Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for Indonesian-style salted peanut and chocolate pancakes

After multiple decades on Earth, I thought I knew all there was to know about pancakes – until I met a fluffy, yeasted number called martabak manis at a hawker market in Singapore. It’s what I imagine crumpet-lovers dream about at night: a giant, sweet, crunchy, soft pancake with deep holes ready to be saturated with (vegan) butter and, in this case, chocolate and salted peanuts. It was a revelation to me, and has since been a serious challenger to the incumbent weekend pancake recipe in the Sodha household.

You’ll need a 24-26cm nonstick pancake or frying pan with a lid. It’s normal for the bottom of the pancake to darken, but you don’t want it black, so keep a beady eye on it using a spatula, and turn down the heat if you think it’s cooking too fast.

Prep 10 min
Prove 1 hr
Cook 10 min
Makes 2 large pancakes, to serve 2-4

For the batter
300ml whole oat milk
240g plain white flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp
fast-action yeast
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Rapeseed oil
, for frying

For the filling
2 tbsp caster sugar
30g (or 2 tbsp) vegan butter
– I like Naturli
1 square dark chocolate (10g), suitable for vegans, grated
1 large handful roasted salted peanuts (80g), finely chopped

If the oat milk has been in the fridge, warm it to body temperature, either in the microwave or a small saucepan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, yeast and oat milk, and beat well with a spoon – you want to develop some gluten here, so mix until everything is nice and smooth. After a minute or so of beating, set aside for an hour, so the yeast has time to get nice and active and the mix has roughly doubled in size.

After the hour is up, combine the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda in a small bowl, (which will froth, but do not worry), then stir this into the batter mix.

Put about a half-teaspoon of oil in a nonstick pancake or frying pan for which you have a lid, set it over a medium heat and swirl to distribute the oil over the surface of the pan (or do so with a silicone pastry brush, if you prefer). When the oil is very hot, add half the batter to the pan, use the back of a wooden spoon to help it into a nice even layer, and leave to cook for five minutes. You should quite quickly see hundreds of little bubbles appearing across the surface of the pancake. You want each of these to become distinct and open, like the top of a crumpet. When this has happened, scatter half the sugar over the top of the pancake and cover the pan with the lid, both to melt the sugar and finish cooking the pancake. After about a minute, once the sugar has melted, remove the pancake from the pan and, while it’s still hot, spread with half the butter. Scatter over half the dark chocolate, followed by half the chopped peanuts, then fold the pancake in half, cut into quarters and serve. Repeat with the remaining batter and toppings.

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