Fluffy Perfect Pancakes - Testing a Tasty Recipe
I absolutely love watching Tasty videos. Even though I feel that some of the recipes are a fairly impractical amount of work for the daily meal, some look incredibly delicious and easy.
The pancake dreams of a girl with a mild case of OCD.
Cue fluffy-perfect-pancake video. I took one look at these pancakes and absolutely had to make them. They were so beautiful to look at: perfectly golden, round, and standing an inch tall!
I should preface this post with the statement that I am not typically a very good pancake maker. In fact, if I made pancakes for Ramsey Gordon, he'd probably throw a pan at me. There's something about the wrist action when you flip them that always ends up disastrous for me. I must have terribly tense wrists or something. Anyway, my historical past with pancakes generally means that I resort to waffles or the Dutch baby (oven pancake), since both are much easier and the Dutch baby is a major time saver.
But this recipe didn't call for a flick-of-the-wrist, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try a new take on pancakes. I floated into the kitchen, completely inspired to create these dreamy looking pancake clouds.
Instead of a full recipe, I figured I’d try cutting it in half since the thought of using any recipe that calls for 4 cups of flour seemed like a lot for two humans to take on (truth be told, I could have done a quarter-recipe). I sifted 2 cups of flour with 2 tablespoons of baking powder. I then melted 3/8 tablespoon of butter with 2 cups of milk. This recipe didn’t call for sugar or vanilla, but I added 4 teaspoons of cane sugar with a teaspoon of vanilla for flavor and a hint of sweetness. I also added ½ teaspoon of salt. I whisked 2 egg yolks into this milk mixture until it was a rich custard color. So far, so good. I whisked this into the flour mixture to create a batter.
My first problem suddenly became apparent: the resultant batter was much tackier than the one I'd seen online. Now, I could assume this is because I altered a few things and cut the recipe in half, but I have a hard time believing the addition of a few teaspoons of sugar resulted in a completely different batter texture. Also, what kind of animal doesn't want sweet pancakes??
I forged ahead. In a separate bowl (I should have warned you: you’ll need multiple bowls, which I feel is a major downside to this recipe), I used a hand mixer to beat 2 egg whites until they became opaque and firm. I folded this gently into the batter mixture until blended. During this time, I also was heating an 8" skillet on the stove.
I used a measuring cup to measure out the batter into the greased skillet and began the cooking process.
This first pancake did not go well. At all.
This was mostly (maybe entirely) operator error. First of all, I totally panicked and turned the pancake. Don’t do that. You need to put the lid on and leave it alone, essentially letting the pancake steam through. If you watch the video that accompanies the recipe, it clearly shows the human not turning the pancake and that was basically one of the main reasons I chose to use this recipe. So why did I turn the pancake? Because I thought it was burning.
Pancake 1: Like a Pinterest fail for Tasty
Which leads me to my next problem. The heat was too high and the skillet was too hot. Again, the recipe/video clearly stated this, but I'm a tad impatient. Turn your skillet to low heat and don’t be a hero thinking you're going to cook this pancake in half the time if you crank it to medium-high. It just burns. Evidence supplied here: deformed and burnt.
Upside: the pancake was in fact delightfully fluffy.
Pancake #2: Better, but still suffering from disease
The second pancake went a little better. Still deformed, but a little less burnt and I was able to talk myself into leaving it alone since turning it clearly did not work. The result was a slightly burnt amoeba cloud. Of note, Tasty appeared to use a saucepan in the video rather than a skillet which likely helps with the shape and the skillet was still cooling from the billion degrees I had it set at originally.
Pancake 3: Ah. The evolution of pancake.
By the third pancake, I think I started to get the hang of it. I could start to determine where the pancake was steaming to tell how cooked it was. By the fourth pancake, I was able to cook it much more evenly and the shape smoothed out to a much rounder shape.
I also found that if I took the pancake off a tad early (Warning: I cannot actually recommend you do this because: ©Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs, may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions), it maintains a doughy quality to the pancake that I believe ups the tasty factor by about 500. But don’t eat undercooked eggs. And if you do, please be advised that I warned you with a complete statement straight from the FDA.
Last but certainly not least, the Tasty video shows the pancakes being cut with a giant knife. That looks totally overboard, right? I mean, is this necessary? Actually, yes. These are remarkably difficult to cut and a chef's knife definitely helped. Plus, my husband felt totally bad ass. I'd actually recommend a saber if you have one handy (mind the pointy part).
Overall, this recipe worked and the pancakes were fluffy, but they didn't taste any different from regular pancakes and making these required extra, albeit easy steps that my tired ass doesn't want to take. After the meal, my husband informed me that he prefers my Dutch Baby. I smiled and told him that was quite the relief as he would have been SOL since I don't really plan on making these ever again.
If you do set out to make these, consider my advice (aka failures) as noted above. Essentially, follow the recipe like I didn’t and they may turn out correctly. If all of that doesn’t work and you still end up with ugly pancakes, you know what they (or at least I) say about ugly pancakes. Throw a toasted marshmallow and some chocolate chips on and make S’mores pancakes...which is what we did!
Everything is better with chocolate.
Also bacon. And we ate that too. Happy Eating!