Japanese Soufflé Pancakes

Japanese Soufflé Pancakes with raspberries and powdered sugarSunday Soufflé
If you have been anywhere near Instagram or TikTok lately, you have no doubt come across the latest fad in breakfast, Japanese Soufflé Pancakes. I never thought pancakes were trend worthy, frankly. I mean, it’s pancakes. I figured IHOP had exhausted all the Rooty Tutti pancake possibilities years ago. Apparently, I was wrong.

This latest craze comes direct to us from our friends in Japan. And, I have to say this is a trend I can roll with. Soufflé Pancakes are the lighter fluffier cousin of your favorite flap jacks—and even use the same ingredients. The difference is in the eggs, man. When making soufflé pancakes, you separate the eggs and make a meringue that is then gently folded into the batter before spooning it on a hot griddle. (It sounds more complicated than it is but novice cooks might need to try the recipe a few times to get it right.)

The addition of steam to the cooking process is what makes these pancake rise. The result is mile-high pillowy goodness that you can top with any of your favorites. I like them with a little powdered sugar and sliced fruit or berries. But, you can never go wrong with tried and true syrup.

Give these a try this weekend if only to put a smile on your face that the torrential rain can’t wash away.

Japanese Soufflé Pancakes Recipe
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
Yields 1 serving (3 pancakes)

These Japanese Soufflé Pancakes are like fluffy clouds. This recipe makes one serving and can be multiplied by the number of servings you need.

You will need a 12-inch nonstick frying pan with a lid to steam the pancakes. And for the fluffiest pancakes, be certain to sift your cake flour–even if the package says pre-sifted.

For the whipped cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 tablespoon sugar

For the pancakes
2 large eggs
1-1/2 tablespoon whole milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 sifted cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.) (for greasing the pan)
2 tablespoon water (for steaming)

For the toppings
1 tablespoon powdered confectioners’ sugar
Fresh berries or sliced fruit
Maple syrup

Gather all the ingredients. You will also need a 12-inch nonstick frying pan (large enough to cook 3 pancakes at the same time) with a lid.

Make the whipped cream
Prepare an ice bath by putting ice cubes and water in a large bowl and placing a clean, dry medium bowl on top of the ice water. Add the heavy cream and sugar to the medium bowl to keep them cold.

Whisk the mixture on high speed until firm peaks form. The cream should be soft, fluffy, and firm. Keep the whipped cream chilled in the bowl while preparing the pancakes.

Make the batter
Separate the egg whites and yolks into two bowls. Place the bowl with the egg whites in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Add the milk and vanilla to the egg yolks. Whisk using a hand-held whisk until the mixture is thick and frothy.

Sift the cake flour and baking powder into the bowl with the yolks. Then whisk to combine without overtaxing. Set aside

Make the meringue
When the yolks have been in the freezer for 15 minutes and are half frozen, remove them from the freezer. Begin beating the egg whites by hand with a balloon mix or with a mixer.

When the egg whites turn frothy and opaque, gradually add in sugar, roughly one-third at a time. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat vigorously until stiff peaks form (about 2 minutes). The meringue should be firm enough to hold a peak, either pointing straight up or folding slightly at the tips. The texture should be glossy. Do not over-beat.

Fold In the Meringue
Take one-third of the egg whites and add them to the egg yolk mixture. Whisk gently by hand. Next, take half of the remaining meringue and add to the egg yolk mixture. Using a hand whisk, gently fold them in without breaking the air bubbles in the whites.

Transfer the egg yolk mixture back into the bowl with the remaining meringue. Very gently fold the two mixtures together, taking care not to deflate the air bubbles as you fold. Mix the batter very gently until well-combined.

Cook the pancakes
Heat the frying pan to 300 ºF (low heat).

For each pancake, you will use 1/3 of the batter by stacking four scoops of batter. Place one scoop to make a tall mound in the frying pan. Next, stack one more scoop of batter onto the first scoop already in the pan. Repeat for the next two pancakes, giving each pancake two scoops of batter.

By the time all three pancakes have two scoops, the surface of the batter will have dried slightly. Now mound one more scoop on top of each pancake, keeping the batter piled up high.

Set your timer for 6 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of water in the three empty spaces between the pancakes, and cover the pan with a lid. The steam from the water keeps the pancakes moist while they cook. Note that the pancakes may cook at a different rate depending on the temperature of your pan.

When 2 minutes have passed, open the lid and add the final scoop for each pancake (or use up whatever batter remains) making certain to stack the batter high. If the water has evaporated, add a little bit more. Cover with the lid and cook.

Flip the pancakes
After the 6 minutes have passed, lift the lid and check for doneness. You can lift the pancakes gently using an offset spatula. If the pancake is stuck, allow it to firm up a little so it doesn’t crack.

Cook the other side
Add more water to the empty spaces in the pan and cover the pan. Set the timer for 4-5 minutes to cook the other side on the lowest heat setting. If the inside is not cooked through, there is no structure to hold up the pancakes and they will collapse as soon as the temperature drops.

Once they are nicely browned, transfer the pancakes to your serving plates.

To serve
Place the fresh whipped cream on the pancakes and top with the berries. Dust the pancake with confectioners’ sugar or drizzle with maple syrup. Enjoy!

These pancakes are best eaten immediately

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