When I was younger, I hated pancakes.
My mom used to make pancakes with Bisquick and I just never cared for them. They had a weird flavor to me (and still do). I always felt like they got really soggy too. To be fair, I can almost guarantee that I put too much syrup on them and didn’t eat them quick enough – so I can’t really blame Bisquick or mom – but I liked waffles better because they were delicious and held up well against my over pouring of syrup.
This might come as a shocker, but now that I’m an adult – and a chef – I like pancakes again because I know how to make them taste right and I know how to eat them better too (no more little kid heavy syrup hand!).
When I first got it into my head that I wanted to make super thick and fluffy pancakes, I started with the usual tricks – baking soda, baking powder, a magic wand – but they just didn’t rise like I wanted. I thought about it one day and realized I could incorporate more air into my batter if I whipped the egg whites – and with my first batch, I got double the height! Awesome.
For this particular batch of pancakes, I had some plantains hanging out that were about to expire, so I decided to make some tostones (one of Jess’s favorite treats) and “stuff” them into the pancake!
I made some alternations to my normal recipe, such as creaming the egg yolks, butter, oil, and sugar together to make the batter and the pancake a little creamier. As far as the syrup, we were out of maple syrup so I knew I needed to make my own. A while ago we bought this fresh ground chocolate peanut butter from Market District and because it’s so thick, it worked well when reduced with a simple syrup to create a delicious topping for these pancakes.
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp vanilla
1 cup almond milk
2 eggs, separated
½ Tbsp butter, melted
½ Tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 Tbsp organic sugar
12 tostones (easy to make using this recipe for tostones, just leave off the seasoning)
Whisk together your first seven ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and milk) until thoroughly mixed and then set aside. In a separate bowl, cream your egg yolks, butter, coconut oil, and sugar. Lastly, in yet another separate bowl, whip your egg whites into a meringue; you can do this by hand (if you really want to) but throwing it in the Kitchenaid on high for a few minutes saves your arm and gives you really nice, stiff peaks.
To assemble everything, first fold in your creamed egg yolk mixture until incorporated and then carefully fold in your meringue (also until incorporated; you cannot be too aggressive with your meringue or you’ll knock all the air out of it!). Chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes, which allows for the whole mixture to work together for a bit.
I prefer using a flat top griddle and if you’ve never used one before, all you have to do is preheat to about 350, spray with coconut oil liberally, and then pour about 3-4 tablespoons of batter onto the griddle. Gently lay a tostone in the center of the pancake and top with 1 or 2 more tablespoons of batter. Flip when needed (usually when the edges start bubbling, but you can easily check with a spatula) until golden brown on both sides.
For the syrup:
1 tsp coconut oil
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup honey
½ cup fresh ground chocolate peanut butter (preferably, or chunky in a pinch)
Rapidly simmer the entire mixture for about 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Remove and strain if desired (if you don’t want peanut bits in your syrup) before pouring over pancakes and enjoying with a dollop of Greek yogurt*.
*Funny story: when we started taking pictures I wished that we would have bought some whipped cream for decoration, so I decided to improvise with my favorite old standby: Greek yogurt. Fresh out of a piping bag, it looks very similar to whipped cream (even if it doesn’t stay in shape as long), but we were pleasantly surprised to find that it actually tasted delicious with these pancakes – it’s a fairly sweet dish, so the Greek balances out that sweet with just a little bit of sour tang that’s lovely. Quite the happy mistake to make!