Saturday, January 11, 2014

Vanilla Malt Pancakes

Not too much rambling here - just going to cut to the chase. These were created from one of those "you know what would be so good right now?" moments, and they were a huge hit. Who doesn't love a big stack of flapjacks from their favorite diner along side a huge vanilla malt? Feel free to swap in maraschino cherries if you must, but raspberries are a favorite in this house and were dynamite with the cakes.

1 1/4 cup AP flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 - 1/2 cup malted milk powder (I go for the full whack here, since I love all things malted)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 Tbsp sunflower, or other neutral oil
2 Tbsp best quality pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
2 tsp sugar* (if using vanilla bean paste, do not add sugar)
2 eggs 
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup well chilled heavy cream + 1 - 3 tsp powdered sugar (optional)
fresh fruit of your choice, or your favorite maraschino cherries

In place of maple syrup, which would drown out the flavors in these pancakes, I opt for softly whipped cream. About 30 minutes before you start your pancakes, place a bowl and whisk in the freezer. Prepare the whipped cream right before you start the cakes by combining the cream and sugar (no vanilla necessary since the cakes are laden with it) and whip with a hand held mixer (or by hand) to desired firmness (but don't take it too far - you don't want it to turn to butter... or maybe you do?). With every thing so well chilled, the cream will whip up super fast, even by hand.

Place a well seasoned cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Have a tablespoon or 2 of unsalted butter nearby.

Place the flour, powder and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Beat eggs in a large bowl till very frothy: about a minute or 2. Add the milk and malted milk powder to the eggs and continue to whisk till malt is incorporated. Add melted butter, oil, vanilla and sugar* and stir well. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and fold them together with a rubber spatula til just combined; do not over mix. 
Add a little pat of butter to the pan before each batch of pancakes. I prefer a scant 1/4 cup measurement for each cake - you can do more or less for your preference. Cook til bubbly on top and dry around the edges - flip and cook for another 45 - 90 seconds, depending on size of cake. You can eat them as you go, or keep them warm in a 200 degree oven. I highly suggest the eat as you go- they are not as tender if kept warm.

This recipe is an adaptation of Lucian Truscott IV's Mississippi Pancakes from 
The New York Times