I was going through my blog the other day, performing basic upkeep and making sure everything was in working order, when I realized that I had only one, just ONE breakfast recipe posted! This seemed like a terrible oversight – especially considering how much I love breakfast. Sure, I have the Chorizo Torta recipe, but that’s really more of a brunch item. I was in need of a classic breakfast dish – and what is more classic for breakfast than pancakes? Of course being a hapa girl, I like to try to add a ‘hapa’ flare to dishes whenever possible – so these Chai Spiced Pancakes are a hapa twist on a classic.
When I decided that my next post would be a pancake recipe, I was trying to think of a way to ‘spice’ things up, so to speak. Growing up, Chai Tea poured over milk and ice was one of my favorite drinks, so when I saw a Vanilla Chai recipe on Food52.com, it gave me the idea to incorporate those Chai spices into a pancake recipe.
As I ladled the batter into the hot pan, the scent of cardamon, cloves, and other spices danced up from the pan and right away I knew this was a great idea. Sitting down to a towering stack of pancakes, I dug in – and wow, what a great flavor! They were so light and fluffy – the secret being the beaten egg whites. The bubbles in the egg whites create lovely air pockets in the pancakes, giving them that desired cloud-like texture. Coupling pillowy pancakes with warm Chai spices was a great way to start the weekend.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1¾ cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted – plus ¼ cup for frying and serving
- warmed maple syrup
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper. Stir to incorporate and make a well in the center.
- Pour the milk, 2 tablespoons of butter, and vanilla into the well, then gradually whisk the flour into the center until the ingredients are well combined, but still a little lumpy. Do not over mix or the pancakes will be heavy due to the over development of the glutton in the flour.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the egg whites. On high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten eggs whites into the batter. Be careful not to crush too much air out of the egg whites – the air in the egg whites is what will really make your pancakes light and fluffy.
- Over medium-high heat, preheat a nonstick or cast iron pan or griddle. Once the pan is hot enough to sizzle a drop of water, add a pat of butter to the pan, rocking the pan around to spread out the melting butter. Slowly ladle approximately ¼ cup of the batter into the pan. If necessary, use the bottom of the ladle to gently nudge the batter into a circle. Continue to ladle out the batter to make as many pancakes as possible without letting them touch and allowing you enough space to flip the pancakes.
- When the pancakes begin to bubble and the undersides are golden, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook the other side until golden, approximately 1 minute longer. Transfer the pancakes to a cool oven (200-250 degrees F) to keep warm. Cook the remaining pancakes in the same fashion, adding butter to the pan as needed.
- Serve the pancakes with butter and warmed maple syrup.