Chocolate or coffee? Which ingredient controls my mind the most? Coffee may win out just a hair with its zero-calorie-yet-complex-and-indulgent attribute, but chocolate comes in at a close second. I received an amazing cookbook for Christmas from Matt. The Mast Brothers Chocolate cookbook. It’s stunning. A voyage in pictures and recipes in the lives of Rick and Michael Mast – two brothers who make and sell chocolate in New York City. The pictures are dark and stunning and the stories are as wholesome and exciting as the product they sell. Everything from a sustainable source, every ingredient in their chocolate from a farmer they literally know and have probably had dinner with. Nothing they do is the easy way out and it’s an amazing way of life to aspire to, and a joy of a book to read through like a novel.
One of the recipes that caught both Matt’s and my eye was the dark chocolate and ricotta pancakes. I’m usually on the lookout for something special to fix us for breakfast on Saturday and that recipe just jumped off the page. The picture showed these nearly-burned pancakes (although not burned – just super dark chocolate) and browned butter frothing around the edges. Sold. All the recipes in this book (if you can procure some really great chocolate) are simple and straight-forward. Hardly any recipe takes up more than a paragraph and so it all seems so accessible. I used Lindt 70%, our favorite dark chocolate that you can actually find in a grocery store. The results were amazing – your classic chocolate chip pancake bumped up a notch. Enjoy and take your Saturday morning a bit slower!
Dark Chocolate Ricotta Pancakes*
makes 10-12 small pancakes
3 eggs, separated
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
2/3 cup AP flour
3 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks with ricotta cheese, milk, sugar, and salt. Add flour and chocolate and combine.
In a separate bowl using a handheld mixer, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the flour-ricotta mixture.
Melt one tablespoon of butter for each batch of pancakes in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Ladle batter onto pan in 4-inch circles. When the edges brown and batter bubbbles, flip pancakes. They are pretty messy, so just do your best.
Serve with maple syrup and a cup of black coffee and rejoice.
I opened up this recipe this week with the intention of pinning it to my Pinterest recipe board. Then I went to my recipe board and discovered that I’d pinned this exact recipe four times over the last 2 years. My subconscious must really want these pancakes. I decided, no more pining for a pin! I made these bad boys this morning for breakfast, right when the clouds rolled in and it started raining. We enjoyed the rest of our coffee on the front porch while watching the rain and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t the perfect way to spend the morning.
These pancakes are intense, rich, but not too sweet. I accidentally left out the melted butter from the batter (believe me that I would never do that intentionally) and they turned out just fine! Matt had pancake syrup on his and I had creme fraiche sweetened with a bit of honey on mine and I will proudly say that my way was the best. But his way photographed better 🙂 Whatever you decide to put on top of these pancakes, be it whipped cream, syrup, powdered sugar, yogurt, it’s going to be the right decision. The baby girl loved them, too and called them “panpays”, which was nearly the cutest thing I’d heard all week.
Enjoy your weekend! Hope you find time to make these desert-like pancakes at some point!
Chocolate Pecan Pancakes*
makes about 10 pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped pecans
4 tablespoons vegetable oilPreheat oven to 225 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla; pour over flour mixture, whisking to combine. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans; let batter stand until slightly thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until a water droplet sizzles; swirl to coat bottom of pan with oil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Spoon four small mounds (1 heaping tablespoon each) of batter into skillet. Cook until bubbles appear in center, 3 to 4 minutes. With a thin spatula, flip pancakes; continue cooking until set, 3 to 4 minutes more.
Transfer to a baking sheet; cover loosely with foil; place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and batter in three more batches (adjust heat as necessary to avoid overbrowning).
Stack ’em up and enjoy, topped with anything you’d like!