It's been nearly a year now since I went to Japan, but one of my favourite dishes I ate while there that I still can't find here in London are those insanely fluffy souffle pancakes. Check it out!
I'm talking about super thick wobbly pancakes, that jiggle when shaken, are light as clouds, and are incredibly delicious. Yup, ALL of those things!
I've tried out a few of the recipes I've found online, and only one of them so far is coming up even close to the good stuff I found back in Japan, turning up reliably good and tasty pancakes. I've tweaked it a little, converted it to good ol' metric (cups can GTFO) and added in a few of my own tips too, but you can find the original here at Kirbie Cravings. To be honest it's not quite as jiggly as the pancakes in Japan, but I'll take consistency and reliability any day for recipes!
There's quite a few tips to do on this recipe, and all of them I'll try to explain why you need to do it. It's basically using a souffle mixture to fluff up a pancake batter, so you need to nail a souffle mix, nail cooking the pancakes, and you can't really prepare much of this in advance. Yay! But don't worry, it's well worth it!
Get yourself a chef's ring to get them perfectly formed pancakes. Without them you can just drop them roughly in a pan and it'll still be fine, just not as neat!
Make sure your egg white bowl is squeaky clean, any foreign substances in there can mess your meringue up!
Cooking this requires a bit of patience, throwing some water in to the pan will steam it up and help boost the rise, but go too hot and you'll burn the bottom, go too slow and it may set the pancake structure and it won't rise as much as you hope
Go for a medium temperature to begin with and see how it goes, it will all depend on your hob, the pan etc!
Don't use too much oil on the chef rings, too much, and when you put the water in to steam it will bubble furiously!
In general, if something doesn't come off the base of the pan when cooking it it means it's not yet fully crispy and needs a bit more time. Patience is a virtue!
Ingredients: (Makes 4 medium pancakes, 5-6 slightly smaller)
Mix milk, baking powder, vanilla extract and egg yolks
Sift the flour and add to the mixture, whisking together thoroughly
Whisk the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks, with an electric mixer it should take a few minutes. Check by flipping over the bowl, the mixture should hold!
Mix one third of the meringue mixture into the batter and mix fully, don't worry if you lose the air here
Mix the final 2 thirds into the loosened mixture and gently combine - don't be alarmed if it's a particularly loose mixture or seems "wet"
Put the chef ring in the pan and spray it with oil on the inside (if no spray, just spoon a tiny amount in and use your finger/a brush to rub it on the ring inside (don't use too much!)
Heat the pan to medium and gently dollop enough mixture in the ring to come up to halfway (err on the side of caution and go just below medium if in doubt)
Pour 4 tablespoons of water into the pan and cover with a lid - it should be hot enough that it gently steams and bubbles but not aggressively
It's a waiting game now! Tip a little more water into the pan if needed, but otherwise expect to take at least 3-4 minutes, checking that the bottom of the pancake isn't browning
To flip the pancake, gently shake the mould so it comes loose from the pan. It should come naturally, if it doesn't, wait a bit longer or carefully use a flipper to lift. Flip the mould using gloves, tongs or a cloth
Fry on this side for 3-4 minutes again
Serve immediately with a knob of butter and maple syrup!
For the blueberry version in the pic, simply crush a few blueberries and swirl them into the mixture before cooking (only a few otherwise you'll weigh down the batter)