Let us eat first with our eyes...
Prominently featured in Strawberry Creek Inn B&B's newly released cookbook, I debated the best time to share this recipe. Although perfect for Valentine's Day, it is also suited for National Pancake Week, National Pancake Day, and International Pancake Day (who knew there were so many food-based holidays surrounding pancakes). Finally realizing anytime is the right time to share this extraordinary recipe, I'm posting it today---for you to prepare whenever your heart desires. The only caveat? You must prepare this recipe in its entirety, as directed, to appreciate its full extravagance.
While the Chocolate Espresso Pancakes are sublime alone, they sparkle and shine when paired with fresh Raspberry Coulis to draw out their chocolatey goodness. Like champagne and strawberries or milk and cookies, even the tastiest foods become outstanding when paired with their perfect complement.
Chocolate Espresso Pancakes with Raspberry Coulis
A "Best of" Inn Cuisine, recipe courtesy Strawberry Creek Inn B&B
For the Chocolate Espresso Pancakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs, *separated (separating is optional, but will give a lighter texture and keep the pancakes from being too rich---although true chocoholics won't mind the richness)
- 1 & 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
- 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur, optional
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Raspberry Coulis
- 2 & 1/2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- freshly whipped cream
- vanilla ice cream
- a few sprigs of mint
- fresh raspberries
Putting It All Together
In a large mixing bowl, sift together first 6 pancake ingredients; stir in orange zest and chocolate chips. In a separate bowl combine butter, egg (*yolks), buttermilk, espresso, vanilla and liqueur; whisk well. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Do not over-mix. In a clean bowl, whip *egg whites until fluffy. Gently fold egg whites into batter, taking care not to deflate the whites (do not fully incorporate whites into batter, some streaking is okay). Heat a well-seasoned, cast-iron skillet or griddle to medium.
Meanwhile, combine raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a blender; blend until smooth. Pour coulis through a fine, wire mesh strainer, pushing mixture against the bottom and sides with a rubber spatula until all of the liquid runs through and nothing but seeds remain (discard raspberry seeds). Brush a thin layer of butter on hot skillet or griddle. Using a 1/3-cup scoop (a measuring cup or ice-cream scoop work well here), portion out each pancake and pour onto griddle. When pancake edges begin to set, gently flip each pancake and cook for another minute or so, until edges are set all the way around; take care not to overcook the pancakes (you may want to test 1 or 2 before cooking too many at once).
When cooked, serve pancakes with freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired, topping all with raspberry coulis. If desired, garnish with a sprig of mint and additional fresh raspberries.
Yield: approximately 12 pancakes