Sunday, January 31, 2010

Popover 2: Electric Boogaloo

Depending on how old you were in 1984, the title of this post may be lost on you. And if it is, ultimately that just makes you cooler than me. But if you were anywhere between the ages of, oh, say, 8 and 35, you might know of the wildly popular and spectacularly terrible movie about breakdancing to which I refer: Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.

I was 11 in December 1984 when I saw Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. I had already seen the prequel to this fine film, Breakin', which had been released the summer of the same year--clearly the producers were all too aware that the window of popularity for two such ridiculous films was fairly small. I think even at the age of 11, I realized this movie franchise was a bomb, and by early 1985 I had moved on to slightly better cinematic works such as The Goonies.

In any case, in our house, when something requires a sequel or a do-over, it's often referred to as (blank) 2: Electric Boogaloo. And this morning, I decided it was time for Popover 2: Electric Boogaloo.

You may recall that a few months ago I attempted to make popovers with incredibly poor results. They emerged as homely little stumps, which, while they tasted perfectly fine, did not come close to meeting the standards set for me by the fashionable and highly mockable Rotunda Room.

My post about popovers--or flopovers, as the husband dubbed them-- elicited quite a bit of helpful advice from readers, not the least of which was: get a popover pan. Lo and behold, a popover pan was given to me for my birthday in November. With the right equipment in hand, I just needed a new recipe.

I decided this time to go with nerdy and reliable Baking Illustrated. I love this cookbook, and it has yet to disappoint me. The recipe differed slightly from the Mark Bittman recipe I used earlier: it called for vegetable oil, resting the batter before baking, and using a real popover pan.

Once the batter was assembled and rested, I poured it into the preheated pan. Because I am poor at eyeballing things, I only filled five of the six cups before I ran out of batter. But because the batter begins to cook the moment you pour it, there was no fixing my error. Into the oven they went.

And 35 minutes later, this is how they emerged.

Total popovers!

The husband came over to check them out and after inhaling the lovely, bready scent and admiring their crusty little balloon bodies, he turned to me with dead shark eyes and said, "I'm going to eat at least 2.5 of those."

He may be bigger and taller than me, but I can go head-to-head with him on any baked good (perhaps not something to brag about, but the irrefutable truth). "Mm hmm," I murmured sweetly, "2.5 is exactly what you'll get."

The nice thing about popovers is that while they look kind of hefty, they are full of air, so you can eat a few and not feel too bad. I pulled one open and slathered it in butter and my friend Stacie's homemade nectarine preserves. Heavenly!

I have to conclude that Popover 2: Electric Boogaloo was a raging success, most likely due to having the proper pan but perhaps also because of the recipe. I'm not sure. I do know I will be making these a lot in the future, because unlike most sequels, they exceeded all expectations and left me wanting more.


(adapted from Baking Illustrated)

2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup flour
1/2 t. salt
1 T. unsalted butter, melted
1T. vegetable oil

Whisk the eggs and milk together in a large bowl until well combined, about 20 seconds. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg and milk mixture and stir with a spoon or spatula just until combined--it will still be lumpy. Add the butter and whisk for about 30 seconds until smooth and bubbly. Let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Meanwhile, pour 1/2 t. vegetable oil into each popover cup (pan should have six cups). Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position, place the pan in the oven,  and heat to 450.

Once the batter is rested and the oven is heated, pour the batter into a 4-cup measuring cup or other cup with a spout. Remove pan from the oven and working quickly, divide the batter evenly among the cups. Put the pan back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, without opening the oven door. Reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 15-18 minutes (I removed mine after 15), until golden brown. Remove from the oven, dump out onto a wire rack, let cool for 2-3 minutes, then eat immediately.


  1. Woo hoo! Hooray for popover success! Has hubby come up with a name for them yet, since he dubbed the last lot flopovers? (As for showing my age : I remember the music for EB, but cannot really place the movie)

  2. Who said sequels couldn't be better than the first, because you have definitely proved them wrong. These look so delicious, especially the photo with the butter melting all over the sides.

    I hope there will be a sequel to the sequel and many more...Boogaloo ~ what a fun word to say & type

  3. Congradulations! Well done! Making a recipe that works, finally, is trully gratefying.
    I don't remember the movie, but because of the incredible number of weddings I've atteneded, I know the music. It's playing in my head right now! What's the cure for an ear worm?

  4. I'm pretty sure The Goonies is now considered a classic of American cinema. :)

    Oh, and the popovers - way to go! They look heavenly.

  5. BEAUTIFUL!!! I bet those tasted just as good as they look!

  6. ooh, so the equipment made the difference? they look wonderfully puffy.

  7. Nice popover! It took me a few tries to get them down too. I think the popover pan, rested batter and a pre-heated oven and pan are the secrets.

  8. Great job! Heh, the only reason I know about "electric boogaloo" is from MST3K...

  9. Wow, amazing job on these, they look fabulous
    *kisses* HH

  10. LOL, I'm amazed you had time to take that photo of the done popover instead of devouring it once it came out of the oven! Do they call it popovers because they fall over because the top is so pop-heavy? (You can see I'm still a popover virgin.) Anywho, looks fantastic!

  11. I love love love popovers! They actually always make me think of Little Women and their popovers on Christmas morning!

  12. Dude, the popovers look great. As for time we're together maybe we should get out some ol' tupperwares and practice a bit, in honor of DJ: "Just give it a try. I'll wash [the container]." And the movie...didn't we see that in Bessemer?

  13. These are so picture-perfect they should be on the cover of a magazine. Congrats on perfecting your popovers. They look amazing!

  14. Um, I graduated in 1984. I should at least take comfort in the knowledge that at least I'm not old enough to be your Mom.

    I love popovers. One restaurant that we love has a wonderful honey butter to go with them-oh yum! I need to invest in a popover pan....

  15. Ha! You haven't seen a bad movie till you've seen "The attack of the killer tomatoes". It's so bad that we used to rent it. Really. It's sooooo bad that it's almost good.

    But those popovers, now. THOSE are fabulous. Color me jealous.

  16. Thanks, everyone! I can't wait to make them again.

    MisterJary: yep, I think we saw the first one in Bessemer and the second one at the Old Mill!

  17. Hurrah! Congratulations on your popover success! They look fabulous and would put Neiman Marcus popovers to shame.
    Hot with butter melting.....yum.

  18. Your movie theater memory is faulty! You have never been to a Bessmer movie theater because there hasn't been one there for decades and the one that was there in the 50's was ramshackle and falling apart -- I NEVER saw a movie there! Maybe it is the Old Mill where you saw these movies -- unknown to dear old Mom!

    Glad you are you baking in your birthday present! I should get one! How many popovers can a tummy take? Love, MOM

  19. They look good.......especially since 1 month ago I didn't know what popovers were....but I'm not American, so can be forgiven!

  20. they look wonderful! must be a great feeling to conquer a recipe dubbed 'flopover'!!

  21. Barbara: thanks! That is high praise!

    Mom: We definitely saw one of these movies in the midwest but maybe it was in Minneapolis, same trip. Thanks again for the pan, clearly I love it!

    Ozoz: thanks for stopping by! Popovers aren't overly popular here either so you're in good company. Give 'em a try, though, if you're so inclined!

    Megan: Indeed!

  22. While nothing can truly compare to Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, I can honestly say that these popovers were sublime. I ate 2.5 of them, broke out my cardboard, and got down to some serious breakdancing.

  23. A Year on the Grill: Excellent analogy!

    danny: That was a sight to behold.

  24. I love this post! I was here last night reading it and got sidetracked by American Idol viewing before I had a chance to comment. I was in college during the Breakin'2 days and way to preoccupied with dorm parties so I never saw it. I do however, clearly remember the reference and most certainly am not cooler than you :). Congrats on these beauties! they look absolutely delicious and what a wonderful treat after your disappointment with the flopovers!

  25. ..."too" preoccupied...

    The former teacher in me cannot allow my typo to go unnoticed :).

  26. cookbookapprentice: thanks! I'm glad some other folks remember Breakin' 2 even if they didn't see it (which I reiterate--absolutely makes you cooler than me!)

  27. wow those look fantastic! i love the pic with all the layers showing.