Many a recent morning, as I tend to Huxley's breakfast needs, Hubs has been tending to mine. "What would you like for breakfast, sweetie?", he'll ask. If I don't enthusiastically reply "Egg and cheese biscuit, please!" or "French toast!" or "Frittata", then I'm most likely thinking that what I really want, what I'm in fact pining for, are pancakes. Sometimes Hubs knows this without my even having to request it. Such was the case on Friday morning, when he presented me with a plate of these divine beauties.
What distinguishes these pancakes from their mediocre kin are two components, both having to do with eggs (which, around the English household, we like-a lot; we eat an awful lot of eggs-there's a reason I wrote a book on "Keeping Chickens", mind you...). Firstly, there are four eggs used here, whereas most recipes for pancakes of a similar quantity employ the use of a mere two. Secondly, the egg whites and yolks are whisked separately and then both incorporated into the batter. This results in a "good balance of airiness inside and crispiness outside," to quote the chef himself. These cakes lack the doughy, gummy, heavy quality characteristic of many a foiled cake.
Additionally, there are several flavoring suggestions that aren't commonly used in pancake preparation, including almond extract, a personal favorite. In short, these are the perfect pancakes, really. You could make them for breakfast, brunch, or even dinner and please everyone at your table.
Without further ado:
The Motherflippin' Best Pancakes (this is Hubs' title...get the pun?)
-4 eggs, whites and yolks separated
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 cups whole milk
-2 Tablespoons melted butter
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-Pinch of salt, if desired.
Optional yuletide additions:
-1 capful almond extract
-1 capful orange extract
-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
-1/2 teaspoons nutmeg, freshly grated
-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
-In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except the egg whites, and mix well.
-Beat the egg whites separately until very foamy.
-Fold the egg whites into the flour mixture until fairly well incorporated (we're not making a souffle here, so go ahead and work the foaminess in).
-Ladle into a well buttered pan on medium-low heat (Hubs suggests the use of a cast iron pan, versus a non-stick one, so as to better achieve the highly coveted outer edge crispiness).
-When air bubbles stay in the middle and it's golden brown on the edges of the underside, flip.
-Cook for a minute or two more till it starts to lightly brown on the bottom.
-Keep warm in a 200 degree oven if you need to.
-Add a little more butter if you like, and serve with grade B (the best) maple syrup.