Monday, May 19, 2008

A Breakfast of Lessons Learned

This is my first attempt to join a blogging event, a breakfast themed recipe remix. I decided to make Pina Colada pancakes, an idea I had been tossing around in my head for a few years. I wanted to use pineapple rings and make the pancakes around them. Making these pancakes turned out to be more challenging than I had expected, and I learned something with each cake I made. I will recount for you briefly my experiences.

To start with I wanted to caramelize pineapple rings. I was using canned pineapple. For the first two rings I dipped them in sugar, hoping that this would make a nice layer of caramel around the pineapple. Just to see what would happen I also put an un-sugared pineapple in the pan. As it turns out, the sugar mixes with the pineapple juice in the rings, and quickly boils all over the place. The non-sugared pineapple actually caramelized much faster, and with a nicer golden-brown color.

Next came making the pancakes themselves. I’ve never been able to make those nice, perfectly round pancakes you see, probably because of the recipe I use (it’s on the thick side), but I like the taste just the same. For the first pancake I put the caramelize pineapple down in the pan first, and then poured the pancake batter over it. This turned out to be a really bad idea. Because there wasn’t a continuous layer of batter on the bottom, the pancake was impossible to flip. I ended up with a scrambled pancake with a pineapple in it. I put it in a bowl and set it aside to munch on while I was making the pancakes. Tasting that first pancake, I realized that it didn’t taste enough like coconut, and so I added shredded, sweetened coconut to the remaining batter.

Then, there was the issue of a sauce. I thought I would make a simple pineapple syrup. I put the remaining pineapple juice in a small saucepan, and brought it to a boil. I reduced the pineapple juice by about two thirds, but it never got any thicker, even after I cooled it off. As it turns out, if you want to make a syrup out of pineapple, you need to add some other things. Instead I had more of a pineapple concentrate. It still tasted good, but wasn’t thick enough to match the standard breakfast syrups.

Without further ado, here is the finalized pina-colada pancake recipe. The basic pancake recipe I based this off of is the whole wheat pancake recipe from the Tassajara bread book.

Pina Colada Pancakes

Makes ~ 10 medium to large pancakes

1 can pineapple rings packed in unsweetened juice, reserve the juice
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tbs baking powder
1 tbs salt
1 Tbls brown sugar or honey
3 eggs
1 ½ cups coconut milk
½ cup oil
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1-2 Tbls rum (optional)
1 Tbls butter

1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl (if you’re using honey, mix it with the wet instead of the dry ingredients)

2. Beat together the eggs, oil, coconut milk, rum, and a ½ cup of the juice from the canned pineapples.

3. Set the bowls aside (don’t mix the wet and dry together yet). Put a non-stick skillet over high heat, and add as many pineapple rings as you plan on making pancakes. The juice will boil out of the rings for a moment or two. Leave the pineapples on the heat until they are a nice golden color with a little brown, and then flip, doing the same to the other side. Remove the pineapples from the pan, turn the heat off under the pan, and remove the pan from the burner (the pan needs to cool off before the pancakes are made on it).

4. Fold together the wet and dry ingredients, along with the coconut flakes. Place the pan on a burner set at medium heat. Melt the butter into the pan. Pour out pancake batter to whatever size you want. Push one pineapple ring into the batter of each pancake. Let the pancakes cook until large bubbles begin to form in the batter. Flip the pancakes, and cook until done.

1 comment:

Robin said...

What a great idea! I know everytime I try something new it is always a learning experience, that is the joy of cooking/baking for me! Great job and thanks for participating!