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.