Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hot Fudge At Williams Sonoma (And Danish Jam-Filled Pancakes If You'll Buy A Special Pan)

Williams Sonoma is a strange store for a cook to have ignored for so long.

On my own, I have a pretty off-brand kitchen.  A pot is a pot is a pot.  Maybe I invested in a few items, but mostly I followed Mark Bittman's mantra of no frills supplies and mostly I cooked from scratch.  So I really didn't shop for kitchen stuff in the mall.

It took Mrs. HowChow to teach me that the food was delicious.  We'd check out Williams Sonoma for samples as we walked around, and I saw how that store -- with its clear directions and its mixes and sauces -- got her excited about cooking more than anything else.

Baking more than cooking.  Sweets most often.  Mrs. HowChow isn't excited for Williams Sonoma's pot roast spices.  She wants new cookie sheets.  She also wants hot fudge.  Williams Sonoma's hot fudge has no equals around here.  No chemicals.  It's cream, sugar, butter, cocoa . . .  It heats beautifully and makes any ice cream into something special.  I cannot find anything that compares, and I have no idea how to make my own.

So we go to Williams Sonoma together.

Another recent find:  a pan to make ebelskivers.  I have no idea if anyone in Denmark really eats flying-saucer pancakes, but Williams Sonoma sold us on the story, a pan, a cookbook and a can of pancake mix.  

Skip the mix.  It's flour and baking powder for $10.  But the ebelskivers are really fun, and the Nordic Ware pan makes them pretty easy.  You make a simple batter, and you cook seven ebelskivers at a time, letting a tablespoon of batter cook and then adding another tablespoon and flipping them over with wooden chopstcks.

You get a pancake shaped in an oval.  So far, we have made them filled with jam for breakfast, and these would be huge fun if you're weekend breakfast people.  (Father's Day gift? Recipe is easy.)  In addition, the cookbook touts savory ebelskivers -- for example smoked salmon mixed in the batter.  They'll make great party food one day.


Alice said...

The Ebelskivers are also really good with the aforementioned hot fudge as filling. I made them in the store and people could not resist! Perhaps Brie and pear compote would work as well.

UhOhBadDog said...

Kids love Ebelskivers too! We discovered them at W-S, last year and found these alternatives online at Amazon:

Appears to be the same book sans W-S branding:

NordicWare pan (also available locally at Target):

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

I spent a semester abroad in college in Copenhagen living with a host family, and Aebelskivers are most definitely a real Danish food. My family would serve them as dessert (never for breakfast) topped with jam, chocolate, and powdered sugar. So good!

Did you know that a "danish" in Denmark is called "wienerbrod" which means "Vienna bread"?

Gabrielle said...

The Ebelskivers are great with Nutella as filling, too. My problem is that a jar of Nutella doesn't last long enough to be used for filling in anything but some stomachs...need to work on that.

Jessica said...

Amazing hot fudge sauce recipe:

I substituted chambord for the peppermint extract and it was also delicious.

Yaka said...

I have the ebelskiver pan too! I make a knockoff version of dorayaki (the Japanese pancake snack)and taiyaki (griddled cake shaped like a fish).

I use pancake mix and add some matcha powder (green tea powder) with some extra sugar since it's a bit bitter. I stuff mine with both pastry cream and red bean paste (you can find it in pouch-form near the miso paste at HMart or in can-form at Lotte). Sometimes instead of matcha powder, I use ground up black sesames to give the boxed pancake mix an aromatic kick.

The possibilities are endless with ebelskivers.

LisaY said...

They sell these in Trader Joe's frozen section. Unbelievably delicious (and less work ;)

Similarly, try some Korean pancakes with the different fillings like sweet rice or green tea. Can be found in the H-mart or Lotte frozen section. Heat them on a Foreman grill or frying pan to get it crispy (it doesn't come out right from the toaster or microwave.)

My other breakfast favorite is a crepe-like pancake sold at Ikea's food market (also in frozen section.)