Japanese Soufflé Pancakes
Japanese soufflé pancakes start with the same ingredients as American varieties — namely, eggs, flour and milk — but they tower above traditional diner versions thanks to the addition of extra egg whites. A meringue mixture is beaten to stiff peaks, then folded into the batter, which cooks directly in metal pastry rings to help the pancakes attain their distinctive height. The key is to cook the batter at a very low temperature. If your stove has a small burner, or an especially low heat setting, use it here to create these custardy pancakes, worthy of breakfast, an afternoon snack or even dessert.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 4egg whites and 2 egg yolks from 4 large eggs, separated and chilled
- 6tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1teaspoon baking powder
- 6tablespoons cake flour
- ¼cup milk, chilled
- ½teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½teaspoon kosher salt
- Unsalted butter, for greasing and serving
- Maple syrup, for serving
- Confectioners’ sugar, whipped cream and fresh berries, for serving (optional)
Step 1Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium bowl; set aside. Place egg yolks in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, the vanilla and baking powder to egg yolks and whisk until blended. Add flour and milk; whisk until fully combined.
Step 2Add lemon juice and salt to egg whites. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, whip mixture on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Continue to whip over medium while gradually sprinkling with remaining 5 tablespoons granulated sugar. Turn speed to high and whip until stiff, glossy peaks form and mixture doubles in size, about 1 minute. Take care not to overbeat meringue.
Step 3Heat a lidded nonstick skillet over the lowest heat setting and set the lid aside.
Step 4Using a rubber spatula, scoop about 1/3 of meringue into egg yolk mixture and gently fold almost combined. Repeat with half the remaining meringue until almost combined, then fold in the remaining meringue just until no streaks remain.
Step 5Carefully grease the warm skillet and the inside of four 3-inch-wide pastry rings (they should be at least 1 1/2 inches tall) using the butter. Check the heat of the pan by sprinkling a bit of water in it: Droplets should steam off the surface, but not dance or sputter. Place the greased pastry rings in the warm pan and ladle a scant 1/2 cup batter into each ring. Place lid on top of skillet and cook pancakes on very low heat until they start to rise and a few small bubbles start to form on top, 3 to 4 minutes.
Step 6Remove lid, carefully slide a flat spatula underneath each pancake and position another spatula on top, then gently flip pancakes in their rings. Immediately replace lid and cook until pancakes are cooked through and spring back to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer cooked pancakes to a platter, grease the skillet and pastry rings and repeat to make 4 additional pancakes.
Step 7Top pancakes with a pat of butter and drizzle with maple syrup; serve immediately. Serve with any combination of confectioners’ sugar, whipped cream and berries, if desired.