Buttermilk Pancakes

Pancake day last year: I made American pancakes with bananas, bacon and maple syrup for a picnic with friends, and constructed the stack out in the park just outside school. Things get a little unpredictable when you’re photographing outdoors, so as I was pouring the maple syrup from a height, the winter/spring wind blew the lovely stream of maple syrup right into Yeewon’s (my pancake model) beautiful long hair.

Pancake day this year: I thought I would make something different and swap out the milk for buttermilk. As a result, the buttermilk pancakes turned out slightly fluffier than the American pancakes. Since I had enough to make two stacks, I dressed up one with layers of peaches and whipped cream, topped with more cream and a peach “rose”, then drowned in homemade vanilla bean bourbon caramel sauce.

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The second pancake stack was simpler compared to the decadence of the first stack, with a Japanese inspired flavour profile – layers of matcha (green tea) chantilly and azuki bean paste (red bean paste) in between pancakes, garnished with a matcha chantilly quenelle (looking a bit flat due to the cream not being cold enough) and a handcrafted azuki rose, drizzled with honey and dusted with icing sugar.

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Buttermilk Pancakes
(serves 2-3 people)

1 – Egg
250ml – Buttermilk
15g – Melted butter
1/4 tspn – Salt
2 tbspn – Sugar
1 1/4 tspn – Baking Powder
1/2 tspn – Baking soda
125g – Cake flour

~ In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, salt and sugar together.
~ In a large bowl, sift in the baking powder, baking soda and flour. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in your mixture. Whisk gently until all the flour is just incorporated. (It is okay if the batter is lumpy. Over mixing can result in tough and rubbery pancakes.)
~ Allow the batter to rest while you heat up the pan.
~ Heat up a non-stick pan on medium heat and brush it with some butter. Pour some of the batter on to the pan (I usually put 2 tablespoons full). When the top has begun to set and the bottom of the pancake is a nice golden brown, flip it over. Cook until both sides are brown.

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Vanilla Bean Bourbon Caramel Sauce
(makes 1 jar)

200g – Caster sugar
1 – Vanilla pod (1 tspn vanilla bean paste)
210g – Whipping cream
80g – Butter
1 tbspn – Bourbon

Preparation
~ Allow the butter to come to room temperature.
~ Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the cream.
~ Gently heat the cream and vanilla in a saucepan.

Dry Caramel
~ In a clean saucepan, melt 1/3 of the sugar on low heat until it caramalises. Gradually add more sugar as it melts, shaking the pan occasionally.
~ When all the sugar is in the pan, use a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon to work in any unmelted sugar. (Do not over stir)

Caramel Sauce
~ Once you’ve achieved the desired colour of the caramel, take it off the heat. I prefer a darker caramel but be careful not to burn it. Pour in the heated cream slowly and in gradual inclusions while stirring (the mixture will bubble violently if you add it all in one go).
~ It is normal if the mixture seizes and forms clumps of caramel. Heat the caramel again and stir until all the lumps dissolve.
~ Take the pan off the heat and add the room temperature softened butter in small pieces, together with the bourbon. Whisk until it is smooth, glossy and homogenous.
~ Store in glass jars. Gently rewarm in microwave or over the stove for a more “drizzable” consistency.

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Buttermilk Pancakes with Peaches, Cream, and Vanilla Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Assembly

~ Slice peaches thinly.
~ Whip 125g of whipping cream.
~ Spread whipped cream on the pancake and arrange the slices of peaches on it. Repeat to create a stack.
~ Gently warm the caramel sauce and drizzle onto the pancake stack.

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