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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Souffle Pancakes


Souffle Pancakes 
  • 35 g cake flour
  • 20 g oat milk (or dairy milk, whatever)
  • 2 g baking powder
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 45 g sugar + a pinch 
First thing's first: heat your griddle on a medium flame. I have a cast-iron griddle, but that doesn't mean I don't need to give it a quick wipe with olive oil or shortening. These are incredibly fiddly, so a thin layer of fat will go a long way. If you don't have a griddle, you can use a nonstick pan, so long as it's large and rather flat. 

Next, set up a piping bag by cutting off the tip and standing it up in a tall measuring cup or large tumbler. Fold the edge over the lip of the cup to keep it steady. This is a good trick to have in your arsenal for buttercreams, as well!



Separate the eggs and whisk a pinch of sugar in with the milk and yolks in a medium bowl, while your egg whites and 45 g of sugar go into the bowl of a standing mixer. You can add a splash of vanilla paste or rum extract at this point, too, if you like. Whisk by hand to make sure it's quite frothy. If you have a sieve of some sort, I'd advise using this to fold in the dry ingredients to your yolk-milk mixture. If you don't, it's honestly fine if you simply whisk them in, so long as you use smaller increments. 

Whisk your egg whites for 30 seconds on low to dissolve the sugar. Turn up your whisk to medium until frothy, and then whip on high until you get quite stiff peaks. Add in a small dollop of your whipped meringue to the egg yolk mixture and stir in using the whisk. It's not important to necessarily preserve bubbles, but to just stir it in to get everything slightly lighter. Add in a larger dollop of meringue - about a third of the whites - and fold in gently using the whisk. You're going to repeat this process until you get to the last third of the whites, at which point you'll switch to using the spatula.

Once everything's folded in together, your griddle should be hot. Turn it down to the lowest flame possible. Did you remember to give a quick glaze with the fat of your choice? Did you find yourself the thinnest spatula you could? Oh, good, I'm so glad you did. Now that you've ticked that box, you may gently pour your pancake batter into your prepared piping bag.

Wok not included.

Pipe large mounds of pancake, as if you were creating a rounded mountain of fluff, a few centimeters apart, all on your now-hot griddle. Do leave some space between them as it'll make flipping that much easier. Now, go wash your hands with hot water and soap, as hot as you can stand it. Rinse well, and rinse again with cold water. Let your dripping wet hands, that are now gone of all soap residue, and splash a few droplets of water around each pancake to create some steam. Now set the timer on the oven (or on your phone) for 6 minutes.  If you didn't use up all of your batter in this go, turn on your oven to 200 degrees and put a couple of ceramic plates in there. These will hold your cakes until you're ready to eat.

I'm sure you, like I, are quarantined so you're likely going stir-crazy already. Shall I entertain you for six minutes? I'll do my best by telling you a fun few facts about things you can use to stretch your budget - or, rather, stretch the life of your goods already in your house so you needn't venture out.

Switch to loose-leaf tea. This may seem counterproductive, but trust me on this one - it's going to be a budget-saver. If you switch to loose-leaf tea, you can brew up to ten pots from the same leaves. No, seriously. Ten. All you do is introduce boiling water after each pot is drained and let steep a minute longer than usual. Black teas, for example, should be brought back to life with boiling water, and steeped for 4 minutes. On the second, third, and fourth brews? Just five minutes with boiling water will do. Once your tea leaves are all said and done, don't you dare throw them away. My favorite use is to wrap the leaves in a paper towel and use them to scrub the counters, especially around the corners and around the sink; this is especially a good tip if you have issues with ants. I've had good success with keeping ants away using this, and that's not the only thing. If you drop them in the toilet bowl and let them sit for a few hours in the water, give it a quick brush, and flush for a deodorizing and stain-lifting treatment without harsh chemicals. If you have a musty carpet situation, let the tea leaves dry again, crush them up and sprinkle them on the carpet and let sit for 10 minutes or so before vacuuming. You can use those leftover leaves to feed your house plants, especially acid-loving plants such as ferns or orchids.  

Keep those egg shells. Let them dry out and crush with your hands. Use them with a scotch-brite pad and a drop of castille soap to scrub off any scummy such grossness on your sink. You can also use them as a super-rough scour for your cast-iron. I highly suggest not throwing away egg shells anyhow, especially if you have a garden. Everyone knows you can use them for fertilizer, but did you know that it helps feed birds in the spring? They just laid their eggs, and they usually will eat their egg shells to help get calcium back. Finally, if you crunch them up and sprinkle them around garden plots, it'll help keep pesky neighborhood cats and squirrels away. They don't like the sharp bits! Isn't that fun?

Beep beep! That timer should go off any second now! Flip them gently, I say, using that thin spatula of yours and - I cannot stress this part enough - ever so gently press the pancake into the hot surface of the griddle to make a flat-ish surface. Sprinkle on some water for steam. Time to sit and read for another 6 minutes? Oh, if you insist. 

Save your vegetable scraps - except the brassicas. This means broccoli and cauliflower, and any cabbage...unless you want that in your stock. Yes, you're making stock! Carrot peels, onion skins, lemon skins, herb branches, celery tips, ginger skins...anything you're likely using that's got big flavor. When you're ready to make that stock of yours, I'd like to suggest that you should also add in a cinnamon stick, some whole peppercorns, and a couple of bay leaves. Simply bring to a boil, and then simmer this goodness for one hour. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and either freeze in jars or in an ice cube tray. You don't need new mason jars, by the way. Simply wash any glass jar that has a screw-top lid (salsa jar, lard jar, whatever) either in the dishwasher or with soap and water, and boil both lid and jar in water to sterilize. If you do add this stuff into a jar, make sure you leave room for the stock to expand while freezing, so don't fill it absolutely to the brim. Most restaurants make things taste amazing using homemade stocks, and you don't have to be left behind by that. The way restaurants make everything taste amazing is by punching in as much flavor as possible into one dish, and then making sure that everything is harmonious. 

If you want to take up your remaining time on that timer to find a clean, large container to let hang out in the fridge that'll catch all of your veggie scraps and set it in the bottom of the fridge, go right ahead. 

Your timer should be done! If you need to make more, carefully transfer each pancake onto those warming ceramic plates in your warm oven, and repeat the process. If you need another project to occupy you for two 6-minute increments, check out what the local artists in my town are doing to fight the misery of this quarantine here! This is an adult coloring book made by the Kansas City Art Scene. Check it out! If you don't need it, however, go ahead and turn off your burner and let hang out while you get plates. I don't think you need butter for this, but please make sure it's already near-melted as you don't want cold butter spreading on these delicate babies. I personally think they did fine with just maple syrup. By the way, did you know that you can make syrup from the trees you probably have in your backyard? Yes, you can make syrups other than maple! Birch trees are common, as are sycmore trees in this area. Check out this video on how to make birch syrup while you eat.  Or, you know, watch it while you wait for your second batch of pancakes to cook.






Thanks so much for reading! I hope you wake up tomorrow, inspired, to make these for breakfast. I also hope that you make these souffle pancakes for dinner tonight. Why shouldn't you have pancakes for dinner? We're all in the middle of redefining what we think the rules should really be right now, so why not you? Have pancakes for dinner! Give yourselves a little joy and silliness because goodness knows you need a good laugh. A dear friend of mine told me recently that it is a radical thing to take care of oneself in times like these.

I hope these turn out! Happy cooking and happy eating!


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