by Stephanie Zonis
My mother made a variation of this frequently for Sunday morning breakfasts. Although it was never called by this name in our house, I have seen it called almost nothing else in cookbooks. There really isn't much to it, but it somehow manages to rise most dramatically as it bakes. I have improved the original recipe by adding a little sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest—and serving it with a chocolate sauce and whipped cream helps, too! This would be a great breakfast for Father's Day.
You'll need a 12-inch diameter frying pan that must be able to withstand an oven temperature of at least 400 degrees (I prefer to bake this at 425 degrees F, as the browning at that temperature is much better, but 400 degrees F will work). Like time itself, this pancake waits for no one. Remove it CAREFULLY from the oven, using pot holders (the pan will be very hot), then cut and serve it at once. If you want to know how this dish got such an unusual name, read our editor's column Mama's Savory Dutch Babies in Kate's Global Kitchen.
4 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Few grains salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, graded "large"
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
Grated zest 1 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla
Dash of salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
Warm chocolate sauce
Barely sweetened whipped cream
Yield: Generous 3/4 cup
If you have all of your ingredients prepared and together, you can put together the sauce while the pancake bakes—or several days ahead of time. Either way, combine finely chopped chocolate and salt in small heatproof bowl. In small saucepan over low heat, heat heavy cream until very hot, stirring occasionally; remove from heat. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand for a minute or two, then stir or whisk gently until smooth. (If necessary, place bowl over simmering water on low heat—water should not touch bottom of bowl—and stir frequently just until smooth. Remove from heat and hot water.)
If sauce is being made while pancake bakes, pour into small pitcher; let stand at room temperature until serving time. If made ahead, cool sauce briefly, then chill, covering tightly when cold. To reheat, scrape sauce into small heatproof bowl. Place over simmering water on low heat—water should not touch bottom of bowl—and stir often until melted and warm. Alternatively, scrape cold sauce into microwaveable container. Microwave at 50% (medium) power for short intervals, stirring thoroughly between each, just until sauce is warm.
2 to 4 servings
Preheat oven to 400 OR 425 degrees F (see recipe introduction). In medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt. with fork, beat just until combined. Gradually beat in milk until mixture is blended.
All at once, add flour. with fork (or using a large whisk), beat until flour is mixed in. The batter will be thin and should contain a number of small lumps (like pancake batter). Do not overbeat; this batter doesn't need a lot of air beaten into it. Set aside briefly.
Place butter slices in 12-inch diameter ovenproof frying pan. Place pan over medium heat. Melt butter, swirling pan so melted butter coats entire pan bottom. Allow melted butter to become very hot, swirling pan occasionally. Turn off the heat under the pan.
All at once, pour batter into hot butter. Batter may not cover entire pan bottom—OK. It will spread by itself during baking. Quickly place frying pan into preheated oven.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Don't peek at this too often as it bakes. I have not found it necessary to turn the pan back-to-front halfway during baking time with this recipe, as the finished pancake will be uneven in height and browning anyway. The only thing you need to be careful about during baking is serious overbrowning, especially along the outer edges of the pancake.
The pancake is done when it is puffy and has risen. The edges will rise high and be browner than the top or bottom; browning will likely be uneven on top of the pancake. Using pot holders, CAREFULLY remove from oven (the pan will be very hot). Cut and serve immediately, passing warm chocolate sauce and whipped cream so everyone can top their slice as they wish.
Copyright © 2001 Francesca Chocolate Productions. All Rights Reserved.
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This page created June 2001
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