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Tamal Ray’s recipe for Japanese souffle pancakes | The Sweet Spot | Food


Some friends of mine recently returned from a honeymoon in Japan. Both have a knack for talking about food in a hungry-making way. Among their tales, there was dish that really stuck in my mind: souffle pancakes, described to me as pillowy, soft, airy delights served with syrup and whipped cream. I knew I had to try them immediately.

I’ve served them here with a peanut-butter cream, and some sharp little blueberries to cut through the sweetness. I won’t lie: they are a lot more effort than your ordinary pancakes. They also happen to be the best you’ll ever have.

Souffle pancakes with peanut-butter cream and blueberries

The batter needs to be cooked in a mould to rise in the proper shape – one with sides high enough to contain a rising souffle. A 10cm pastry ring is ideal, but something like an empty 227g pineapple tin, with the top and bottom removed, would work, too.

Prep 30 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 2-4

For the pancakes
2 large eggs
2 pinches salt
3 tbsp plain flour
½ tbsp double cream
½ tbsp milk
A few drops lemon juice
65g caster sugar
Melted butter, to grease
Fresh blueberries, to serve

For the peanut butter cream
200ml double cream
70g smooth peanut butter
25g dark brown sugar
40g caster sugar

To make the peanut-butter cream, mix 70ml cream, the peanut butter and both sugars over a low heat until combined. Transfer to a large bowl with the remaining cream, and whisk until fluffy.

For the pancakes, start by setting a large, flat-bottomed frying pan over the lowest possible heat on your hob. To make the batter, separate the eggs into two large mixing bowls. Add the salt to the yolks, then stir in the flour, followed by the cream and milk, until you get a smooth paste.

Pour the lemon juice over the egg whites, then beat with an electric whisk until foamy and soft peaks form. Still whisking, add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, until the sugar is mixed in and the meringue is glossy. Stir a third of the meringue into the yolk mixture, then carefully fold in the second third until just combined, followed by the final portion.

Brush the insides of the pastry cases with melted butter, arrange them in your frying pan and brush a little more butter on the frying pan surface within each case.

Divide the pancake mixture between the four cases; it should come about two-thirds of the way up. Cook for about six minutes, by which time they should have risen to the top of each case.

Put the pan under a grill on a medium-low heat and cook for a further five minutes, or until the tops have browned. Transfer the cases to a plate and run a palette knife around the edges to release them.

Serve with the peanut-butter cream and a scattering of blueberries.

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