A BUBBLY SYMPHONY OF BUTTER AND CREAM, SUGAR AND HONEY, A PINCH OF SEA SALT AND BRANDY HERE AND THERE, AND THAT LAST TOUCH OF VANILLA
I’m quickly leaving you the last post before we take a short trip to Hong Kong and Seoul next week. It’s been… well… 2 years since the last time me and Jason traveled together. What used to be frequent occurrences and a huge part of of our lives, now feels a bit unfamiliar and exciting again, well, tinted with a bit of sadness at the same time.
So with all the packing, cleaning out the fridge, packing again and feeling a bit empty now that we have minus-two dogs to say good-bye to, I’m gonna leave you alone with these pancakes that I’ve lately, grown quite fond with. As I previously declared, I’m not a pancake person. Still not actually. But what I like about these pancakes, aside from the fact that they taste, preferably, like the lighter version of the often-times unbearably sweet sticky toffee puddings, is their relatively loftier heights that bring more tasty contrast to the fluffy interiors and the crispy edges. The pancakes use, more or less, the chiffon cake-technique by folding beaten egg white into the the batter to pump up its airiness. Then I cook them with a lid on, which speeds up the cooking time, and from what I felt, retains the height of the pancakes better. You could add chopped dates to the party as the tradition, but I kept them lazy, only mimicking the flavours by adding molasses, grated ginger, ground cinnamon and allspice. After all, the highlight of sweetness should only come from the thick and glistening syrup, a bubbly symphony of butter and cream, dark brown sugar and honey, a pinch of sea salt and brandy here and there, and that last touch of vanilla.
So here we go, to mark to the end, and the beginning, and then the repeating of it all that is change and life. I’ll see you again, on the other side.
- 1/2 cup (93 grams) dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (169 grams) honey
- 1/4 cup (56 grams) heavy cream
- 3 tbsp (42 grams) unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp brandy
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg white + 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup (230 grams) whole milk
- 2 tbsp (42 grams) molasses
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp grated ginger
- 2 tbsp (27 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cup (168 grams) preferably cake flour, but all-purpose flour is fine
- 1 tbsp (12 grams) light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- Canola oil and unsalted butter for cooking
- TO MAKE THE TOFFEE SAUCE: Combine dark brown sugar, honey, heavy cream, unsalted butter, brandy and sea salt in a small pot and set over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 3~4 min, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, set aside.
- TO MAKE THE PANCAKE: In a clean bowl with handheld-mixer, whisk together egg white and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peak forms. It should look like at least tripled in volume. Set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together whole milk, molasses, egg yolk and grated ginger until even. Sift flour, light brown sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon and allspice right into the wet ingredient. Then add the melted butter and stir everything together with a fork just until it comes into a thick batter. Fold the beated egg white into the batter with a spatula in 3 additions, just until even. Try not to overwork the batter too much.
- With a flat non-stick skillet with lid, heat 1 tbsp of canola oil and 1 tbsp of unsalted butter over medium heat. Once the butter starts to bubble, spoon the batter onto the skillet. Put the lid on now and turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook for 2-plus min, until the first side of the pancake is golden browned. The steam inside the skillet will help cook the pancakes faster, and I find that it better retains the height of the pancakes as well. Now remove the lid and flip the pancake over. Turn the heat back to medium and cook until the second side is golden browned as well (without lid). Repeat until all the batter is used, and add more canola oil and unsalted butter as you go.
- Reheat the toffee sauce to loosen the consistency if needed, and serve immediately with pancakes.