Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Banana Pancakes with Walnuts and Maple Butter Sauce

If you've been reading my blog, I'm pretty sure you know by now how much I am in love with pancakes. It's pretty crazy how obsessed I am with them and because of this ridiculous obsession, I am incredibly nitpicky and critical of pancakes. 

If you love pancakes as much as I do, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. I mean think about it for a second. 

To begin with, pancakes have to taste good even in its plain state, completely unadorned. No butter, syrup, nothing. Just on its own they should be light and fluffy, with a slight crispiness to the exterior, but not too crispy. The cooked batter should have hints of salty, sweet and tangy flavor from the buttermilk, but just a teeny-tiny hint of all the above. Too much salt or sugar and even buttermilk can quickly ruin a good pancake.

As I experimented all year long to try and come up with the perfect buttermilk pancakes,  Ive failed miserably more than a dozen times. In fact, I was started to gets extremely frustrated at the six-month mark and came very close to throwing in the towel. 

Fortunately, I kept at it, tweaking my recipe until one day,the perfect pancake was born! I am truly and undeniably satisfied with the results. And yes, I ate a lot of pancakes. And yes, all year long! 

Today I'm sharing with you what I consider to be the ultimate banana pancakes. Truth be told, it took me months to come up with these babies. Now you're probably wondering why it took me so long and I don't blame you. 

Most people would simply cut the bananas into slices and put them on top of the cooked pancakes and that's totally fine. But it wasn't enough to satisfy my banana pancake cravings. They had to look good as well as taste good. When it comes to cooking, I'm anal retentive like that. ;)

Prior to banana pancake perfection, I attempted a number of things. First I simply threw in chopped bananas into the batter which tasted fine. However I found that made this way, certain parts of the pancake turns out mushy and texture-wise, it was iffy. It reminded me of biting into a piece of banana cake that's under-cooked in some parts, which isn't the worse thing in the world, but far from the perfect banana pancake.

I also tried caramelizing the bananas first, but I felt this was just too time-consuming for the average person. In addition to tasting good, the recipe needed to be simple.

So after much deliberation, this is what I did. I decided to place 5 fairly thin banana slices directly onto the pancakes while the first side was being cooked on the griddle. Once the first side was done ( about 3 minutes ), I flipped it over to cook the other side ( another 2-3 minutes ) with the bananas, slightly caramelizing them in the process.

I also thought of combining the melted butter, maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon, creating a fabulous sauce to pour over the pancakes. This eliminates the need to slather on extra butter at the end. Plus the cinnamon adds extra oomph and compliments the banana flavor.

Once they are done, a dusting of powdered sugar and walnuts pieces finish off the dish. Once this is done, all you need to do is pour the maple butter over the top and dig in! 

This recipe is 99% fail-proof and I can almost guarantee it. I had a friend come over to try and replicate these pancakes and just as I predicted, they turned out fantastic. I'm also using milk and lemon juice to substitute for buttermilk as it's virtually unheard of here in Japan. 

For moist and fluffy pancakes, be careful not to over-mix the batter. Resting the batter in the refrigerator will also help increase the fluffy factor.

If you want, you can prepare the buttermilk and pancake mix the night before, saving you time in the morning.

Banana Pancakes with Walnuts and Maple Butter Sauce


Makes 2 servings

Pancake Batter:

150 grams ( just a little over 1 cup ) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
150 cc ( 2/3 cup ) milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg

2 small to medium-sized bananas
6 pieces walnuts

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Powdered sugar

Maple Butter:

3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter, melted


1. Add milk and lemon juice into a small bowl. Mix well. Put in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. 30 minutes or overnight is better.
2.  Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. Mix with a whisk to combine dry ingredients well.
3. Add milk/lemon mixture and egg into flour mixture. Mix with a whisk until ingredients are combined. Do not overmix. 
4. Add melted butter to the mixture and mix until just incorporated into the batter.
5. Cover the bowl of batter and place in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
6. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, maple syrup and cinnamon. Whisk well to combine and set aside. 
7. Slice the bananas.
8. Put plates in warm oven. Heat the griddle to 180 C. 
9. Pour batter onto griddle using a ladle. 
10. Place banana slices right on top of pancakes on the griddle. Reserve a few slices for topping the pancakes. 
11. Once small bubbles start to form on the batter and edges become slightly dry ( about 3 minutes ), flip over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. 
12. Place cooked pancakes on warmed plates.
13. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, banana slices and walnuts.
14. Pour maple butter over the pancakes and eat.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Don't forget to let me know what you think in the comments section below. Also be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to get regular updates. PLUS you'll also receive a PDF file of 10 of my all-time favorite recipes. It's free to subscribe and I promise to never ever share your information with anyone else. Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!


Organic Maple Syrup from Coombs Family Farm

In my opinion, pancakes must be eaten with real maple syrup. Pancake syrup cannot be substituted for the real thing and this is crucial to the perfect pancake experience. After many taste testing, this was probably my favorite.

100% pure and organic, this grade B maple syrup from Coombs Family Farms has no artificial flavors, preservatives or dyes and comes bottled in a BPA Free plastic jug.

If you're making all that effort to make the perfect pancakes, why spoil it with a mediocre syrup? You wouldn't do that would you? Nah, I didn't think so. :)

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