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Pancakes with Caramelised Bananas & Maple Syrup

Pancakes with Caramelised Bananas & Maple Syrup

In 2010, 2 years before I came to live in NYC, I read about Clinton St. Baking Company and how famous they were for their breakfast items, especially the pancakes. I went on Amazon and ordered their cookbook so I could make these, along with other specialties, at home. These are quite simply the best pancakes you can ever have. Neil Kleinberg, co-owner and chef at Clinton St. Baking Company, perfected the recipe entitled 'Neil's Pancakes' and made them classically authentic - something delcious, wholesome, truly satisfying and as natural as can be. Two flavors were put on the menu: blueberry, using tiny wild Maine berries, and banana-walnut. After weeks of experimenting, Neil came up with his now famous pancake base: fluffy, chewy and crispy on the edges, with all the complexity of a yeast-risen cake. 

I wanted to put my own spin on this amazing recipe, so I decided to caramelise bananas using coconut sugar, cinnamon and a touch of coconut oil for frying - keeping with the natural tradition of Clinton St. Baking Company. Coconut sugar works especially well for caramelising and comes from the sap of cut flower buds from the coconut palm. 

Put a luxurious spin on your Sunday morning, and make these pancakes. The little extra effort is totally worth it, trust me! 

*Recipe makes 18-20 3-inch pancakes. Divide the recipe in half (usually what I do) to serve 2-3 people. Pancakes can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days & reheated in the microwave.

Ingredients:

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder, plus 1 teaspoon
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs, separated
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 teaspoons unmelted for griddle
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the caramelised bananas:
1 -2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 bananas, sliced lengthwise
Pure maple syrup

Method:

  1. Prepare the bananas: slice lengthwise, then in half again if desired, and place in a bowl with coconut sugar and cinnamon. Mix well so the bananas are well-coated. Set aside.
  2. Measure and sift all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt).
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the yolks, milk, melted butter and vanilla until combined. Whisk the wet mixture into the dry mixture. The batter should be slightly lumpy.
  4. Whip the egg whites in a medium bowl until they reach medium peaks (soft in the middle). Be careful not to overwhip the egg whites.
  5. Gently mix half of the whipped whites into the batter with a large rubber spatula, Then gently fold the remaining half into the batter. Remember: this batter should be slightly lumpy and have large parts of egg whites not fully incorporated; it should look like whitecaps in the the ocean with foam on top. (the batter will last a few hours in the fridge without deflating too much.)
  6. Head a griddle or pan to 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease with the remaining butter. Drop 1/4 cup (approx 4 tablespoons) of pancake batter into the pan and cook to set. When you see bubbles start to form on top, lift the pancake halfway up to see if it's golden brown underneath and crispy on the edges. If ready, flip the pancake. 
  7. When the pancake is golden brown on both sides, remove with a spatula. Repeat with the remaining batter, cooking several pancakes at a time.
  8. Cook the bananas: heat a pan and put the coconut oil in the pan to melt. Place banana pieces in the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes each side until golden brown. Remove from pan once done and place on a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil. 
  9. Stack pancakes on a plate with the banana pieces on top or on the side of the plate. Drizzle with maple syrup. Enjoy! 

*Recipe from Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook. 

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