Sunday, August 15, 2010

Red Velvet Pancakes

I had an amazing brunch with the super talented funny lady Danielle Stewart and experienced Red Velvet Pancakes at The Den yesterday.

In case you're outside the LA area and want to experience the joys of chocolate pancakes covered in cream cheese frosting syrup, my old college Conservatory buddy Ron Burr read my gushings and passed along a receipe for home! YUM!

Red Velvet Pancake Recipe
Yield: about 14 4″ pancakes

Dry Ingredients
Flour 8oz (about 1½ cups)
Cocoa Powder, unsweetened ½oz (about 2 tbsp)
Sugar 2oz (about 3 tbsp)
Baking Powder 1½ tsp
Baking Soda ½ tsp
Cinnamon 1 tsp

Wet Ingredients
Buttermilk 1¼ cup
Eggs, large 2 each
Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
Red Food Coloring 1 tbsp
Butter, melted 2 oz (about ½ stick)

If you are going to be using them, begin by making the Butter-Pecan Syrup and the Whipped Cream Cheese. You can hold the syrup warm on the stove while you make the pancakes and the Whipped Cream Cheese can go in a serving vessel on the table.
Pre-heat your griddle or heavy pan over medium heat. If you are using a non-stick electric griddle, set the electric griddle temperature a little under 325°F. You can tell if the griddle is hot enough when a couple of drops of water sprinkled onto the cooking surface “dance” with a sizzle and a hiss, before evaporating. For surfaces which aren’t non-stick you will need to grease it up with a little oil or clarified butter on a paper towel before proceeding to cook.
Next, melt your butter. I do this by placing the butter in a bowl and putting it in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Then, I let the butter sit until I need it in the recipe. This way I make sure the butter isn’t too hot.

Weigh and measure all of the dry ingredient into a bowl large enough to hold all of the batter. Then, with a whisk, stir to thoroughly combine. This breaks up the lumps that might exist in the flour or cocoa powder.
In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and food coloring. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk mixture; stir until mostly combined. Add the melted butter to the batter; folding gently.

For each pancake, pour ¼ cup of batter on to the hot griddle. Cook the pancakes on the first side until they puff up and are full of bubbles and the edges begin to look dry; about 4 minutes

Turn the pancakes over and cook on the second side until they are cooked through; roughly another 3 minutes.
Pay attention to your heat, if on the first side the pancakes are getting really dark before bubbles start to form and the edges begin to dry, turn the heat down. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve hot with the Whipped Cream Cheese and Butter Pecan Syrup.

Whipped Cream Cheese
Cream Cheese, softened 4 oz
Heavy Cream ¼ cup
Sugar 2 tbsp
Vanilla 1 tsp

Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the paddle/beater attachment and the lowest setting, combine the ingredients until well incorporated. Once, you won’t get splattered, increase the speed and “whip” the ingredients together until smooth.

Serve in a small bowl alongside the Butter Pecan Syrup.

(This is the part that puts the whole recipe over the top into "Don't make any plans, you're going to sit and stare at the walls for a while)

Butter Pecan Syrup
Butter. softened 2 sticks
Pecan halves 4 oz (about 1 cup)
Real Maple Syrup 1 cup
Vanilla Extract 1½ tbsp
Water 2½ tbsp
a pinch of Kosher Salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the pecans on a sheet tray and place them in the oven. Toast the pecans, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly browned and fragrant. You don’t have to go too far, because we are going to cook them in the butter for a few minutes as well. In the meantime, preheat a heavy 10-inch sauté pan over medium. Add the butter and let it begin to melt.

When the butter is mostly melted, add the pecan halves. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the pecans are well toasted and have a rich brown color.
When the butter begins to foam around the pecan halves, add the maple syrup all at once. Continue to cook the butter-syrup mixture until it is hot and bubbly.
Momentarily remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the vanilla extract and the water; incorporating with a whisk or wooden spoon. Return the pan to the heat and cook the mixture for a 3-4 more minutes; until the mixture is hot and thickens slightly.
Taste the syrup and add a pinch of salt. Taste again (this is just because the cook deserves a little treat after all of this hard work).

This syrup can be made well in advance and rewarmed before serving. As it cools, it will “break” on you; meaning the syrup and butter will separate. Just give it a good stir before saucing the pancakes.


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