Week One: Inspiration Week
This week is all about using different things as your inspiration for great food.
Yesterday’s MoFo post took us to Estonia for dinner, and today we’re crossing the Baltic Sea for dessert in Finland! I’ve planned a quick two-day jaunt to Helsinki during my trip to Estonia next month, because why not? So it seemed fitting that I’d make something inspired by my upcoming travels during MoFo.
In my (admittedly brief) search for veganized Finnish dishes, I came across a few recipes for pannukkaku, a custardy, oven-baked cross between a cake and pancakes that you can top with fruit or jam. Sold! I debated between two very different recipes; one used silken tofu for a more eggy texture, while another used sparkling water to… provide rise? (The lack of explanation should’ve clued me in that something was amiss.) I ultimately chose the latter… and by “chose,” I mean it was the only link I had to hand when I got myself into the kitchen and ready to bake!
Alas, this recipe did not work out. In all fairness, it could be my fault; I halved it because four cups of flour just seemed excessive for an experiment, but I accidentally kept the full teaspoon of baking powder. I can probably blame the puffy rise — rather than the golden brown, custardy, crackly top shown in the recipe photo — on that gaffe. But I’m pretty sure a little extra baking powder wouldn’t have created such a dense, gummy, and downright unpleasant cake! (For what it’s worth, Steven actually thought it was just fine. Go figure.) It also took me far longer than the suggested 20 minutes of baking time — more like 40!
It doesn’t look terrible, but it also doesn’t look like a custardy, crepe-y pancake! Frankly, I should’ve known better. The recipe is not written particularly clearly, with no indication about pan size and only very basic instructions.
This failed pannukkaku will still get eaten, but not with much joy (at least, not on my part). Time to try that silken tofu-based recipe — I think that would create the custardy texture we’re after!