Sunday, July 03, 2011

Who Needs Cake...?

...when you can make Red Velvet Pancakes?

Happy 3-day weekend everyone. First, I have to start out by explaining that this recipe came from The Breakfast Cook by way of way of the fabulous Gemma, who cooks breakfast for my brother's company. So I cannot take credit for the idea or the recipe. However, you all know me and you know I make changes. So...

Let's start with the Butter Pecan Syrup. I am allergic to tree nuts, so this just became Butter Maple Syrup for us. However I am including the original recipe here and then will explain my changes.

Butter Pecan Syrup
Yields 2 cups

1/2 pound butter, softened (2 sticks)
4 oz (wt) pecan halves (about 1 cup)
1 cup real Maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons extract, vanilla
2 1/2 tablespoons water
1 pinch Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pecans on a sheet tray and place them in the oven. Toast the pecans, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly browned and fragrant. You don’t have to go too far, because we are going to cook them in the butter for a few minutes as well.

In the meantime, preheat a heavy 10-inch sauté pan over medium. Add the butter and let it begin to melt.

When the butter is mostly melted, add the pecan halves. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the pecans are well toasted and have a rich brown color.
When the butter begins to foam around the pecan halves, add the maple syrup all at once. Continue to cook the butter-syrup mixture until it is hot and bubbly.

Momentarily remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the vanilla extract and the water; incorporating with a whisk or wooden spoon. Return the pan to the heat and cook the mixture for 3 to 4 more minutes; until the mixture is hot and thickens slightly.

Taste the syrup and add a pinch of salt.

This syrup can be made well in advance and re-warmed before serving. As it cools, it will “break” on you; meaning the syrup and butter will separate. Just give it a good stir before saucing the pancakes.

What I did differently: Obviously, I skipped the pecans. I melted HALF the butter. Once it stopped foamed and started to brown a little, I added the syrup. Then I followed the directions as above.

Next up - Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting. Now this needed NO tweaking from me. I can say that I didn't measure the orange zest. I only had 1 large orange, so that was all the zest that was used and it was the perfect amount. If you don't have a Microplace zester - order one NOW - it is a MUST HAVE in the kitchen.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields 1 cup

4 oz (wt) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar, white
1 teaspoon extract, vanilla
1 tablespoon zest, orange

Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer.

Using the paddle/beater attachment and the lowest setting, combine the ingredients until well incorporated. Once, you won’t get splattered, increase the speed and whip the ingredients together until smooth.

Serve in a small bowl alongside the Butter Pecan Syrup.

Now that the toppings are done, you can move on the main event - Red Velvet Pancakes!

Red Velvet Pancakes
Yields 14 to 18 pancakes

8 oz (wt) flour, all-purpose (about 1 ½ cups)
1/2 oz (wt) cocoa powder, unsweetened (about 2 Tbls)
2 oz (wt) sugar, white (about 3 Tbls)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, reduced-fat
2 large eggs, whole
1 teaspoon extract, vanilla
1 tablespoon food coloring, red (liquid)
2 oz (wt) butter, melted (½ stick)

Preheat your griddle or heavy pan over medium heat. If you are using a non-stick electric griddle, set the electric griddle temperature a little under 325 degrees. You can tell if the griddle is hot enough when a couple of drops of water sprinkled onto the cooking surface dance with a sizzle and a hiss, before evaporating. For surfaces which aren’t non-stick you will need to grease it up with a little oil, shortening or clarified butter on a paper towel before proceeding to cook.

Next, melt your butter. I do this by placing the butter in a bowl and putting it in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Then, I let the butter sit until I need it in the recipe. This way I make sure the butter isn’t too hot.

Weigh and measure all of the dry ingredient into a bowl large enough to hold all of the batter. Then, with a whisk, stir to thoroughly combine. This breaks up the lumps that might exist in the flour or cocoa powder.

In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and food coloring.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk mixture; stir until mostly combined. Add the melted butter to the batter; folding gently.

For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup of batter on to the hot griddle. For this I use a disher (ice cream scoop). Cook the pancakes on the first side until they puff up and are full of bubbles and the edges begin to look dry; about 4 minutes

Turn the pancakes over and cook on the second side until they are cooked through; roughly another 3 minutes.

Pay attention to your heat, if on the first side the pancakes are getting really dark before bubbles start to form and the edges begin to dry, turn the heat down. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve hot with the Whipped Cream Cheese and Butter Pecan Syrup.