Saturday, April 18, 2009

Light & Fluffy Pancakes, with Banana Rum Sauce

Decided to make pancakes for Jack last weekend. Had meant it to be a surprise but the weather moved our plans around, so had to tell him. It was like telling a seven-year-old boy that he was going to meet Spiderman - he really wanted to think it was true, but just couldn't believe his luck, and kept peppering me with questions of a skeptical nature. So, these pancakes, what are they going to have in them? These pancakes, have you made them before? Are you sure you're going to have time before we go out? Etc., etc.

Bananas are his favorite, so they would be banana pancakes. I never had made pancakes, not even with a mix. And, emboldened by the baking, I'd decided to make a sauce too, it being Easter and all. So I was a bit worried about timing, not having made a syrup before either.

Since I'm such a newbie, it seems unbelievably reckless to say anything that amounts to "this has to be the best recipe for x, and the only one I will use for the rest of my life." But here we go: I believe this must be the best pancake recipe in the world, and I really can't imagine using anything else. So there. Try it and let me know what you think.

The sauce was great, too, though a bit over the top for pancakes - I'd definitely make it again, but would give it the more sophisticated context it deserves.

The Recipe: Light & Fluffy Banana Pancakes
(Note to UK readers: these are American-style breakfast pancakes, not crepes)
From How to Cook Everything (10th Anniversary Edition) by Mark Bittman
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Dash salt
  • 1 tbspn sugar
  • 1.5 tspn baking powder
  • Butter or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, as needed
  • 3 bananas, sliced
Serves 4

1. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat while you make the batter.

2. Beat together the milk and egg yolks. Mix the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites with a whisk or electric mixer until fairly stiff but not dry.

3. Combine the dry ingredients and milk-yolk mixture, stirring to blend. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites; they should remain somewhat distinct in the batter.

4. Put about 1 tspn of the butter or oil on the griddle/skillet and, when butter melts or oil is hot, add the batter by the heaping tablespoon, making sure to include some of the egg whites in each spoonful.

5. Press banana slices into top of cooking pancakes. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom, 3-5 mins, then turn and cook until the second side is brown, a couple more minutes.

6. Serve or hold on an oven-proof plate in a 200F oven for up to 15 mins.

The Recipe: Banana-Rum Sauce

I found this via foodgawker. It's really supposed to go with a very lovely-looking pavlova.


Making the sauce was slightly nerve-wracking, as had my eye on the clock, and it seemed to take ages to get to the syrupy stage. Also was terrified of burning myself/the cats with the superheated liquid - seemed like a horrible accident waiting to happen. But it was definitely worth it - very sweet but so banana-y, rummy, and good.

Looking at the pics, my sauce came out a lot darker - guessing I used darker sugar, but maybe it was something else. Also, didn't strain it, we don't have a strainer, and the banana bits were too tasty.

Pancakes were super easy and wonderful, though we did manage to burn the first batch on the bottom. We're making them again tomorrow.


Sauce, finally syrupy

Batter ready to go

Slightly odd shaped pancakes due to miscomm-unication between chef & sous-chef

Jack flipping
On plate, pancakes slightly singed on bottom; yes, that's Reddi-wip, I have no shame

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