Look at what I done do last week.
The always lovely Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen sent out a tweet some time ago for some suggestions. She had half a cup of mascarpone in her refrigerator and was looking for ideas on what to do with it. I had just put up a post about my basic pancakes when I saw that, so I naturally thought of tiramisu pancakes.
I fiddled around a lot with the recipe in my head. I knew I had to have coffee and chocolate in there. And of course, the cream. Do I add cream to the batter as well? Do I use real coffee or just powdered coffee? Do I go through the trouble of making the zabaglione for the cream?
In the end, it was my son Tim, the pancake connoisseur, who helped me focus. His final say: “I don’t think you should make them too rich. They should still be panckaes, and I want to be able to eat a lot of them.”
Spoken like a true eating machine.
So, after about 4 experimental batches, I finally had the recipe that makes me happy and want to eat pancakes all day. The cream is what really makes it all come together, and I found that it was unnecessary to go through the whole trouble of making the zabaglione. Just some whipping cream and coffee liqueur, and it was good to go. I also added maple flavoring to the glaze and the cream, because although tiramisu doesn’t really have maple syrup in it, these are, after all, pancakes. They’ll miss the maple syrup and might start running off in search of it.
Oh, and you know something? Those nooks and crannies that sometimes show up in the cooked pancakes? They work really well here, because they give you extra space where you can hide more cream. The pancakes taste awesome even when cold, which makes them taste like dessert.
Head on over to TLC, where Steamy Kitchen featured these pancakes on her blog today. And let me tell you something: even though I’ve been making these non-stop for the past four days, looking at them still makes me hungry. (Although, to be honest, that really isn’t saying a lot. A photo of a cup of plain rice makes me hungry too.)
(Serves about 5 reasonably hungry people)
For the pancakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, slightly rounded, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a generous pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cups sour cream
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons instant coffee
For the glaze (optional):
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
For the cream:
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Start by preparing the cream and the glaze. For the cream, beat all ingredients together and whip until you have soft peaks. Set aside in the refrigerator. (Tip: this cream tastes amazing, and is what really makes these pancakes. If you like generous amounts of cream on your pancakes, you might want to make a double portion.) The glaze is optional, but very, very (and I mean very) good. Simply combine the ingredients well. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make sure the cocoa powder is well sifted, so that it will dissolve evenly.
In a separate bowl, combine the milk and sour cream until smooth (it helps to slowly dilute the sour cream with the milk while whisking, which reduces the chances of clumps). Add the instant coffee powder and mix well until dissolved. Whisk in the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing gently until you have a slightly lumpy batter but without any large clumps of flour. If batter is a little runny, add a tablespoon or two of flour. I like to transfer my batter to a measuring cup or something else with a spout, for easier cooking.
Let the batter sit while you preheat your griddle. When griddle is hot, drop batter in portions desired (1/4 cup for regular-sized pancakes) onto the greased griddle. When bubbles come up and edges look cooked, gently flip to cook the other side. Once pancakes are cooked, transfer to a plate. Spread a small amount of the maple glaze over the top of the pancake so it soaks in while still hot. Continue with the remaining batter until done.
To serve, dollop a generous amount of the cream in between layers of pancakes. Top with more cream, and then top with shaved chocolate, or a light dusting of sifted cocoa powder.
Serve with extra cream and/or glaze on the side for dipping. A bonus: these pancakes taste amazing even when cold.