Breakfast and Brunch The Book

27. Whole-Grain Pancakes p.646

Sorry, no recipe this time.

These were really really good pancakes. They’re made with whole wheat flour and cornmeal so they have a more grown up flavour and toothsome texture than than Aunt Jamima (not that I’d be caught dead making that stuff). They were kept light and fluffy by baking powder, and beaten egg whites. I was doing these up at my friend’s island (no power, limited kitchen gadgets) and found myself trying to whip egg whites to stiff peaks without an electric mixer, without a whisk, but with as many forks as I could desire. I spent about 1/2 hour going at the whites, and I can say that they foamed and lightened in colour, but try as I might I just couldn’t get them properly whipped. I folded in my vaguely foamy whites, and hoped for the best. Apparently this recipe has the advantage of being somewhat idiot proof too. They came out nicely fluffy, and not at all heavy or dense as whole wheat baking sometimes tends to.

An interesting note about this recipe is that it calls for oil in the batter and for the skillet, and only recommends butter as a topping. I would have thought that butter based pancakes would beat out oil based every time, but these were great just as they were. It’d be interesting to see if they could be improved by replacing some of the oil with butter.

I think I’ve found my new stand-by griddle cake. I love a cornmeal pancakes, and this recipe hit the nail on the head. It managed to combine the moist-fluffy-tender aspects of a white flour pancake with the hearty-nutty-textured virtues of whole grains and cornmeal. Perfect.

Fruit Desserts The Book

11. Cherry Clafouti p. 817

This was a very straightforward dish, an eggy batter poured over cherries and baked until puffed and golden. It was very easy to put together, the whole batter is made in the blender, and the addition of almond and vanilla extracts as well as kirsh gave it some complexity of flavour. I’m always happy to see kirsh turn up on an ingredient list, because other than fondue au fromage, I’m not quite sure what to do with it.

The recipe recommends pitting the cherries, but gives the option to leave them whole. I left them au naturel and warned my guests. We didn’t have any incidents at dinner, however the next day I bit down on a cherry stone and may have loosened a tooth. The final dish was quite sweet, but I believe this was my fault. In rereading the recipe I notice that it called for sour cherries, and I’m fairly sure I used Bings from the grocery store. The sour cherries would have been welcome here, or if using sweet, cut the sugar.

This dish is located in the Fruit Desserts chapter of the book, but I think it would be more at home in with the Breakfast and Brunch section. It was billed as being “halfway between custard and cake”, turns out this is the state known as pancake. I was hoping it would be less sweet and more boozy, but as I mentioned that was probably my fault.