31 Mar 2011

Ito's Dorayaki Roll-ups (for 'Crawling at Night')

"so much pain packed into a single capsule of space, his heart, chomped down and swallowed, eaten, smothered, covered, lied, disguised, he cries, he cries" (p.138)

For Ito, I wanted to make something traditionally Japanese but with a twist. Dorayaki are sweet pancakes, stacked in pairs, with azuki bean paste sandwiched in the middle. My reason for breaking with tradition and serving these rolled has to do with the shocking revelation in Chapter 13. (Sorry, no spoilers). The flavour variations are symbolic of the three most important women in Ito's life, Tomoko, Xiu-Xiu and Miss Ling Yu.

Tomoko, Ito's wife
(Azuki bean cream with mirin-soaked prunes)
     Ito can't face Tomoko's illness and slowly abandons her. In a way, Tomoko is like the prune, an overlooked fruit which deserves more of a staring role. In this combination the azuki bean flavour is mild and perfectly complements the plummy sweetness of the mirin-soaked prunes.

Xiu-Xiu, the prostitute he frequents in Japan.
(Mirin and ginger cream with peach slices)
     This fusion tastes fresh and exotic, just what you might expect from a Flower Farm girl who goes by the name of Peach Blossom. The zing from the ginger is the first thing to hit your palet but is nicely mellowed by the cream. The peach adds a burst of juiciness.

Miss Ling Yu, the lounge singer / prostitute he stalks in NYC.
(Custard cream with azuki bean paste)
     This combination goes together like lounge and singer. It may not be terribly sophisticated but it will make you want to shout 'bravo' and 'encore' and clap until security arrive to escort you off the premises. Like Ito, you may need a restraining order to keep your hands off this one.

How would you interpret Crawling at Night by Nani Power? All cakes and comments welcome.

Ito's Dorayaki Roll-ups
Makes 6 rolls, serves 3-6

Dorayaki Recipe:
Shizuoka Gourmet. Step-by-step instructions with photos and a recipe for making your own azuki paste too.

Tip: Pouring the batter in a straight line across your frying pan makes each pancake easier to roll without cracking. (I saw this in a post for Matcha and Red Bean Dorayaki Roll at tune-in-tokyo)

The amounts given below fill 2 rolls in case you want to try all 3 fillings with one batch of dorayaki batter. If only one appeals to you then multiply it as necessary. Add all ingredients for your chosen flavour into a bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Leave in small containers in the fridge until the dorayaki have cooled. To fill, smooth a spoonful of cream onto a strip of dorayaki, place the prunes, peach or azuki bean paste at one end and roll gently making sure the seam is on the bottom for plating.

Azuki Bean Cream:
4 tbsp whipping cream or double cream
1/2 tsp sugar
1-2 drops vanilla
1 tsp azuki bean paste, sived or smooth 

Mirin and Ginger Cream:
4 tbsp whipping cream or double cream
Custard cream and azuki bean paste
1/2 tsp mirin
1/2 tsp finely grated ginger

Custard Cream:
4 tbsp whipping cream or double cream
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp custard powder, mixed to a paste with 1/2 tsp warm water
1-2 drops vanilla

Again, these are the amounts to fill 2 rolls. Depending on what you've decided to make, you may need to multiply the amounts here too.

4-6 dried prunes, depending on size, de-stoned and soaked in 2 tbsp mirin for a couple of hours until plump
2 slices of peach, fresh or tinned (well drained)

Recipe, Dessert , Pancakes, Mirin


  1. This looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You're welcome. I can't take all the credit though, Shizuoka Gourmet's recipe is what makes them so special.


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