As the reigning Pancake Princess at The Chopping Block, I’m always looking for new and different pancakes to make. I’ve made sweet pancakes, as well as savory pancakes, so when it came time to make my next round of pancakes, I took to social media to ask my friends “If you could have any flavor pancake, what would it be?”
Apparently, my friends are as passionate about pancakes as I am because I got a ton of suggestions! Some people suggested savory flavors such as chorizo, taco, smoked salmon or pizza, while others went a more traditional sweet route with suggestions that included spiced peach, boston cream, tres leches, s’mores, crème brulee, and pop rocks. I was about to go the pop rocks route when I suddenly remembered my girls’ trip to New York City last year. I had seen these “jiggly pancakes” on social media. They looked like fluffy clouds, and I was on a mission to try them. Lucky for me, my friends have come to accept that if we’re traveling, I have an itinerary of restaurants ready to go, and most times, it involves heading straight to a restaurant from the airport, bags in tow. To Chinatown we went, and found Taiyaki, the hole in the wall spot serving up these pancakes. You can smell them down the street, and they were so deliciously light and airy.
Taiyaki, New York City
Me, Julianne and Lauren enjoy Japanese Souffle pancakes
After enjoying them, I was determined to try making them myself, but it seemed daunting, and it took me until just recently to roll up my sleeves and get to it.
To start, I read through a bunch of recipes from the New York Times to Food and Wine, and watched a number of videos, and then I got busy! While I typically love recipes that can be easily doubled to feed a crowd, I have to be honest, these souffle pancakes are rather labor intensive and need to be made and eaten right away, so I’d stick to treating yourself or one other person when making them. While they do involve some work, I love that you get to practice lots of culinary techniques from separating eggs to whipping egg whites to folding. You’ll hone your skills and end up with an impressive and delicious breakfast or brunch!
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Makes 4 pancakes/2 servings
4 eggs, separated
3 Tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
4 Tablespoons water
2 3-inch pastry rings (or you can do this free form!)
1. Heat a non-stick pan on low.
2. Separate the 4 eggs (be very careful not to get any yolk in the whites, that makes them challenging to whip which means less souffle effect) in two containers – one for the whites, and one for the yolks.
3. Place the bowl with the whites in the freezer.
4. Add milk and vanilla bean paste to egg yolks. Whisk until frothy.
5. Add flour and baking powder. Whisk to combine. Batter will be thick.
6. Remove the egg whites from the freezer. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip the egg whites (this can be done by hand, but it will take a while).
7. As the egg whites start to get frothy (1-2 minutes) add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting for each addition to be incorporated. You will notice that the egg whites start to whip up and get glossy as the sugar is added (sugar is a stabilizer). Whip egg whites until they form stiff peaks (about 5 minutes).
Start adding your sugar now.
Egg whites are done.
8. Add egg yolk batter to egg whites and fold the egg whites in, being careful not to deflate the egg whites.
9. Add 1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil to the pre-heated non-stick pan. Increase heat to medium-low.
10. If using pastry rings, spray the rings with cooking spray, place in the pan, and fill each ring with ¼ of the batter to just below to top of the ring. If not using pastry rings, dollop the batter into the pan, let it dry a bit and add more batter on top for height.
With pastry rings
Without pastry rings (the rustic look!)
11. Pour 1 Tablesoon of water into the pan to create steam and cover the pan.
12. Check pancakes after 5 minutes and flip them over to cook on the other side.
13. Add 1 Tablespoon of water to the pan again to create steam. Cover pan for another 1-2 minutes.
14. If using pastry rings, carefully remove rings and serve pancakes immediately with your choice of fruit, syrup, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, etc!
Be prepared to be asked to make these pancakes again (and again)! In full disclosure, when I made these, I made two using the pastry rings and two free form, to see how each method works. It was just me, and I refused to let my hard work go to waste, so needless to say, in the interest of research, I ate all four pancakes and didn’t regret it one bit!
Ready to make these souffle pancakes, but need a new non-stick pan, vanilla bean paste or a whisk? Make sure to send us your curbside order at Lincoln@thechoppingblock.com. We’re open for curbside pickup on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 3pm-5pm.
And, if you’re not quite ready to dive in to making brunch yourself, treat yourself to brunch on our patio! We have some fun, delicious, and socially distanced outdoor grilling classes, and we would love to see you! Join us for Grilled Brunch Al Fresco on Sunday, September 6 (just 2 spots left!), New Orleans Brunch on the Patio on Sunday, September 20 or Fall Brunch on the Grill on Saturday, October 3.