I always wanted a magical accessory. Whether that is a Mary Poppins bag, a cloak of invisibility, or a truth telling compass.
However, all of these pale in comparison to Doreamon – the space cat with no ears – and his magical four dimensional pocket.
It’s only now having read the Hawking’s The Universe in a Nutshell, The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy, watching copious amounts of Star Trek as well as chatting to some lovely theoretical cosmologists – that I can fully comprehend the significance and magnificence of a four dimensional pocket.
What is in this four dimensional pocket I hear you ask? Anything you can imagine. However, it takes a blue space cat to realise the full potential of the pocket. Robots, magical cameras, anywhere doors, time machines and flying contraptions.
Check out the first ever episode with English subtitles here:
Doreamon’s favourite food is a dorayaki – a japanese pancake pocket. These are only three dimensional pancake pockets – but they usually come filled with all kinds of delicious fillings. Sweet adzuki bean paste, vanilla custard and matcha green tea custard.
Pancake pockets (Dorayaki どらやき) recipe
For the bean paste: soak 2 cups of adzuki beans in cold water overnight. The next morning, put the beans in a pan with clean water and bring to the boil. Drain and replace the water with cold water. Repeat this 2 times. This helps get rid of all the scum. When the beans are soft, add in 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tbsp of maple syrup. Mash or blend to a smooth paste and set aside until you have made your pancakes.
For the custard filling:
1 pint milk
2fl oz single cream
1 vanilla pod or ½ tsp vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
1oz caster sugar or xylitol
2½ level tsp cornflour
1. Bring the milk and cream and vanilla to the boil.
2. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour.
3. Pour the hot milk and cream mixture on top of your egg yolks whisking as soon as possible.
4. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and simmer for 2-4 minutes.
5. Leave to cool until wobbly.
Dorayaki pancake recipe
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda (or bicarbonate of soda)
3 tbsp water
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp of maple syrup
1. Whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Mix the baking soda and water in a separate bowl before adding to the egg mixture.
3. Sift in your flour.
4. Finally whisk in your vanilla essence.
5. Heat up a non-stick pan (no oil) and put enough batter to make a small pancake.
6. When bubbles start appearing, flip your pancake. When the pancake is done, leave to cool and cover with a damp tea towel so they don’t dry out.
4. When you have a pair of pancakes, put in a dollop of the adzuki paste or cooled custard in the centre of the pancake. Use the left over batter to create a seal and squeeze another pancake on the top. Leave to cool.
The verdict: The custard ones were definitely the best, but the bean paste ones are really satisfying. They’re not very magical – but they’re definitely a comforting afternoon snack.
The other book I would recommend, and have just finished re-reading is Mr Browser and the Space Museum. Author, Philip Curtis skillfully blends the everyday hilarity of an English school with bizarre aliens from outer space seeking to play havoc with Chivvy Chase High School. I’m spending this weekend in the attic hunting out the prequel to this – Mr Browser and the Brain Sharpeners.