Make me Something Pretty, Mom: Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes with Chocolate Ganache

Beware! I made this sweet Valentine’s treat for my daughter one Saturday morning and she even ate the leftovers for the rest of the week. You know what my daughter never eats? Leftovers. OF ANYTHING. And now she asks me for it all the time. And, I’m like, ‘Um, no. That dish took me hours to create. Eat your cereal.’

Parents, you’ve been warned.

Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes with Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

For the pancakes:
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup *regular* cocoa powder
6 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
3/4 cups whole milk

For the ganache:
1/2 cup whole milk
5 oz semi-sweet, finely chopped chocolate
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

To plate:
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
Powdered Sugar

Recipe

For the pancakes:

  • In a large bowl, sift together the flower, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. (What is sifting?)
  • In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, melted butter, and the milk.
  • Once you have both the dry and wet ingredients prepped, mix the liquid ingredients in and stir the batter until it is moistened and lumpy.
  • *If you want to make a shape, you will need a cookie cutter in that shape. Since I made this for Valentine’s Day I went with a large heart-shaped cookie cutter.
  • Heat your non-stick or Cast Iron Skillet to medium heat.
  • Grease the pan with a liberal amount of butter.
  • *Place your cookie cutter onto the skillet and pour the batter in. The batter is very thick and will form a dense cake. You will need to go medium heat and babysit it as this much thicker cake batter will take about 4-5 minutes to cook. Poke it occasionally to test if the batter is cooked through. When you are getting fairly clean pokes with the fork, gently slide the spatula underneath and flip the whole thing over, cookie cutter included, to keep the shape. Cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. You don’t want to burn it. The end result should poke clean, but be a decadent, gooey end result when you actually dig in.
  • When finished, transfer to a plate to let it cool.

For the granache:

  • In a small sauce pan, heat the 1/2 cup of milk, the 5 ounces of Finely chopped, semi-sweet chocolate, and 1 tsp of vanilla. Whisk over lower heat until the sauce is smooth.

For the plating:

  • Place the pancake on the plate and pour the chocolate sauce over the cake. If you want to get creative, you can drizzle the sauce on the plate as well.
  • Arrange the raspberries on the plate next to the pancake.
  • Sprinkle powdered sugar over the whole dish and serve.

Nom your besotted, fussy-patns on!

~Love, Crunchy

Santa’s Table: A Very Merry Nogmas

We’ve all been there. The kid is looking at us with wide, glowing eyes and asking us if Santa exists and he will grant them their precious wishes. I’m still trying to encourage my cynical child to believe he does exist, so I have to bring my A-game. Well, if I had to stuff myself down a chimney (which I don’t have) and leave over priced toys for a kid I don’t even know … would I want to be sober for it? Certainly not.

Enter The Nog. I’m not talking about the nasty stuff they sell in cartons at the grocery store that should not even be allowed to be labeled Egg Nog. There really out to be a law, that stuff is such a travesty. I am talking about the real deal. I prefer to make the Puerto Rican varietal that uses Spiced Rum called Coquito. And since I was going with the very merry nogmas theme for the jolly old fatty, I went with Egg Nog Snickerdoodles as well.

Santa’s Merry Nogmas Table

Let’s start with The Nog

A word of warning about The Nog. This is NOT a cheap dish to make. I never spend less than 100 bucks, but it is so. worth. it. Instead of polluting the ingredient list with a bunch of *Don’t be cheap alerts, I am just going to apply it to the whole list. Go organic on the dairy products, get free range eggs, get the top shelf booze, and get the highest quality French vanilla ice cream. They all affect the flavor. Egg Nog is a magical experience and you’ll only have it once a year.

Ingredients

  • 24 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Quart Heavy Cream
  • 2 Quarts Whole Milk
  • 1 Liter of Brandy (British), Bourbon (American), or Spiced Rum (Puerto Rican.)
  • 1 Quart French Vanilla Ice Cream, softened.
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Ground Nutmeg (for garnish.)

Preparation

  • In one 5 quart mixing bowl and 1 1.5 quart mixing bowl seperate the eggs. I have tried many methods and the fastest way to do it is to crack each egg and use the shells to dash back and forth until the whites separate from the yolk. The yolk goes into the 5 quart bowl and the whites go into the 1.5 quart bowl.
    If you want to see how this method works, you can check out this video: https://youtu.be/t-OwbEy-Vxk
  • Once you have finished separating the yolks and the whites, add the sugar to the yolks. You will need to beat the yolks briskly with a wire whisk for 3 minutes. They should be thick and lemon-colored.
  • Next, you will fold in the dairy. Add the milk and cream.
  • Now, this ingredient is really important. It’s what will have you muttering to yourself like Cap’n Jack Sparrow … “but, why is the rum gone?” Pour in the rum!!
  • And after that it’s time to fold in the french vanilla ice cream.
  • By now your arms should be pretty tired and you’ll be wondering why you read my blog or why you bothered engaging on this particular project. But don’t worry, you’re almost done.
  • It’s time to add a pinch of salt to the egg whites, bust out the hand mixer and whip them until they form soft peaks. This should take about 5 minutes. I have tried to do this by hand so many times. Don’t bother. I have only gotten the soft peaks with a hand mixer. I find it best just to accept one’s inadequacies and let the robot take over the world. If you don’t know what soft peaks are, here’s a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch/wMTxkDzBqSU
  • Now that you have your soft peaks, it is time to fold them in to the 5 quart bowl with the rest of the mixture. Folding is yet another technique that may be new to you. So check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skWSIFfIMqc
  • After you have finished all that, cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  • The customary garnish is ground nutmeg. Just give each cup a sprinkle, and, well, Bob’s your uncle.

And now, the Egg Nog Snickerdoodles

I created a hybrid recipe that was essentially a cheat, but, after laboring over the Nog itself and my requisite peanut butter cookies (I mean, how would you even know it was the holidays if you didn’t have peanut butter cookies?) I ended up going with a route that made heavy use of convenience ingredients. The result was still quite yummy, so the peanut gallery told me.

Ingredients

  • 1 Pouch (17.5 oz) sugar cookie mix
  • Butter and eggs called for on cookie mix pouch
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp rum extract (but why is the rum gone …?)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup store bought egg nog

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Microwave the butter in a small bowl for about 30-45 seconds to soften.
  • In a large bowl, combine the sugar cookie mix, the egg nog, 1/2 of the nutmeg, the rum extract, and the softened butter. Stir until a soft dough forms.
  • Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a separate small bowl to make your mixture to roll the cookies in.
  • Once the dough is done, roll the cookies into 1 1/4 inch balls and roll each cookie in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • place on a greased cookie sheet. You will have to do them in batches, but keep the cookies about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake each batch for 7-9 minutes, until the edges are set.
  • Immediately transfer the cookies on to a counter or a cooling rack and let the cookies cool for 20 minutes. This is an important part of the baking process.
  • Wash, rinse, repeat!

So there you have it, Santa Clause’s Very Merry Nogmas table of goodies and salvation from sobriety on his longest and hardest day of the year.

Nom-Your-Jolly-Old-Saint-Nick-Self-On

~Crunchy