Foodiva's Kitchen: Crispy Matcha Apam Balik (Crispy Green Tea Crêpes) with Raspberry and Crushed Nuts

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Crispy Matcha Apam Balik (Crispy Green Tea Crêpes) with Raspberry and Crushed Nuts


Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.
Mark Twain


Here's a lovely foodtruck idea for you. Or rather, for those of you who operate a foodtruck business, in which case I am completely envious. A blogger friend of mine recently asked my thoughts on comfort food, and while I described to her two of my favorites, I forgot to mention this slice of earthly delight - apam balik. Literally translated, it means pancake turnovers, a very Malay street fare popular in the night/food markets of Brunei and Malaysia. 
Traditional apam balik is cooked in a brass mould (for better heat distribution) and is thick, sweet and chewy, filled with ground peanuts, sugar, raisins and if that still isn't enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, sweetened condensed milk! Ahh..yes, this is my kind of comfort food, the sort that brings me back to my roots no matter how international I may think I have become. It might be something to do with getting in touch with my inner child, because this is the food I grew up, fell in love with and will return to whenever I need comforting. If only our best personal cheerleaders were as accessible...LOL.


However, today is lazy Sunday and I'm no longer that child, haven't been for many years. So, my apam balik have taken on a certain lightness and sophistication. They are no longer pancakes, but crêpes. They are no longer thick and chewy but light and crispy, no longer plain but matcha-flavored. And filled with raspberries, crushed peanuts and a sprinkling of sugar, because that darn sweet tooth is still there :-).

 Look how thin and crisp the apam balik shell is.

The batter is easily mixed by hand or in a blender, then strained and left in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. I think this helps the flours absorb the liquids better, but in my opinion, this is helpful only for the traditional thick pancakes. Since my version is crispy and more crêpe-like, I used the batter immediately. There's no waiting around here, even for lazy Sunday breakfasts!

The gratuitous oozy-filling-after-a-bite shot.

The recipe below also includes cornstarch as this helps keep the crêpes crisp for longer when they've cooled down and are kept at room temperature, as long as the filling is not moist. I've also made these without the cornstarch and if the crêpes are going to be eaten immediately, the absence of cornstarch makes no difference to the taste. Fill the crispy apam balik with anything you like (Nutella, PB and J, fresh fruits, yoghurt, cheese) or even leave out the matcha for plain crêpes. Then imagine you're biting into a giant, crisp fortune cookie, only one that's slightly more pliable.

That said, let me share with you the simple recipe.

Crispy Matcha Apam Balik with Raspberries and Nuts
Makes about six 10-inch crepes
Ingredients:
170g all-purpose flour
100g rice flour
1 tablespoon matcha powder
30g cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200ml (6 - 7oz) water
150 g caster sugar

Filling:
1 cup chopped or ground roasted peanuts
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

Method:
1. Mix all the ingredients together with a whisk or in a blender, strain and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight (if you have time to wait). Check that the batter is not too thick, if so, thin by gradually adding a bit more water.
2. Heat a crepe pan or a small non-stick skillet, just hot enough for batter to stick to pan.
3. Pour in about ½ cup of batter and swirl pan so that batter is coating the edge. Remove the excess batter and sprinkle some sugar on the pancake.
4. Cook until the edges are dry and the bottom of crepe is golden brown.
5. Sprinkle with ground nuts and raspberries on half or a quarter of the crepe.
6. Fold the crepe into half, then a quarter and leave to cool. It will crisp up further upon cooling. Serve immediately.

Have a peaceful Sunday!

35 comments:

yummychunklet said...

I love matcha but have only had it in frozen yogurt. This crepe recipe sounds delicious!

Raji said...

The best part of blogging world is being able to know and appreciate International cuisines. Lovely crepes..looks really light and the filling is also good combining the crunchiness of peanuts with softness of raspberries. Though I bet even nutella will be divine.

Foodiva said...

@yummychunklet - But I've never had frozen matcha yoghurt before, and I bet that must taste incredible!

Foodiva said...

Raji, you're absolutely right! On both the appreciation of international cuisine AND the Nutella filling ;-). In fact, I can't wait to try that combination out!

penny aka jeroxie said...

hmmmm... this is very familiar. I have this as a kid. It is always super thin and not chewy as you said. And love it with crushed sweet peanuts.

Foodiva said...

Penny, so this must be street/cafe fare in Singapore too! The plain version with sugary peanuts are really delicious, but now that I've discovered matcha as a grown-up, I'll make this version a bit more often for our weekend breakfasts!

Mary said...

Your crepes and filling sound delicious. I'm relatively new to your blog and I don't often comment, but I wanted you to know how much I like the food and recipes you share with your readers. You've created a lovely spot to visit and I always enjoy the time I spend here. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Sandra said...

Those look interesting, and so delicious! Love that green color and filling inside, nice contrast of colors! Thank you for sharing Maya, and have a great Sunday!!!

the [sugar] apothecary said...

I love that green crepe color! Sugary raspberries and peanuts, you say? That sounds wonderful. I'd be all over that peanut-raisin combo, too. Mmmm, these are beautiful.

Foodiva said...

Sandra, that red looks striking against the green shells and the raspberries taste great as a filling alongside the peanuts too!

Elaine said...

I love the green color of your crepes and the filling looks so delicious!

spcookiequeen said...

I leave you alone for a few minutes and look what you are up to over here. I love how you flavored your crepes. I think these scream my palate may be a little more grown-up, but I'm still a kid at heart. So wish I had eaten breakfast before reading this, to the kitchen.
-Gina-

Adora's Box said...

Reading the words apam and balik got me so excited. This is one of the first street foods that I fell in love with in Malaysia. Loved watching them coaxed out of the brass pans. It is so nice to know that it can be made in a pan. This is such a lovely, upmarket version.

Alina---Explora Cuisine said...

Maya, this is an incredible recipe, such elegant colors, and the taste, oh the taste must be amazing! I was thinking of a matcha tea cheesecake, as I love its flavor :) Thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe!

Erin said...

I have never heard of Matcha before. I am going to have to see if I can find some!

Roxan said...

Maya, I was JUST thinking about making matcha crepes!!! Yours look amazing, I wish I could eat them right now. Also - I am loving your photos, they're getting better and better every day :) I think I need you to come over and take photos of my food for me. I'll feed you macarons in return! ;]

Foodiva said...

Gina@spcookiequeen - your words have a way of tickling me, and yes, yes, I'm still very much a kid at heart, despite the wrinkles!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Mmmmm so yummy and love the green color!

luciacara said...

I have never seen anything like these...so interesting! What were your other two favorite comfort foods ?:)

Peggy said...

This sounds like such a great breakfast/brunch idea! The matcha flavor really puts these crepes over the top =)

Foodiva said...

Luciacara - The other two favorites of mine are chicken congee (rice porridge) and golden banana fritters! Yumm....

Foodiva said...

Thanks, Peggy. Matcha crepes and raspberries are a bit fancy for breakfast, aren't they, but then oh...we gotta live in style!

Victoria said...

These are lovely! Not only are the colors beautiful, I love the way it is folded together to make it perfect on the go. I love crepes and this looks like a fun variation :)

Nami @ Just One Cookbook said...

Matcha!!!! Japanese person will be thrilled to hear the word Matcha. After all we have so many Matcha sweets. This Malay version of pancake looks so good! And never thought of the combination of Matcha and raspberries. What a great snack and I'd love to try this!

Torviewtoronto said...

looks wonderfully delicious and colourful would be nice for anytime of the day :)

Foodiva said...

Victoria, that's why this will be great for selling from a foodtruck, eat it hot while you walk to work! ;-)

Foodiva said...

Nami, I love matcha, as you can tell! In fact, my friend was saying that I have a matcha addiction as this green ingredient has been cropping up in many of my posts lately...;-).

Foodiva said...

Akheela@Torview, thanks. Yes, I could have this crispy crepe as a snack after breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Joy said...

that just looks amazing!

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Anything matcha I will adore...match crepes, OMG, must make them.

Spicie Foodie said...

I agree with Raji, I love the exploration of all the delicious world cuisines we as food bloggers are exposed to. One time I mixed a little matcha into my crepe batter and it was delicious. I love your recipe and description of light and crispy. This is going to have to be my breakfast one day this week :)

elle marie said...

Perfection, perfection!!! I'm swooning over the matcha right now... OH my, I want to dive right into the screen!

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

I can only begin to imagine how amazing these are. I can't stop looking at the photos.

Foodiva said...

Haha...Conor, maybe it's because green and red are complementary colors? Matcha and raspberries go really great together too!

Magic of Spice said...

These are so deliciously delightful...I had a dream about herbed crepes last night and these are fitting the bill :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails