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Recipe Thu Apr 19 2007

Pancakes: Chocolate Chunk and Toasted Pecan

Nutty Pancakes and Warm Bananas-2.jpg

I took today off to spend some time with my visiting pal Sujata. We kicked it off making the vegan yogurt pancakes that I wrote about earlier. We made a few key modifications that made these pancakes taste "really nutty" and "really good," as Sujata put it. We replaced 1/4 cup of the flour with chestnut flour that I've stored in the freezer since I bought it from Chestnut Growers at Green City Market last year. We also tossed in chopped up bittersweet chocolate and a handful of toasted pecans.

3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup chestnut flour
1+1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 ounces vanilla soy yogurt (I find Stonyfield's O'Soy to be the richest)
3/4 cup soy milk
1 ounce of a bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped
1 handful pecans halves (raw if you're going to toast yourself - see instructions)
oil for the pan

Preheat a dry griddle or pan with a low flame (until a flick of water from your finger sizzles). Add pecan halves and toast for about 2 minutes, shaking twice - just until they give a very slight fragrance. Set the pecans aside in a bowl and chop the chocolate into whatever size pieces you like. Oil the pan or griddle just so it looks shiny and return it to a low flame. Meanwhile in a bowl, whisk the dry ingredients (except chocolate and pecans) until well combined. Then, stir in the soy milk followed by the soy yogurt. Mix only as much as needed - anymore and you'll work the gluten in the flour into giving you a chewy pancake. Finally, stir in the chopped chocolate and toasted pecans. The batter will be thick.

For each pancake, scoop one quarter of the batter onto the hot pan or griddle (check it first with a flick of water), quickly spread it around into a round pancake shape, and leave it to rise. After a few minutes, bubbles will come to the top and the pancake will become dryer, especially at the sides. The bottom should be nicely browning; take a peek with a spatula. (If it's burnt - or golden before the sides start to look dry or before you see bubbles - your heat is too high. After several minutes, if bubbles aren't forming, the top looks wet and the bottom remains white, the heat is too low.) When the bottom is golden, flip the pancake and cook it until the other side is golden, too.

Warm banana slices on the pan or griddle. Serve with warm bananas, maple syrup and powdered sugar (dust with sugar by knocking a sieve of powdered sugar against your hand).

Nutty Pancakes- Toasting Pecans.jpg
Toasting pecans
Nutty Pancakes- batter with pecans and chocolate.jpg
Chocolate and pecans in batter
Nutty Pancakes- starting to cook.jpg
Starting to cook
Nutty Pancakes- dry on edges and ready to flip.jpg
Dry edges and bubbles
Nutty Pancake.jpg
Just flipped
Nutty Pancakes- warmed bananas.jpg
Warming bananas
Nutty Pancakes- Chris dusting with powdered sugar (photo- Sujata)-2.jpg
Dusting with sugar (photo: Sujata)
Nutty Pancakes and Warm Bananas-2.jpg
 

Illinois Master Gardener / April 20, 2007 4:51 AM

I didn't know this recipe could get even better!

Mandy / April 21, 2007 8:38 PM

Wow! Those are some beautiful lookin' pancakes. Can't wait for Green City Market to open so I can get my hands on some Chestnut Flour.

Mona / April 21, 2007 10:30 PM

You look like you're having so much fun putting the sugar. Yahoo!

Now, if we don't have chestnut flour, does it do anything to the quality of the pancakes? Or is it just a flavor type of thing?

Chris Brunn / April 22, 2007 9:47 AM

Hi Mona, chestnut flour makes for a richer and nuttier pancake, but I wouldn't say any better quality than without. If you don't have chestnut flour, substitute either all-purpose flour or toasted nuts whizzed to a powder using a coffee grinder. For the latter, you may need to adjust the liquid a bit. With the former, they just won't taste as nutty. Either way, putting on the sugar is just as fun. Enjoy!

Mona / April 23, 2007 12:58 PM

Grinding up nuts in the flour sounds like a great alternative. I appreciate your creativity and expertise. Thanks!

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