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!….
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
3 cups self raising flour, levelled
3 cups milk
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.