If you like your pancakes fluffy, it does not get fluffier than a Japanese soufflé pancake. The name says it all: they're soufflé-like in texture, but cooked in a pan, so there's the added bonus of the crisp tops and bottoms we love to see in all pancakes. (The sizzle you hear when you cut one of these warm pancakes with a fork is deeply satisfying.) Their lofty height and texture is a result of delicately folding meringue into egg yolks, emphasis on delicately. But the effort pays off in this recipe from Cook School Director Terry, which makes enough pancakes to serve two adults. Serve it with fruit, dollops of cream, or any other topping of your choice.
Serves 2 (Makes 4-6)
2 egg yolks
40g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp
60g plain flour
3g baking powder
4 egg whites
2-3 drops of lemon juice
- Whisk the egg yolks with 1 tablespoon of sugar until pale and frothy. Add the milk in small increments and keep whisking. Sift the flour and baking powder over the yolk mixture and whisk again, making sure everything is incorporated. Set aside.
- Now make your meringue, using a stand or hand-held mixer. Ensure your mixing bowl and whisk attachment are clean and dry. A metal or glass bowl is preferable, as plastic can sometimes still hide traces of oil (even the tiniest drop of fat will affect your meringue).
- On the lowest setting of your mixer, whip the egg whites slowly, with 2-3 drops of lemon, until just it is a little bit frothy. Then increase the speed to high and add in the sugar a little bit at a time. Continue whisking until the whites are whipped into a glossy thick meringue that holds stiff peaks. Take 1/3 of the whipped egg whites and gently fold into the bowl with the egg yolks using a spatula or spoon until completely incorporated. Add another third of the remaining whites and fold it into the yolk batter very gently, so it does not deflate. Repeat with the final third until all the egg whites have been incorporated.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan (28-30cm), which has a lid, over low heat. Add a little bit of oil to the pan, using a paper towel to distribute it around the pan. You want a very light film. Using an ice cream scoop or a deep spoon, scoop two portions of batter onto the pan. (Only do one at a time in a smaller frying pan.) Cover the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove the lid, then add more batter on top of each pancake. Cover and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes. Lift the lid and use a spatula to gently peek under the pancake. It should release easily—don’t force it. Once you know the pancakes could release easily, add another tablespoon of batter to each pancake, flip (gently), then cover again. Cook for 5-6 minutes. The pancakes will grow even taller and fluffier. Once the pancakes are golden and cooked through, gently remove and enjoy!
- Try making one at a time, as practice makes perfect
- Serve with fruit, whipped cream, or any topping of your choice