Round #4 came a little sooner than expected because of the deluge of bananas and mangoes (Honey Thai, Thai rainbow, Philippine Chanook) that have flooded the kitchen. That set my brains whirring on the next pancake recipe, no doubt featuring these fruits. And I think I’ve got the basic batter nailed down! These were everything you could wish for in a pancake – fluffy, airy, even bordering on being squishy, and loaded with the tropical delights of caramelized bananas, mangoes and coconuts, which I would say, are The Tropical Trinity of Fruits. Mashed banana and mango puree were incorporated into the batter and to take it further, banana slices were added to the pancakes while cooking. Finally, the proud pancake stack was topped with more fresh mango cubes, a medley of nuts (macadamia butter, crushed cashews and almonds) and a crumbled coconut macaroon. These will definitely bring you to rise beyond paradise (hey, it rhymes!). Unbelievably, there is NO added sugar and NO added fat (apart from the oil used to coat the skillet).
Psss…want to know the secret? Well, truthfully I can’t nail it down to a single ingredient or trick because there were many changes to the recipe this time. But I’m all happy to share some tips that probably contributed to the birth of these scrumptious babies:
- Increased egg white ratio in batter
- Chia seeds
- Food processor? I mixed the dry and wet ingredients using the processor this time. However there seems to be two contradicting ideas: on one hand the high speed blending may help to incorporate air into the batter and thus makes it fluffier but on the other hand, it may also result in overmixing and burst the delicate air bubbles. The results support the former, though I shall test the two hypotheses justly next to see if mixing by hand would make a difference.
- Getting the batter consistency right. It should be consistency of single cream.
- Pouring the right amount of batter onto the skillet. For my mini 10 cm-skillet, slightly less than 1/4 cup works best.
- The importance of the afterworks: drizzling syrup or milk onto the pancakes will obviously help soften them. To improve permeability, I used a satay stick to poke holes through the pancake stack before drizzling coconut milk over.
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), there was nobody to share the pleasures of today’s almost perfected pancakes. Since it’s a school day Mum has to rush to school, and Hamm is off to Manila. Having pancakes alone is a little sorrowful, though I enjoy my quiet, undisturbed breakfast mornings.
Banana Mango Coconut Pancakes
Serves one. Yields 4 small pancakes.
- 1/4 cup (32g) 10-grain pancake mix [Bob's Red Mill]
- Dash of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp chia seeds + 3/4 tsp water
- 1 (real) egg white, beaten until frothy
- 2 tbsp soy milk (Silk, unsweetened)
- 1 tbsp light coconut milk (Native Forest)
- Few drops of vanilla extract
- 1/2 (48g) medium banana, sliced thinly and divided into two portions
- 2 tbsp mango cubes, and extra for topping
- Toppings: macadamia nut butter, crushed cashews, almonds, crumbled almond coconut macaroon (Laughing Giraffe), homemade cacao honey chocolate spread
- Make the chia egg and let stand 15 min or until it forms a gooey film.
- Measure the dry ingredients (flour and ground cinnamon) into a medium-sized bowl.
- Place the chia egg, beaten egg white, soy/coconut milk, vanilla extract, one portion of sliced bananas and mango cubes into a food processor and blend for just a few seconds. The consistency should resemble that of single cream.
- Coat a heated skillet with oil and wipe off excess with kitchen towel.
- Pour batter onto heated skillet in ~3 tbsp portions. Immediately add some banana slices (3-4). Cook about 1 – 1.5 min per side.
- Get creative with your toppings, serve and savour!
Incidentally, today’s Bible reading was along the lines of food, albeit metaphorically, and I though it really spoke to my thoughts. In John 4:26-38, Jesus had encountered the Samaritan woman at the well and as she goes back to the town to testify about the man who knew her inside and out, the disciples are concerned that Jesus needs to eat something ((31)”Rabbi, eat something”). Yet, Jesus’ response was “(32)I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” He then explains to his disciples of another kind of food he lives off of – God’s work and God’s will. Jesus begins to open their eyes to his (and our) mission, using an agricultural metaphor of the harvest and reaping and sowing. “(37)Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. (38)I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
Like the disciples we sometimes get so caught up on getting our own food that we fail to see the big picture and mission of our lives: to do God’s will and finish what God started; His work for you. Yet, it’s discovering this that’s the hard part. For each of us has a different purpose. Where can I sow seeds? Are there any seeds that are ready to be harvested?
I pray: What is your will for me, God, and what is the work I need to finish?
This is especially pertinent in my life right now, as I decide stand at the crossroads of working vs further study, and Masters vs PhD. Is my calling really in neuroscience, Lord?