Unlike in America, where pancakes are a breakfast staple, in Japan they’re primarily seen as a dessert, Because of that, the consensus here is that not only should pancakes taste great, they should look cute as well.
So we recently whipped up a batch of adorable cat-shaped pancakes, and believe it or not, they were even easier to make than the plain old circular type.
Before we got started cooking, we made a quick stop at our local branch of 100 yen shop Can Do, one of Daiso’s rivals in the never-ending contest for the budget shopping crown. While there, we picked up Can Do’s Easy Thick Cat-Shaped Pancake Mold (“Kantan Atsume no Pankeki Morudo Neko-kata” if you’re asking the clerk for it in Japanese), which, like everything in the store, costs only 100 yen. The mold holds about 50 grams of pancake mix
The thin silicon mold has two protrusions on the sides which mark the line you’re supposed to fill the pancake batter up to. We bought two molds.
Rather than heating the mold directly, you instead put it on a frying pan, then place the pan on the range and turn on the flame. Cover the frying pan with a lid and cook, on low heat, for seven minutes.
We lifted the lid to sneak a peek and snap some pics half-way through.
Once the time is up, your pancakes should be done cooking. That’s right-there’s no need to flip them during cooking! Simply remove the mold from the frying pain, holding it by the protrusions, turn the mold over, and…
…you’ve got your cat pancakes (catcakes?)!
The most popular pancake cafes in Japan make theirs extra-thick, and Can Do’s mold, as promised, does so too. Eyeballing it, we’d say the pancakes come out about four centimeters in height.
Being the creative types we are, or, more honestly, the can’t-resist-looking-for-excuses-to-put-chocolate-on-everything types that we are, we grabbed a bottle of chocolate sauce and squeezed eyes, a smile, whiskers, and stripes onto our pancake.
Then we sliced up some strawberries from Tochigi Prefecture to really make it feel like we were in a fancy Harajuku cafe.
Since we’d made two pancakes at once, we figured we may as well make our snack a double-decker.
Oh, and if you’re worried that not flipping the pancakes will leave them mushy on one side or runny in the middle, fear not, as keeping a lid on the frying pan during cooking makes sure they’re evenly cooked all the way through.
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