For anyone visiting my site from the photo posted on pinterest of three stacked pancakes with blueberries: That photo is not of these pancakes. Here is the original link/recipe for that photo: http://goodatcooking.net/index.php/ru/archives/4435
Japanese Hot Cakes (ホットケーキ) are similar to American pancakes, but are a bit fluffier and have a little more sweetness. Hot cakes are a popular breakfast treat in Japan and often prepared using a packaged hot cake mix. No need for a hot cake mix here! They are also versatile, with a variety of toppings to choose from based on your tastes and what you may have in your refrigerator. I had an extra container of blackberries from my CSA box, so I topped my hot cakes with whipped cream and fresh blackberries. I added a few blackberries to a small pot and cooked over medium heat to create a sauce. We also often enjoy them simply with maple syrup and butter. For a more decadent breakfast, add a dollop of vanilla custard or ice cream.
Take great care in how you measure the flour. Too much will make the batter too thick. Measuring the amount out in grams is best. If you use cups, make sure it is not packed.
To cook the hottokēki, I heated a steel skillet over medium heat. I placed it briefly on a damp towel to cool to the right temperature and returned to the burner over low heat. Do not place the skillet on a cold, wet towel if it is cast iron or enamel to prevent cracking. After the batter is added, cover the skillet to lightly steam the cake and keep moisture in. It will take about 4 minutes for the hottokēki to set (but the top should still be wet) and bubbles to form over the top. Flip, cover, and cook for a minute or 2 longer until golden. Repeat with the remaining hot cakes. To keep the hottokēki warm while you are preparing the others, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a 200 degree F oven for up to 30 minutes. Here is a video I found on Youtube of the cooking technique.
Updated Recipe (March 25, 2016). Thank you all so much for your feedback. I truly appreciate it. Based on the mixed reviews, I have tweaked the recipe a bit while still keeping it authentic. I changed the flour to cake flour for a more consistent lightness, added a little melted butter, upped the baking powder, and altered the cooking method. If you loved the original recipe, it is still available at La Fuji Mama.
Hottokēki (Japanese Hot Cake)
Adapted from La Fuji Mama
~8 large pancakes
2 large eggs
200 milliliters (3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
40 grams (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
200 grams (~1 1/2 cups) cake flour
40 grams (3 tablespoons) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
Vegetable oil for greasing
In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs. Mix in the milk, vanilla extract, and butter.
In another medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently fold into the liquid ingredients until just incorporated. Allow to rest while you heat the pan.
Place a large steel skillet over medium heat. Set aside a damp towel. Once heated, place briefly on the wet towel (do not do this if using cast iron or enamel) and place back on burner over low heat. Lightly grease with oil, spread with a towel, pour 1/4 cup of the batter in prepared skillet, and cover. Once golden on bottom and bubbles begin to form on top, about 4 minutes, flip to other side. Continue to cook until golden, another 1-2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately topped with maple syrup, butter, whipped cream, or fresh berries.