Martabak Manis

I've mentioned in my previous post on Martabak Cafe, that I had mixed evaluations of their Choco Cheese Martabak. Incidentally, I find the Pancake base too much in carbonate taste. Just over that it already elicited an off trace. In my quest to identify where that off note is coming from, I tried to make my own Martabak Manis at home. Good thing an Indonesian colleague generously gave me a recipe to work on. However, it did not turn out as simple as I expected it to be.

Nonetheless, after some trial and error I finally made a version that suited our palate (at least something that my family and I will enjoy for breakfast :-)). When I perused the recipe, it made my hunch more clear that the off note came from too much Baking Powder. I cannot think of any other source. (Feel free to share if you consider otherwise). From my hands-on Martabak experience, the challenge really is to come up with a good pancake base. Tastewise, it should have clean, pleasant notes. Also, it should be golden brown in color. Thus, it's important to keep the heat low as much as possible to avoid overdoing it. Otherwise, you'll get some burnt note. With regards to the texture, it should be smooth, soft, a little airy and neither chewy nor tough. This is what I find very tricky to make - how to give the batter a good lift when pan fried. In my initial attempt, I got an almost pudding-like texture as a result of this not so nice batter consistency (see photo below).

Unfortunately, I mixed the batter hurriedly that's why I got a lot of unwanted lumps. The liquid portion was also not enough so I adjusted its level in my next trial. What's more, the coconut milk might have been too warm which, inactivated some of the instant yeast. With all the modifications considered, this was how my Martabak Manis recipe finally worked out:

250 g soft flour / cake flour*

1/4 cup sugar

2 whole eggs (beaten)

1/4 - 1/2 tsp baking powder

400 ml coconut milk**

1 tsp instant dry yeast

1 tsp butter or margarine

condensed milk

sliced banana

cheddar cheese (grated)

chocolate vermicellis***


1. Dissolve instant dry yeast in a warm coconut milk. Set aside.

2. Mix flour and sugar in a bowl. Add whole eggs and mix well.

3. Slowly add the liquid ingredients (coconut milk - yeast mixture) into the dry ingredients (flour mix) until a smooth batter consistency is achieved. Allow to rest for 15 - 20 mins.

4. Heat a non-stick pan and brush with butter or margarine. Add approximately 1 cm thick batter and cook until the upper portion shows some holes / bubbles. Flip the pancake to cook the other side.

5. Transfer to a plate and add your desired filling (fruits, nuts, sesame, chocolate, syrups, etc.). Cut the pancake into halves and fold it into sandwich.

* To substitute cake flour, mix 2 tbsps cornstarch into 1 cup of all purpose flour.
** For the coconut milk, you may use either the local brand Peter Paul or the imported Thai brand Pantai, both were good
** Use any type of chocolate other than vermicellis. In this version, I used shavings of ready to eat chocolate (Hershey's and Toblerone)

All in all, it was a challenging and exciting know how of Indonesian way of cooking. Now, we have a new favorite morning treat! This is a natural pleaser! What's even better, we need not go to MOA or any Indonesian Cafe each time we crave for martabak manis. For the moms out there, you can put any of your kids' most love fruit / food as filling. Surely, it'll break the satiation to ordinary Pinoy Pancakes!


Unknown said…
wow! it looks so good! :)
sandy said…
martabaknya enak nich....coba d rumah ah./..

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