Sunday, January 27, 2013

Orange Dark Chocolate Pancakes: Vegan Sunday Brunch, Episode 30

Hey y'all!

Today was a happy day in the brunch kitchen, but it occurs to me that I probably say that every week.  So be it!  Brunch is the happy-making time.

The reason today was a happy brunch day is threefold: 1) pancakes, which are super easy to make and hella yum, 2) Mike and I made and ate them at the same time, and 3) chocolate and orange.  I'll leave it at that, because you know how awesome the combo is.


These orange chocolate pancakes involve an extra step from most pancake recipes, but it's a super-easy step that'll take 2 minutes of effort.  It involves zesting an orange and letting it mingle with maple syrup overnight.  In the morning you strain it out, and you're left with this bright and orangey maple flava, which, combined with the zest in the batter, gives the whole ensemble a really nice overall orange effect.  You could use regular chocolate chips just as well as dark chocolate chunks, but I think orange loves dark chocolate best.

Orange Dark Chocolate Pancakes
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 cup flour (I used whole spelt, Mike used all purpose)
2.2 ounces dark chocolate (50 grams), chopped small
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup non-dairy milk (up to 1/4 cup more liquid if using whole wheat flour)
Finely grated orange zest from 1 orange (about 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons sweetener (agave, maple, granulated sugar)
2 teaspoons neutral oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


A little neutral oil, for frying
Orange segments, for serving


For the orange-maple syrup:

Orange zest from 1 orange, about 2 tablespoons
1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:

1. For the orange-maple syrup: Combine ingredients in a small bowl and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  Prior to use, strain out the orange zest.

2. For the pancakes: Combine the dry ingredients - flour, dark chocolate, baking powder and salt.  Add the milk, orange zest, sweetener and oil and stir just to combine - you don't want to overmix this.

3. Heat a little oil in a nice non-stick pan over medium-low heat, and pour your pancake batter into shapes and sizes you desire.  You know they're ready to flip when the underside lifts easily from the pan and little air bubbles cover the surface of the pancake.  Cook until both sides are golden brown.

Serve with a pat of vegan butter (optional!), orange-maple syrup and orange segments - bonus points if you've got a blood orange.  Feel virtuous for including a fruit into your brunch.


Pancake tip #1: Soup ladles make excellent pancake pouring devices if you want nice, evenly-sized pancakes.  Measuring cups are also good.

Pancake tip #2: Your pancake batter should be pourable.  You want it to pour into the pan and spread on its own, but still maintain some shape (if it spreads across the pan with no resistance, you've basically got yourself a crepe).

These pancakes might be one of my favorite brunch creations yet.  Mike and I declared that if we had a breakfast diner, these would be a staple menu item.  (Though don't expect this any time soon - we need to get rich and famous first).

Mike and I made the exact same recipe - the only difference was our choice of flours (I used whole spelt and he used all purpose), and our methods of plating.  I love the idea of serving the maple syrup in a shot glass!


Mike: So my picture is the one shown above, same idea, same recipe!  These were probably my favorite pancakes of life.  They were fluffy without being insubstantial, and they weren't so dense as to keep me from eating four of them.  The orange-maple syrup was probably my favorite part of the dish.  It took on a lot of orange flavor overnight and was definitely worth the two minutes to throw it together.  Adding a half ounce of bourbon to the syrup before letting it sit overnight would have given it a little kick while also pulling out even more orange flavor from the zest.  I think Allysia and I are both excited to experiment with different syrup and sauce infusions in the future.  This one was pretty simple, but who knows where it will go next?

We wish you many of your own happy brunches.  See ya!

27 comments:

  1. Holy crap guys, these pancakes look and sound amazing!! Orange and chocolate are such a lovely combination. I bet these tasted so bright. I love using zest, it adds a lot of brightness to any recipe.

    I love both of the plates too! Allysia, yours is so pretty and the oranges in the corners are a great touch. Mike, the syrup in a shot glass is genius and adorable!! I also love that you both used square plates. I'm a sucker for square plates and bowls :) Can't wait to try this recipe!

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    1. I am also a big sucker for square plates. :) And zest is so great - I felt like using orange juice would've just been too thin of a flavor. But it wasn't overwhelmingly orangey!

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  2. Great job, botha yehs. Chocolate goes pretty damn well with almost anything but the orangey maple syrup sounds extra delicious. I was going to suggest bourbon too! maybe for a boozy reunion brunch :)

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    1. Oh god, boozy reunion brunch is going on next week. :)

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  3. Wow, these look fantastic. I love chocolate and orange together. And the orange zest in the maple syrup is a great idea. Brunch day is a happy day :)

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    1. SUCH a happy day. :) And yeah, it's not Sunday anymore, it's brunch day, ha ha ha!

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  4. Both plates are gorgeous. "Favourite pancakes of life" is certainly enticing and I love spelt flour, pancakes, chocolate, orange + maple syrup so I know I'll love these! I have way too many recipes I need to try urgently but this one gets a place very near the top...

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    1. Lol, oh Michael is so enthusiastic. :) But it's true, they're great!

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  5. oh MAN. I have been craving pancakes lately. What a super flavor combo idea for pancakes, these look & sound amazing!!

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  6. OH GOD DEVILFRUIT DEVILFRUIT! I can't. I'm sorry I can't. Even the thought of this combination makes me queasy. Abort abort!

    (But I'm glad it works for you.)

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    1. BA HA HA HA, this totally made me laugh out loud. :) Oranges are devilfruit? Blasphemy!

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  7. Orange-maple pancakes sound like my idea of breakfast heaven! The only way it could get better is if someone made it for me, while I wait in bed... One can dream, can't they? ;)

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    1. Ha ha ha, yeah, that's pretty ideal. :)

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  8. I think that extra step would be really, super duper worth it :) What a gorgeous breakfast! I love the idea of chocolate in these too.

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    1. yeah, I really want to play around with maple infusions now!

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  9. Sweet! I made pancakes too! Although mine where of a completely different flavor category. I frikken loooooove orange and chocolate. Great idea to infuse the maple syrup, that sounds like it would be mighty tasty, although I’m partial to Mike’s bourbon version ;)

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    1. Ha ha ha, there was a pancake vibe in the air apparently. :) And yeah, I definitely want to booze up some maple syrup!

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  10. You two are seriously so adorable! Ha! I love it! The pancakes look ridiculous, in the best possible way. P.S. I am totally wishing I was in Austin with you - there is too much freakin' snow here!

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    1. I think anyone sane would want to get away from all that snow, ha ha!

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  11. Looks yummy & healthy..:-)


    Helen
    http://myworldmyhome2012.blogspot.in

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    1. We-ell..not the healthiest, but it could be a lot worse! :)

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  12. Holy crap, yes! I particularly am tickled by the suggestion of putting booze in the syrup. Yes, that it wise - most wise (though I'd go rum every time). Reckon mint chocolate pancakes would work too!?

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    1. Rum over bourbon? Crazy person, ha ha. :) And yeah, mint chocolate would be an excellent pancake decision!

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  13. Outstanding!!! I laughed at Mike saying "my favorite pancakes of life", and trust that they are that good!

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    1. Laughable, perhaps, but true also. Ha ha :)

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  14. Would putting the orange infused maple syrup as the sweetener inside the pancakes be overkill? :p

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