For Sammy’s family birthday meal, when John and I gave her our presents, she requested breakfast for dinner. Although I love breakfast for dinner, it left me with a dilemma. I don’t usually serve dessert when we have breakfast for dinner, because we love breakfast dishes like pancakes, waffles and French toast. in other words, dishes that are sweet enough to qualify as dessert.
But a kid must have a separate dessert on her birthday, right?
OK this is the wrong kid–but Sammy was already upstairs
showering off the chocolate getting ready for bed by the time I started taking pictures.
Enter these pancakes. I made an egg dish with veggies for our main course (served with sausage–Birthday Girl’s favorite thing in the world along with bacon) and these pancakes for dessert.
It was the perfect compromise because these babies could not have been any more indulgent, rich and chocolatey if they had been a flourless chocolate cake. I wish I had a photo of a happy chocolate smeared face for you, but that’s pancakes–they turn the cook, in this case Mom, into a short order cook. So while she was gleefully munching, I was flipping pancakes. But it was worth it-both for the look on her face and for the pancakes themselves.
- For the pancakes:
- 1½ cups (190 g) AP flour
- ¾ cup natural cocoa powder
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 t baking soda
- ½ t sea salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¾ cup milk (I used 1% with a drizzle of cream)
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 t vanilla
- 2 eggs, separated
- 3 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 oz (about ½ cup) chocolate chips or chunks
- 3 oz white chocolate, chopped (I always recommend using a pure white chocolate bar, chopped, as opposed to the chips which are often not really chocolate)
- For the hot chocolate sauce:
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- 1 t instant espresso
- 8 oz bittersweet (60%-72%) chocolate, chopped
- 1 T light corn syrup
- 3 T unsalted butter
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream for garnish
- Because pancakes come together quickly, it is advisable to make the chocolate sauce first. Put the cream and instant espresso into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until tiny bubbles appear along the edges of the pan--do not let the cream boil.
- Turn off the heat. Add the chopped chocolate, light corn syrup and butter to the saucepan. Whisk until smooth. Set aside until needed--if it starts to become too thick to pour, stir over low heat until loosened.
- Now make the pancakes: Sift the cocoa powder into a large bowl. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Set aside.
- Whisk together the milk, buttermilk, egg yolks, vanilla and butter. Pour into the flour mixture and mix very gently.
- Whip the egg whites in a separate clean bowl with a clean whisk or whisk attachment. Whip to stiff peaks--but be careful to not overbeat to dryness.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the whipped egg whites to the chocolate mixture. Stir it in to loosen the mixture. Then fold in the remaining egg whites--when they are just showing a few streaks, add the white and dark chocolate chunks. Fold these in as well.
- Heat your pan or griddle over low heat. Use a little butter, about 1-2 tablespoons, to grease the pan (you may need to repeat as you proceed). These pancakes cook up quite thick; they will take about a minute per side once your griddle is hot enough.
- Serve drizzled with hot chocolate sauce. Dollop some whipped cream on them, immediately before eating because the whipped cream will melt!