Thursday 26 July 2012

Peanut Butter Pancakes with Lazy Chocolate Ganache

On the way home from work the other night, I was struck with a violent, all-consuming craving. Soon, the only conscious thought my mind was capable of was - 


Fluffy, glorious, buttery, slathered in real maple syrup pancakes. I turned to my co-worker and erstwhile chauffeur and expressed my craving, and as I put it into words, I knew it would not be enough. The conversation went something like this...

"No, not just plain pancakes... I want to do something more."

"Well, you could put fruit in them, blueberries or apple slices-"

"I'm all out of fruit... but I have lots of peanut butter."

"Oh, well, you could certainly spread peanut butter on them-"

"What if I put peanut butter in them?"

".. That might not work."

"Only one way to find out!"

So I got home and threw down my work bags, kicked off my kicks and started chucking stuff in a bowl. My favorite pancake recipe is super simple - starts with an egg, a cup of buttermilk and a bit of veggie oil.

I eyeballed a couple of heaping tablespoons of smooth peanut butter and chucked them in. I only realized after that maybe I should have started by whipping up the peanut butter and oil to soften the consistency a bit, oops.

As it was, it took quite a bit of whisking vigorously to get the peanut butter incorporated enough.

As you can see, there are still tiny globules of peanutbuttery goodness floating in the mix. This is okay!

Next, you pile on some flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt (which I reduced from my regular pancake recipe because the peanut butter brings its own saltiness to the party.)

Mix it up until it juuuuust comes together. Over-mixing at this point will may result in peanut butter-flavored manhole covers.

Fire up your favorite griddle, and butter that baby generously.

Unceremoniously plop some nice, thick, chunky batter onto your griddle.

If you're feeling fancy, throw some peanut butter chips on there. I discovered through trial and error that they turn out a bit better if you mix the chips into the batter first, but this works too and is a good option if you want to play around with different mix-ins.

Now, the difference between a perfect pancake and an overly dry and flat one often comes down to when you flip it. As soon as you see bubbles coming up to the surface of the pancake, flip it!

If you let too many bubbles break the surface, you're letting out the precious gases that make your pancake fluffy! It takes some practice to be able to do this without slinging half-cooked pancake everywhere, but the results are worth the effort!

And there you have a lovely stack of peanut butter pancakes... Hm. Something's still missing.

Ready for the laziest, will-appall-pastry-chefs-with-its-lack-of-finesse ganache ever? Throw hot water into a pot and put over medium heat, put a heatproof bowl over said pot, chuck in a cup of chocolate chips, a tablespoon of butter and a splash of milk. Melt. Add milk as needed for desired consistency.

Pour chocolate ganache over stack of pancakes...

Mmm... But it still needs something...

Ah yes, bacon. Everything's better with bacon! Now all we need is a fork...

Oh yes, it's pancake time!

If you want to take a shot at making your own rich & delicious peanut butter pancakes, here's my little recipe:

Peanut Butter Pancakes

2 heaping tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil (peanut oil if you have it)
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Peanut butter chips (optional)
Butter, for greasing grill

Note: If you just want good ol' buttermilk pancakes, skip the PB and double the salt. 

Heat electric griddle to 350 degrees or place large frying pan over medium heat.

Whisk together peanut butter and oil. Add egg and buttermilk and whisk until well-combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Butter the griddle/pan. Drop batter onto cooking surface with serving spoon or ladle. Add peanut butter chips if desired. Flip over as soon as bubbles start coming to the surface and underside is golden.

When both sides are golden brown, you're done! Top with ganache, or syrup, or...

Or bananas sliced and sauteed with a bit of brown sugar and butter and maybe a splash of brandy? Oh, yeah... Darn it, now I have to go buy some bananas.

Until next time!

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