Friday, February 8, 2008

Gingerbread Pancakes with Lemon Sauce

Nope, not a rerun of the previous post.

I've really been wanting a good recipe for Gingerbread Panckaes for a long, long time. I used to get them all the time when I was schlepping books for W.W. Norton. Like the Eastside Cafe, these were a brief respite from the hell that was my life. I've tried improvising before by adding ground ginger, sugar and molasses in varying quantities to regular pancake batter and it never worked. Sometimes the results were outright disasters.

So, I was really stoked when I found this recipe. Sadly, I'm barely functional before I eat in the morning. Kind of makes it tough to make fancy breakfasts. But after putting it off for a month or two, I finally got to it. This was also another opportunity to try out my new two burner griddle.

After mixing everything together, there was a huge amount of batter, so I called our upstairs neighbors, Ron and Mary. God bless them. I like having other cooks around because you can mess something up, like I did here, and they understand.

They turned out burned on the outside and raw on the inside. This particularly chapped my hide as I used to be flawless at pancakes. Also, they were, to me, noticeably tough. Finally, there were noticeable crunchy bits of brown sugar.

There are three things I can think of right off the top of my head that need to be fixed with these (I'm not giving up yet):
  1. I overmixed the batter. A LOT. I wasn't thinking and whisked in the dry ingredients, disregarding/forgetting that it was "mix until just combined." This made them tough, from the gluten forming up, but also I'm sure it made the batter bind up. As it was too thick, it couldn't spread out on the griddle. Being too thick, the outside burned before the inside cooked.
  2. I really need more practice regulating temperature on that griddle.
  3. I had a lot of brown sugar in the house, as I've bought it too often for cookies. My bags dry out and, because I'm in a hurry, I just buy another, forgetting how little is actually used in Tool House cookies. So, the bags build up. I had tried a quick trick for softening that I read online where you put a bowl of water in the microwave with the chunks of sugar. I then dropped it into the food processor. That seemed to work at the time, but crunchies spoke otherwise.

I whipped up some of the lemon sauce to use as syrup for these. This sauce, on the other hand, was fantastic. I even eliminated the issue of the egg white strands by making sure I had a good blend when beating the eggs and pouring then in to the pan while I have a really good whisk of the syrup going.

(Recipe link to be posted soon)

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