Finding Breakfast Inspiration

Finding Breakfast: Chocolate Ombré Pancakes

This being my first post in this new series, Finding Breakfast, it’s probably a good idea to introduce what this is all about. I’ve been sitting on this idea for a while now, and these shots are close to a year old, (really – I waited that long to share this?). I am not quite sure what I was waiting for, but the time just didn’t feel right.

Now that I have this new space to play in where I am focusing on food stories, the project just felt into place and I am glad I waited. This will be an ongoing project and a journey of its own. I am hoping to post monthly on this series, saying that out load makes me feel more committed and a little scared as I feel worked to the brim all the time!….

 

Finding Breakfast

Breakfast has long been lost for me. Not because it is a meal that I skip, or that we weren’t introduced, but rather I never spent the time to really get to know it. Nor particularly enjoying the foods that define it. 

Food has long been much more than just fuel. It surrounds all our best memories and accompanies all of life’s celebrations, yet breakfast is rarely part of those celebrations. It is a meal really bound by the ideal of fuel for the day, but what if it was celebrated? What if it were explored more than a seemingly common ritual of fast and healthy with a side of eggs? What if we had the time to indulge in it?

Could happiness depend on a leisurely breakfast?

At the time I decided I was going to start this series, I had recently become a master at pancakes, (no really, with the right pan, anyone can be an incredible pancake flipper), and with a simple Jamie Oliver three ingredient; flour, milk, eggs recipe, and a fabulous new non-stick pan, I was flipping fluffy and delightful pancakes for many weekends.

I started making all kinds of variations and additions and eventually found my way into making chocolate pancakes, with only the finest quality dark chocolate of course. Even those these days, I limit my sugar intake to one food item per day, having chocolate with breakfast is still a treat that I enjoy.

From the rich dark chocolate pancake at the bottom of the stack, to the hint of chocolate at the top of the stack, an Ombré Chocolate Pancake stack really does all the talking. It tells an impressive story instantly – the ‘wow – look at you’ experience I was trying to create.

I love the colours, the textures and how the light dances around on the layers, and that you can have four entirely different pancakes on your fork at once, yet they all compliment one another to give you one amazing experience.

No words needed really, the photos do all the talking, and that is what this project is all about. Luxurious, tantalising images that make you question, can I really have that for breakfast?

Find Breakfast with me

 

Chocolate Ombré Pancakes

Makes approx. 12 pancakes

Ingredients

Pancake Base

3 cups self raising flour, levelled
3 cups milk
3 eggs
Generous pinch of salt

250g (8.80z) good quality dark chocolate 85%, melted

1 cup milk, additional

Butter for frying

Small handful of mint, garnish Blueberries, Honey or Maple Syrup Powered sugar *optional

 

Directions

Mixture:

To melt the chocolate, use a water bath over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is melted. Make sure the water is not touching the bowl. Whilst the chocolate is melting, make the pancake mixture.

In a large bowl add the 3 cups flour, 3 cups milk, 3 eggs & salt and whisk until smooth and combined.

Have 3 additional bowls on hand to split up the mixture for colouring with chocolate.

Dark chocolate layer: Pour 1 cup of pancake mix into the 1st bowl. Add ½ cup of melted dark chocolate and ½ cup + 4 tablespoons of the additional milk into the bowl with the first pancake mixture. Mix together until it once again resembles pancake mixture. (At first it will start out thick and clumpy, but keep stirring and it will make its way back to pancake mixture).

Chocolate layer: Pour 1 ¼ cup of pancake mix into the 2nd bowl. Add ¼ cup of melted dark chocolate and ¼ cup of the additional milk into the bowl with the second pancake mixture. Mix together until it once again resembles pancake mixture.

Light chocolate layer: Pour 1 ½ cups of pancake mix into the 3rd bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of melted dark chocolate and mix together until combined.

White layer: There should be 1 ½ cups of pancake mix left in the bowl for the top layer.

 

Pancakes:

Preheat the oven to low to keep your pancakes in whilst you finish the pancakes for your stack.

To save time, have two fry pans on the go.

Start with the darkest chocolate and chocolate layers first. The key to ombre pancakes is to cook them on a low to medium heat. This will ensure they cook slowly and evenly in colour. If the heat is too high, parts of the pancake will cook faster and brown or burn, changing the colour. Slow and steady wins the race. Make yourself a cup of tea of coffee and enjoy the process!

Have a stick of butter ready and put a small amount of butter into the pan before you pour the mixture into the pan every time.

Dark layers:

Start with the dark and chocolate layers first. Cook them on a very low to low heat to ensure the mixture cooks instead of the chocolate burning.  With these two layers, the pancakes won’t bubble like normal pancakes. The top will stay shiny. When you notice a few bubbles on the outside of the pancake and the top becomes quite shiny, it is most likely ready to flip. Test the sides on the pancake to make sure they are sturdy before you flip them.

Pour approx. ¼ cup pancake mix into the frypan and cook on the first side for about 3 minutes. Once you notice the bubbles around the outside, the top looks shiny and the sides are sturdy enough to flip, get your egg flip underneath and flip. Cook the other side for less than 2 minutes or until firm.

Continue to make the pancakes until you’re out of mixture. You should get 4 pancakes out of every bowl and colour.

Light layers:

After making the first two darker layers, start to make the light coloured layers. Make sure there is no residual chocolate pancake mix left in the pan to discolour the next layers of pancake. As these layers are lighter, try to use a small amount of butter so as to not make the pancakes too yellow.

Over a low to medium heat, continue to add approx. ¼ cup of pancake mix to the frypan with butter in between pancakes. Cook on the first side for 3 minutes. These lighter pancakes will bubble more like regular pancakes when ready to flip. Flip once sturdy and bubbles have appeared. Cook on the other side for less than 2 minutes or until firm.

As you make each pancake, keep them in a baking tray with foil covering the pancakes to make sure they stay warm and don’t dry out.

Continue to make the pancakes until your out of mixture. You should get 4 pancakes out of every bowl and colour.

 

Assemble:

Once all pancakes are cooked, assemble in colour order; 4 dark chocolate pancakes, 4 chocolate pancakes, 4 light chocolate pancakes, 4 pancakes.

Bring to the table garnished with mint and blueberries, icing sugar if you desire and serve with honey and maple syrup to taste.

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25 Comments

  • Reply The Blonde Chef October 10, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Words cannot describe how gorgeous these are! I am envious of your unbelievable skill! I will definitely be making these for myself!

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 12, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Thanks Aubrie, this project is so much fun. I love the dark look and looking forward to exploring that a little more.

  • Reply Pang @circahappy October 11, 2014 at 1:51 am

    I am so looking forward to more posts, and really love this series. So happy you started this project :)Gorgeous photos as always. I <3 <3 <3 this post of yours.

    P.S. You know that I am a HUGE fan of your work when I check out your blog even though I am on my doing-thing-everyday-vacation. 🙂

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 12, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Oh Pang, you are such a darling! You always make my day. How is your holiday going?

      • Reply Pang October 17, 2014 at 4:51 am

        Wonderful 🙂 U R so nice 🙂

  • Reply Simi Jois October 12, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Just found your space, the photography took my breath away…

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 12, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to share that with me. That is what makes it all worth while!

  • Reply Bea October 13, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I love the idea!Breakfast is such an unappreciated meal…….and I believe it sets you for the day!Not only physically but also spiritually. I always have a good day when I have good breakfast 🙂 Your photos looks amazing!As always 🙂 Hugs xxx

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 16, 2014 at 1:07 am

      I love that you mentioned it sets you up spiritually! That is part of the journey to experience that inner level.

  • Reply Lucy Parissi October 15, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I love pancakes and I could live for breakfast but what made me come over and comment are you amazing photos. Just the quality of black in those shots is really beautiful.

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 16, 2014 at 1:08 am

      Thanks Lucy, I really love the dark shots. There is just something so curious about stories they tell.

  • Reply Sini│My Blue&White Kitchen October 16, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Love this new series and can’t wait to see more of your gorgeous work! At ny house, breakfast is all too often rather boring. I’ve really tried to discover new breakfast items lately, to really fall in love with it and not just see it as a daily routine with a slice of bread and a cup of strong coffee. These pancakes look luscious! Perfect for a lazy weekend.

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 16, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Me too Sini. I am also hoping to challenge what is considered breakfast with this series. Not to say that we would do this all the time, but at times of celebration – wouldn’t it be wonderful?

  • Reply Sini│My Blue&White Kitchen October 16, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Love this new series and can’t wait to see more of your gorgeous work! At ny house, breakfast is all too often rather boring. I’ve really tried to discover new breakfast items lately, to really fall in love with it and not just see it as a daily routine with a slice of bread and a cup of strong coffee. These pancakes look luscious! Perfect for a lazy weekend.

  • Reply Sini│My Blue&White Kitchen October 16, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Love this new series and can’t wait to see more of your gorgeous work! At ny house, breakfast is all too often rather boring. I’ve really tried to discover new breakfast items lately, to really fall in love with it and not just see it as a daily routine with a slice of bread and a cup of strong coffee. These pancakes look luscious! Perfect for a lazy weekend.

  • Reply eNdy February 8, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Amazing amazing amazing! These photos are so stunning! Im speechless really….

    • Reply Rachel Jane February 9, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Oh I love this post. It was a challenge to get the pancakes right, but who doesn’t love a pancake stack. I think the recipe might have scared some people off, but in terms of a concept, I was pleased. Thanks for you kinds words.

  • Reply Kankana April 29, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    I have always been so terrible at making a fancy breakfast. Weekdays are fixed to oats or granola with bread and weekends are when I do get some time to actually make a breakfast spread. But, guess what, I still don’t get that inspiration in the morning. I am so glad you started this series 🙂

    • Reply Rachel May 1, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Lovely to hear from you! Breakfast for me is still a struggle to find inspiration, especially on busy mornings.

  • Reply chandu May 3, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Hi Rachel, this is Chandu, iam free lancer photographer,i loved these images which u have been clicked,can u tell which lights did u use for this product..really i loved the picture….

    • Reply Rachel May 5, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      Hi Chandu, I only used natural light for these images. A North facing window and some black cards around the set to fill. Hope that helps!

  • Reply Tina November 3, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    I never saw pictures of food more perfect than these. I want to cry how amazing they are. Do you give photograthy lessons?

    • Reply Rachel November 8, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Thanks Tina! This was a fun shoot and remains one of my favourite to this day. I do image critiques and photography coaching as 1:1 services. They will be available in my shop on this site. If you are interested, please email me at hello@twolovesstudio.com.

  • Reply Amaryllis @ The Tasty Other January 2, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    These are so beautiful, Rachel! I love the dark look, the perfect light you have here and the styling too. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful photos and recipe- both are very inspiring x

    • Reply Rachel January 11, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      Oh thank you Amaryllis! These were such fun images to take. It was a while ago now, but I still remember like it was yesterday!

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