I recently came across many channels that featured a particular pancakes on: youtube, blogs, social media — there is a craze for fluffy Japanese Souffle pancakes right now it seems. I made it the other day because I was intrigued. I think Japanese people really love light and delicate foods, and who doesn’t love a good pancake?! I’ve actually struggled for so long after I was diagnosed with my wheat/corn/soybean/peanut allergy to enjoy pancakes. I actually have felt sick eating so-called gluten free pancakes in diners because they probably use corn starch, and the gf pancake mixes I’ve bought in the past were abysmal. I remember the first time I was diagnosed with my allergies and tried with the flours, it was really gummy and gross. I have learned much since those days. I all but stopped making pancakes regularly, and believe you, me, I was really good at making the “one-person pancake.” It always came out enough and just right, never in excess which seems to be a big issue for some people who aren’t used to being solitaire or single. I partially still remember the recipe because I cooked it so often when I was living in San Francisco while in college. It was cheap and delicious — and versatile. If I couldn’t afford maple syrup, I’d supplement with some nutella or cookie butter spread or jam. Those were truly the good ol’ days.
I cook a lot less single meals these days, but I happened to come across a posting of regular the regular wheat flour recipe and wanted to give Japanese souffle pancakes a try. Unfortunately, pancakes of any type don’t have great shelf-life at any time, and did find a recipe for 2 people, but lately, I eat breakfast alone. It’s probably my favorite meal of the day because I’m much more imaginary and creative in the morning, and usually, I just love to treat myself to breakfast… but only if time is in excess.
So I came up with a gluten free recipe, I adapted from several postings, but they’re all the same technique. If you’ve ever made any successful macarons in your life, you should know what to do. Everything that is a souffle pancake is thanks to the egg whites being beaten to stiff peaks, its what gives the pancake it’s light and airy texture. Honestly, what you are eating is air, and a tiny bit of flour, and an egg with flavorings.
This is a halved version of most of the other recipes found online. Instead of 3-4 stacks of pancakes, it’s just 2. But I knew I wasn’t eating very much pancake by myself, I had sweetened strawberries and bananas on the side, on top of some butter and maple syrup. It was enough to keep me happy. I also had a side of yogurt and oatmeal with chia seeds on the side, to really keep me full for a while.
A full version of a gf version can be found at: https://kittenaroundthekitchen.com/2018/07/28/the-gluten-free-skeptic-japanese-pancakes-recipe/ — which offers a very comprehensive guide to making a souffle pancake.
Accessories: Electric hand mixer. — you can whip egg whites to stiff peaks without an electric mixer, but that will take you hours! It’s almost a must-have kitchen accessory for the serious home baker.
- 2 Tbsp GF flour mix (I used 1 tablespoon of of the paleo pancake mix from Birch Benders and 1 tablespoon of their gf pancake mix. Mixing them together created the best pancake texture I’ve tasted.)
- 2-3 tsp milk, depending on how dry your mix gets
- 1 egg yolk, room temp
- 1 egg white, room temp
- a sprinkle of cream of tartar
- 1 Tbsp of bakers/granuated sugar
- a dash of baking soda, 1/4 a teaspoon if your mix does not contain any leavening
- A sprinkle or drop of vanilla extract, powder or liquid
- About 1 tablespoon of oil
- Water on hand to sprinkle
- Optional pancake toppings: fruits, jams, honey, maple, syrup, powdered sugar, whipped cream, butter
- Begin by taking the separated egg yolk in a mixing bowl, add 1 teaspoon of milk, and then vanilla extract. Sift in your flour and just a bit of baking soda for extra rise — since my mix contained some leavening agent, I only put a tiny bit of baking soda, but if it did not, I would recommend 1/4 a teaspoon of baking soda. Mix until just incorporated. Don’t skip sifting, it really helps any sort of pancake rise better.
- Whip egg whites on a slow setting until bubbles foam up. Add some cream of tartar, and mix again on a higher speed for about 1-2 minutes. Finally, add in the sugar, and gradually turn up to high speed. Mix until stiff peaks form, you can even test when you flip over the bowl on your head and nothing falls out.
- Slowly incorporate the flour mixture and the egg whites together. I used my whisk first and then a spatula second. Gently mix until everything is just incorporated and there are no streaks. It should be a creamy, custard-like batter that’s thick like natural whipped cream.
- Heat up a non-stick pan on high and add in oil, wipe up any excess with a paper towel. And lower heat to low. You don’t want the pan too hot or too low, and excess oil creates inconsistent and holed spots on the pancakes because of the bubbling reaction of adding oil.
- The batter should be kind of thick since the gf flour mix can puff up from a chemical reaction bf adding water and liquid, which is typical of my flour mix. But once the pan is heated, you’re going to be spooning 2 spoons of batter onto your pan, and round it out as best you can. I waited about 2-3 minutes before spooning a second layer on top, keeping the heat on low.
- I added in 2-4 droplets in open areas of the pan and covered it with a lid and let the steam do all the work. I set the timer to 4 minutes. Note: if you have extra batter that’s great! You can put on a 3rd layer, but I only had enough for 2 layers. Since I knew this mix had some excellent leavening effect, I knew it would puff up a good amount and didn’t worry about adding another stack.
- After the 4 minutes are up, I flipped over the pancakes by rolling it over. If you have a silicone spatula, it actually lifts the pancake up a lot more easily and gently than attempting to scrape with a metal or wooden spoon.
- I set the timer for another 5 minutes and let the steam do the cooking again by adding another 2 drops on the sides between the pancakes.
- Check the bottom of the pancake to see if it’s even colored and golden brown and decide if you want to wait an extra minute or 2. Otherwise, if it looks perfect, take out your pancakes and serve over a plate. Add your toppings, a must!
Yields 2 fluffy pancakes.
For me, this amount of pancakes is perfect as a main with small sides, something I love to do for breakfast because you can regulate the amount of food you eat. The pancakes with added sugar and maple syrup may have a lot of calories, but every good thing in moderation right? Plus, I have been really eating more fibrous foods for breakfast, hence, some quick oats with honey and chia seeds has been my go-to breakfast the past few months.
I did have done unripe an very unsweet strawberries I purchased recently at Sprouts from a sale. Figures they didn’t taste good at this time of the year.
But! I simply made a quick strawberry coulis to eat with the pancakes. Perfect. And delicious. If you’re on a diet, probably pass on this recipe.