Pancake Soufflé Muffins with Strawberry-Maple Syrup

On Saturday night, my husband asked what I wanted him to make me for my Mother’s Day breakfast.  While that is so sweet, and I really appreciate it, I absolutely love to make breakfast.  I just couldn’t give it up.  So I said it would make me happiest if I made breakfast for everyone.  Begrudgingly, my husband gave in.  😀

I subscribe to a bunch of recipe sites, so I must get at least 50 emails a day.  When I opened an email a few days ago from Fine Cooking, I was immediately drawn to the photo of light looking muffin, smothered in syrup and topped with fresh strawberries.  When I read the name, Pancake Soufflé Muffins with Strawberry-Maple Syrup, I knew these had to be made and soon.  It would be the perfect Mother’s Day breakfast! I love the idea of making pancakes in muffin tins.  It’s brilliant because everything is done at the same time and can be served piping hot.  No sweating over a hot griddle and flipping pancakes. No preheating the oven to warm finished pancakes while you make more.  No trying to get bacon done in between all the pouring and flipping without burning anything.  Here, you just pour the batter in the wells and bake.  Done.  I loved the texture of these muffins, so different from anything I’ve had before. Since the egg whites are beaten and folded into the batter, you get a light, souffle textured muffin that tastes just like a pancake.  How does that not make you want to make these muffins immediately?  If you don’t, you must have willpower of steel.  I envy you. 😀

Pancake Soufflé Muffins with Strawberry-Maple Syrup

Yield:  24 muffins, 12 servings

Muffins

Nonstick cooking spray
10-1/2 oz. (2-1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
4-1/2 oz. (1 cup plus 2 Tbs.) cake flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
6 T bs. granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3-1/3 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Liberally spray two 12-cup muffin pans with the cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large, clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed to firm (but not dry) peaks, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

In another large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the mixer on medium-high speed until thick, ribbony, and lemon-yellow, about 6 minutes. Add the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla; mix on medium-low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add one-third of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed. Add one-third of the buttermilk and mix to combine. Alternate adding the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk, ending with the buttermilk and mixing until just combined.

With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter, leaving some streaks.

Scoop about 1/2 cup of the batter into each muffin cup—you can fill the cups to the rims. Bake, rotating the pans after 10 minutes, until browned on top and puffed, and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out dry, 20 to 25 minutes total.

Strawberry Syrup –

1 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup quartered, hulled ripe strawberries

While the muffins are baking, bring the maple syrup to a boil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Put the strawberries in a medium serving bowl. Pour the syrup over the berries and set aside in a warm spot.  I served mine with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar, syrup for dipping and strawberries on the side.

To Serve:

With an offset spatula, pop the muffins out of the cups and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve with the syrup.

Make Ahead:

You can make the batter up to 2 hours ahead through the step of folding in the beaten egg whites. Refrigerate it, covered, in its bowl. Do not portion it into muffin tins until you’re ready to bake.

Source:  Fine Cooking

Maida Heatter’s Homemade Chocolate Syrup

There’s something about chocolate milk that makes you feel like a kid again when you drink it.  I love it so much, sometimes I even prefer a glass of it to dessert.  Can you believe it?  But, have you ever read the ingredient list on the back of a bottle of Hershey Syrup?  If you haven’t, I don’t want to ruin it for you, but let me just say it’s not good.   I was thinking I could do better if I made it myself at home.  I came across a few different recipes online, but I decided to go with Maida Heatter’s recipe.  While reading through her book, I saw that she was inducted into Chocolatier magazine’s Hall of Fame, so I figured she knows her chocolate! 😀

I have to say I was kind of surprised by how easy it was and I wondered why I never thought of this before.   The recipe consists of just cocoa powder, water, sugar, salt and vanilla. That’s it.  Just 5 ingredients!  I used Vahlrhona cocoa, thinking not only do I want to eliminate the bad ingredients but make the syrup taste better.  And taste better it did.  I made both chocolate milk and hot chocolate which were so dark in color and the chocolate was really intense in flavor  My kids loved it!  I can’t remember the last time they drank so much milk in a day.  But, I was just thinking… if this syrup is so good in milk, how delicious would it be poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream?  Oh geez, now I think I am going to have to try that tomorrow! 😀

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Yield:  3 1/2 cups of syrup

1 cup, sifted, unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch processed   I used Valrhona

2 cups cold water (or cold black coffee)

2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

In a heavy 2 quart saucepan off the heat, stir the cocoa powder and water (or coffee) with a whisk until smooth.  Place over moderate heat, change to a rubber spatula, and stir scraping the bottom constantly until the mixture comes to a low boil.  Add the sugar and salt, and stir until dissolved.  Bring to a low boil again and let simmer slowly for 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.  Stir in the vanilla and store in an airtight container in the fridge.  Maida says it will store indefinitely if refrigerated.  She goes on to give 19 different serving suggestions. 19!! I’ll give just some of the highlights…

Cold Chocolate milk: 1/4 cup syrup to 1 cup of whole milk- if you want it richer use half and half

Chocolate Float:  Add a scoop of chocolate ice cream to the above cold chocolate milk

Chocolate Frosted: Cold chocolate milk plus 1 scoop of chocolate ice cream and blend.

Grown-up chocolate frosted: The above chocolate frosted and 2 tablespoons rum, creme de cacao, or Kahlua before blending

Chocolate soda:  In a tall glass, mix 1/2 cup cold milk with 3- 4 T chocolate syrup.  Add 1/2 cup carbonated water, stir lightly, and add a scoop of chocolate ice cream.  Add more soda, if needed, to fill the glass. Top with whipped cream.

Hot chocolate:  Heat 1/4 cup of syrup with 1 cup of milk, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until it just comes to a boil. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows.

Hot mocha: Mix equal amounts of strong black coffee and hot chocolate milk.  If needed, you can add more sugar or honey to taste. Serve very hot with whipped cream or marshmallows.

SourceMaida Heatter’s Great Book of Chocolate Desserts

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