|Beautiful takoyaki picture from here|
It's about 3 minutes before you start trying to detach the balls from the sides, using a little metal pick, but your eyes work best here. Like pancakes the batter will start to look cooked and dried on the edges and the top will start to form the slightest of skins. When it gets near that point, you start using your pick to pull the ball away from the edges. When it's able to move, you flip it over and let it cook until it's cooked through and is browned, another minute or two. Depending on your heat source, the balls will cook at different rates. In our case, the middle ones cooked a lot faster than the edges.
Cooking the puffs takes patience. Try to flip them too soon and the pick will tear the edges and the batter, if it's not cooked enough, will ooze out when you try to flip them. If you wait just long enough, however, flipping is a breeze. Cooking a whole cake mix also equals a LOT of batches, so patience is a virtue.
Christina kept hugging me and saying, "Thank you, Mommy, for helping me" and "Isn't this a nice thing to do together?" If I had gone away, she would have gotten bored to tears. But we finished all the cake batter working together, and she had plenty of cake puffs to take to school the next day for a school party.
The other half she kept plain and simple. Yummy both ways. But boy, do I have a craving for takoyaki now!
P.S. Fellow blogger and Kulinarya Cooking Club member Jacqui wrote me and let me know that these are like Danish ebelskivers, which she has written about here. Tiny Urban Kitchen writes about the similarities between the two dishes on her blog. Williams-Sonoma sells an ebelskiver pan. I'm glad I learned something new today. Thanks, Jacqui!