, sour cream, vanilla, and salt until combined. In another medium bowl, using an electric handheld mixer at high speed, beat the egg whites and granulated sugar until they form soft, shiny peaks. Stir about one fourth of the whites into the batter, then carefully fold in the remainder.
  4. Heat a Swedish pancake pan over medium heat. Wipe the indentations with a paper towel dipped in melted butter. Using 1 tablespoon of batter for each, fill the indentations. Cook until tiny bubbles appear on the surface and the undersides are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a dinner knife or a heat-proof rubber spatula, turn the pancakes (don’t worry if you don’t fit the turned pancakes exactly back into their indentations). Cook until the other sides are golden, about 1½ minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and keep warm while making the rest.
  5. To serve, sandwich 2 pancakes with a spoonful of the fruit filling, and arrange on plates. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the top and serve immediately.

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