Pancake Day Part 2 – Apam Balik

Happy pancake day!

Apam Balik (which means 'folded pancake') is a sweet Malaysian pancake filled with sugary gooey goodness. Traditionally ground peanuts, sugar, melted butter and creamed sweetcorn (trust me, it works), but also things like chocolate sprinkles and cheese (also: works surprisingly well), Nutella and banana, red bean... pretty much anything you like.

Peanuts, sugar and corn: an unlikely match made in heaven

It's also known as Murtabak or Martabak Manis (meaning 'sweet Murtabak', Murtabak usually being a savoury type of pancake), and I found a package of mix for it at my usual Chinese food store.

Okay okay, so this time I've cheated. I very, very rarely cheat and use a box mix for anything, but look at how inviting it looks! I've been craving Apam Balik for ages, and this quick win was too good to pass up. I'll say right now that now that I've tried it, it's actually pretty good as boxed mixes go. It'll never be as good as one straight from a street hawker in Malaysia, but it's still good- this coming from someone who hates to cheat in the kitchen.

The instructions are pretty simple: beat the dry mix with eggs and water, leave for an hour to relax, pour into a pan and cook with the lid on before putting your fillings in and folding up. More or less.

Swirl the batter around to get a nice crispy 'lip'

You definitely need a lidded pan for these pancakes though, as they don't get flipped over but still need to be thoroughly cooked all the way through.

When the surface is set and looks bubbly, you add the fillings, re-cover and cook for another five minutes or so:

Then when it's fully cooked and the edges are nice and brown like this:

You fold it in half...

And slice it up to serve!

Trust me, a few slices is enough because it's so thick. The boxed mix said it would make three, but because my pan's quite big I ended up making to big ones. I can't wait to make this again. Next time I will try from scratch, and have a go with different fillings- probably red bean or kaya (coconut jam).


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