It's been a year since I moved to California, and six months since I started this blog. The biggest lesson I've learned from it all is this: Nothing beats a good breakfast. Whatever happened yesterday, or wherever you were the day before, tomorrow's breakfast is as certain as the first light of day. There's a sense of newness to that time of the day, it's about being in the present and making a promise to show up for the future.
Perhaps that's why breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, which then explains why I have more breakfast recipes than anything else on this blog. I've been looking back at my new life here through the archives, and it has felt like one long journey on the road, with caution thrown to the wind and the destination undetermined.
I have a long-held tradition of cooking for every trip I take, and I made these pancakes for breakfast before my husband and I hit the road to Big Sur, California. They were substantial, satisfying and filling, just what we needed to fuel ourselves for the journey ahead. Big Sur was phenomenal, majestic, and best enjoyed on the move, in a vehicle, because only in fleeting moments of discovery can we fully appreciate the grandeur of our planet.
This pancake recipe is influenced by the Malaysian turnover pancake called apam balik. A popular snack sold by street vendors with an impressive cooking station of multiple iron pans, apam balik is a folded pancake sprinkled in the center with roasted ground peanuts and cream of corn. Instead of recreating apam balik, I incorporated it into my gluten-free, dairy-free corn pancake breakfast routine. It's unsurprising that in this fusion creation, like many other such recipes on this blog, I find a sense of my place on earth that I can call home. As Jack Kerouac once wrote: "All of life is a foreign country."
Corn Pancakes with Apam Balik Toppings (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
These pancakes are fashioned after the popular Malaysian turnover pancake apam balik, which is a folded pancake filled with roasted ground peanuts and cream of corn in the center. I made them with my own gluten-free blend and I've provided the recipe below, but any store-bought basic gluten-free mix will also work. These pancakes are light and fluffy, and do not need a lot of sugar as the cream of corn and peanut-coconut sugar topping provides plenty of sweetness. Makes 5 pancakes.
3/4 cup (80g) corn flour/ fine cornmeal (not to be confused with corn starch)
3/4 cup (85g) gluten-free blend* (See note below)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, separated
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup cream of corn
1/2 cup roasted ground peanuts
1/4 cup coconut sugar
Cream of corn
In a medium bowl, mix together gluten-free flour blend, corn flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Beat egg yolk and egg white in two separate small bowls. Add coconut milk and cream of corn to egg yolk and mix well. Stir wet mixture into the dry mix. Add fluffy egg white last and stir gently to combine. Let the batter sit for a few minutes.
In the meantime, mix together ground peanuts and coconut sugar and set aside.
Heat up a skillet in medium-low heat and coat with a thin layer of coconut oil. Scoop 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto skillet and cook until the top bubbles and the edges harden. Flip and cook the other side.
Transfer pancakes to a plate. Add cream of corn and sprinkle ground peanuts and coconut sugar mixture on top. You can also put the toppings between layers of pancakes.
*NOTE: To make your own basic gluten-free blend, mix together 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour + 1/2 cup potato starch + 1/4 cup tapioca flour + 1/4 cup millet flour. Yields 2 1/2 cups.