Apam balik, anyone?

5 Aug

Sunday morning breakfasts have always been special. As a kid, Sunday mornings meant going out as a family, first to the market for our weekly shopping and then to our favourite food stalls to buy breakfast.

From noodles to Tosai (indian pancakes) to nasi lemak (rice cooked with coconut milk and served with sambal, anchovies and peanuts), we could quite literally have anything we wanted for breakfast … but only on Sundays.  For years, this was the highlight of our Sundays.

I now live on my own and family trips to the market aren’t possible: my brother lives 200 kms away and my sister has her family to feed and care for. I still savour my Sunday mornings and though I still go to the market almost every Sunday, I only occasionally stop at the food stalls for breakfast as giving in to cravings now means extra hours at the gym to work off the extra calories. That’s what happens when we hit the 30s, eh?

One of my favourite Sunday morning breakfast indulgences is the Malaysian peanut pancake or Apam Balik. It’s like a bread-waffle-pancake hybrid: spongy and crispy with a delicious sweet peanut filling. There really is nothing like it.

I have never thought of making this at home… until I came across a recipe for it on dodol-mochi.blogspot.com. The photos of her Apam Balik were awesome and she made it seem like a cinch to make. All I had to do was buy some unroasted peanuts … which I did the very next day I read her post.


If you like Apam Balik or actually if you like peanuts and waffles, you must, must try this. The skin of my Apam Balik didn’t brown as evenly as I would have liked it (I blame my inferior quality skillet which doesn’t distribute heat evenly ) but the pancake tasted AWESOME. Thank you dochi-mochi, I will surely make this again and again. And again.

Apam Balik

200ml tepid water

1 tsp instant yeast

100g high protein/bread flour

50g tapioca starch

1/4 tsp salt

35g castor sugar

B

2 eggs, at room temperature
60ml cooking oil
1/2 tsp air abu or alkaline water
Keep some tepid water on standby in case your batter is too thick

C

2 cups finely crushed roasted peanuts
2-3 tbsp castor sugar
roasted white sesame seeds (optional)
Salted butter, cut into small cube

Mix all the ingredients in A together and let it sit, covered, for about 60-90 mins or till the dough doubles in size. It may start bubbling after an hour or after doubling: don’t panic. It’s how it should be.

When it has doubled, mix all the ingredients in B together. Add it to the dough and blend well with a hand whisk. Add more water if the consistency is too thick — it should be the same consistency as pancake batter. Let it sit for about 10 mins.

Heat a skillet and oil the base and sides. Ladle in the batter (how much depends on how thick you want your apam to be) and lower the heat to med/low. Let it cook undisturbed until the top is set and the bottom is starting to get golden. Spread a thick layer of the peanut filling on half the pancake, flip the other side over, press down with something heavy like a lid of a pot and remove.

Repeat.

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5 Responses to “Apam balik, anyone?”

  1. Jy August 5, 2010 at 19:51 #

    Man, I can’t get that ‘air abu’ here. Swiss tap water, can? 🙂 Very hard water.

    • nodessertforme August 6, 2010 at 07:55 #

      actually, the person from whom I got the recipe from substitutes air abu with 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp water! try it..

  2. Jy August 6, 2010 at 17:45 #

    Ah, baking soda – can. It’s called Natron here. (Sounds very nuclear, hor? An aside: I met a Malaysian nuclear scientist here, a young woman.)

  3. argie August 22, 2010 at 05:10 #

    Hey, I was looking at crumpet recipes and they’re quite the same as your apam balik’s except for the tapioca flour and alkaline water. I think I’ll make crumpets first and have them with butter and groundnuts pounded with sugar. 😛 Crumpet balik, anyone?

    • nodessertforme August 22, 2010 at 08:24 #

      Yes i guess they are alike but i don’t know if you can get the spongy springy-ness of the apom balik in your crumpets without the alkaline water… let me know 🙂

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