Tuesday, December 30, 2008

got a thing for the pan cake

put a tiny bit of nip and chill in the air and i'm a thinking about the almighty pan cake. better yet, a pan cake with maple syrup - the real stuff. none of this sugar, water, caramel color number 45 garbage, the real slightly smokey, slightly burnt tasting maple goodness.

we are not lucky enough to have a pack of maple trees down here so i will often turn to honey for a drizzle of sweet happiness on the cakes. that i can get local pretty soon local as the back yard - talk to me in a year about that.

i like to play around with the mix. whole wheat cakes, buck wheat cakes (my favorite), corn meal cakes, spelt cakes, rye cakes (not my favorite). i have not yet made sour dough cakes. i bet sour dough cakes might be nice.

then there are the mix ins. blueberries being at the top of the list for me with raspberries and strawberries running a close tie for second with bananas running a fast and easy third. cranberries are good too and peaches and pears - oh boy you've got me started. try what you've got. don't have fresh fruit - how about some jam?

nuts prove nice if you chop them up a bit. i'm living in pecan country so for me it's usually this years pecans from the home trees. i do love walnuts. i love the buttery texture walnuts leave on the tongue. don't have chopped nuts around? try some granola or trail mix. or maybe even try a dollop of peanut butter with some marshmallows - that could be cool.

i do like applesauce and chopped apple cakes. aha! how about cutting the syrup and using applesauce as the sweet topping. ohhhhh, that's brilliant. i'll be doing that real soon. and then there are the chocolate chip desert on a plate cakes. chocolate chip cakes always make me feel like a kid again

there are pan cake combos i am not interested in. i am not interested in some coconut fru fru cake. no orange and coconut cake for me or pineapple something something cakes.

then there are what i call grown up cakes. this is where i add in pre-roasted and/or pre-cooked veggies and bits of roasted meats. sometimes i'll add in pre-cooked bits of sweet potatoe or just used mashed sweet potato as part of the batter. i'll add in things like leek and onion and bacon or some savory mix of goods. parsnips are great with brie cheese and bits of ham and i love spinach, chard and feta. get the idea. i usually make these smaller in size and use them as a side dish. they are easy, can be eaten with hands and or topped with a special something - creme cheese or sour creme or goat cheese like topping if you really want to get fancy pants-ish.

well i guess it's time to let you get to it. enough of my 505 ways to enjoy cakes.

we have not even discussed the beauty of the potato pan cake yet. ahhhhhh the potato pan cake - the soul reason sour creme exists in this universe. well for tater cakes, blintzes and stroganoff that is. ohhhh stroganoff - dreamy.

here is a pancake recipe from alton brown from good eats - cool fellow -

keep in few bits in mind
  • you can substitute regular milk or goats milk or soy milk for buttermilk
  • big note - only add as much liquid as achieves the thickness of batter that you want. a bit thicker batter holds better in the pan while a soupy batter runs all over the place. try it and you'll see. so add your milky liquid last!
  • you do not have to use nearly as much butter as listed if you wish not to
  • in fact i do not use butter at all. i use virgin olive oil and the replacement works just fine. my pancakes are as fluffy as ever
  • i substitute various types of flour for the all purpose flour
  • i substitute the mix ins for my own daily crave
  • i cook my cakes in a cast iron skillet, you do not need a fancy pants pancake only griddle to make good cakes.
  • i heat my skillet on high for a minute, then i turn it down to medium and cook away then once i flip the cakes, i turn the heat off and allow the residual heat to finish up the cake. if your skillet is too hot, you'll burn the outside before the inside cooks - not fun.
  • the very last tip - i do not add the mix ins to the batter. i sprinkle my mix ins on the cake once i pour it in the pan. this way i can assure each cakes gets equal happy goodness. i can also decorate and make smiley faces or spell a word or make a fruit flower or amuse myself in some other harmless manner.
  • very very last thought - on the other hand, if you wish to have blue cakes or red cakes or funny colored cakes, go ahead and add in your fruits just be aware they will be funny colored. sometimes funny is good right! ah heck, experiment and have fun.
ok with that - one variation of a pancake mix


  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (check expiration date first)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


Combine all of the ingredients in a lidded container. Shake to mix.

Use the mix within 3 months.


  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cups "Instant" Pancake Mix, recipe above
  • 1 stick butter, for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups fresh fruit such as blueberries, if desired

Heat an electric griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees F. Heat oven to 200 degrees F.

Whisk together the egg whites and the buttermilk in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the melted butter.

Combine the buttermilk mixture with the egg yolk mixture in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the pancake mix. Using a whisk, mix the batter just enough to bring it together. Don't try to work all the lumps out.

Check to see that the griddle is hot by placing a few drops of water onto to the griddle. The griddle is ready if the water dances across the surface.

Lightly butter the griddle. Wipe off thoroughly with a paper towel. (No butter should be visible.)

Gently ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle and sprinkle on fruit if desired. When bubbles begin to set around the edges of the pancake and the griddle-side of the cake is golden, gently flip the pancakes. Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is set.

Serve immediately or remove to a towel-lined baking sheet and cover with a towel. Hold in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.

Yield: 12 pancakes

1 comment:

zippy said...

you are making me sooo hungry.

i think i'll just go skiing.

keep it up.