Updated: Sep 30, 2021
Here's another Japanese expression for you, "fuwa fuwa" (it's pronounced fwa fwa). What does it mean? If you imagine something light, airy and fluffy, you're headed in the right direction. The other day, I went to the Fuwa Fuwa cafe in Russell Square, London. It's a specialty outlet that sells one yummy product - you guessed it - Japanese souffle pancakes. The cafe has recently moved to bigger premises just a few units from where it began in the Brunswick Shopping Centre, just across the road from Russell Square underground station. It is, as far as i know, the only cafe selling these lovely dessert pancakes in London but i doubt that it will be the last. I went along
to the new shop recently to try out their wares and I have to say I wasn't disappointed. They were delish! The cafe offers eight toppings and for £ 8-9 per serving, you receive two pancakes, which is enough as they are generously sized. I went for the fruits and maple syrup topping while my partner chose nutella and banana (right). You order your food and wait for around 20 minutes while the souffle pancakes are cooked at the counter. They take a little time but it's worth the wait! The key to getting a souffle pancake right is the balance between the light, airy souffle and the substance of the pancake. I think Fuwa Fuwa cafe's recipe is just about right (if iIm honest, it maybe just a tiny bit too heavy) - a visit to the Fuwa Fuwa cafe is definitely recommended! Making Japanese souffle pancakes at home isn't as difficult as you might think. The secret is warmth - like any souffle, these Japanese souffles can look great when cooking only to collapse after being put on a plate as they cool down - so the longer you keep your
pancakes warm, the longer they will strut their fluffy stuff. I've learned over time (and I've had a few setbacks making these) that you need to start with a warm kitchen. I also use aluminium foil rings to hold the pancake mixture steady while it cooks - this really helps in creating gorgeous pancake towers - just be careful when you remove the rings. Oh, and serve them on a warm plate. The other thing I would recommend is using a really good quality, fine plain flour when you make these souffle pancakes - run of the mill grade flour is too heavy and your pancakes will struggle to rise.
I have one last tip - the majority of recipes you'll find online promising beautiful tall towers of fluffiness, do not work - (unfortunately the online cooking community isn't immune to click bait!) I'm happy to say my recipe does work - the two photos of souffle pancakes on the Royal Albert plate (I am a sucker for collecting Old Country Roses!) are the ones i made following this recipe - they had been out of the pan for about 20 mins and had been drizzled with honey so they had deflated a little but they were very, very good to eat.
So, if you'd also like to try your hand at making your own souffle pancakes, why not follow my recipe - I should also send thanks to my friend Macky Wu who helped me with my final recipe - Macky, your cakes are a wonder to behold - (you can find Macky's fantastic creations at her instagram site "mackywu").
You can find my written recipe and the Youtube tutorial by clicking Japanese Souffle pancakes or scroll to the bottom of the page. I decorated my pancakes with strawberries, blueberries, honey and some double cream but why don't you come up with your own toppings? iId love to hear about it!
Happy cooking. Kurumi XXXX.
If you'd like to check out a less calorific but no less tasty Japanese dessert, why not try my Coffee Kanten recipe?
Japanese Souffle pancakes
(makes 4 large souffle pancakes)
8g melted butter
18ml whole milk
1 lge egg yolk
20g plain flour
4 large egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
30g caster sugar
1/2 tsp egg white powder
a few blue berries & strawberry
some whipping cream
2 tbsp veg oil
a little water
kitchen paper (for oiling the pan)
some honey for drizzling (optional)
12 x 30 cm aluminium foil x 2
to make your souffle rings, fold the aluminium foil lengthways to make a 4 cm wide strip
then, fold the ends together to make a ring shape of about 8cm diameter
oil the inside of the rings
whisk the egg yolk in a bowl, add the melted butter and whisk again until blended
add the milk & cream and mix again, then add the flour a little at a time and whisk until the flour is well incorporated
in another bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar when the whites starts to aerate, add the egg white powder & sugar a little at a time
now whisk the egg whites until the peaks hold - when you invert the bowl, the egg white should hold its form
carefully fold the egg white into the yolk mixture in 3 or 4 large spoonfuls mixing very, very gently to keep the mixture aerated
heat the pan over a medium to low heat and oil it sparingly
put the foil rings into the pan, then gently fill the rings with the pancake mixture
drip a little water into the pan (not into the rings!) for humidity. now, put a lid on the pan cook for 6 mins
remove the lid and gently turn the pancakes over, oil the pan again if necessary & drop in a little more water. cook for a further 6 mins with the lid on
gently remove the pancakes from the rings
serve with some blueberries, strawberries & whipped cream and drizzle with some honey. the quicker you serve, the less time the pancakes will have to droop as they cool down