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Oatmeal pancakes immediately conjures up the idea of something thick and heavy that does not sound like it might be remotely appealing on a breakfast table. This could not be further from the truth when you end up grinding your own oat flour for these super light, almost fluffy pancakes from Smitten Kitchen. It is also true that most people are too lazy to come up with a decent breakfast spread, though it is repeatedly claimed to be the single most important meal of the day. I tend to agree that early morning may not exactly be the best time to spend in the kitchen unless you happen to run a boulangerie or likewise. Pancake batter, however, has the advantage of being prepared in advance and stored in the fridge until ready for use, making it convenient for early and late risers to enjoy a delicious homemade breakfast.
3/4 cup (90 grams) oat flour
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon Kosher or coarse salt
1/2 cup cooked quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup lukewarm water + 1 pinch salt
3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (295 ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon (20 grams) molasses
2 large eggs, room temperature
- To make oat flour, pulse rolled oats into a food processor or spice grinder until finely ground.
- Whisk dry ingredients (oat flour, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) together in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk butter, milk, cooked oatmeal, honey and eggs together until combined.
- Gently fold wet ingredients into dry ones. Using a light hand is important for tender pancakes.
- Although best if it’s used immediately, the batter can even be kept overnight in the refrigerator.
- The batter should be slightly thick with a holey surface. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron pan or griddle.
- Heat over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan. Lower to medium-low.
- Working quickly, dollop 1/4-cup mounds of batter onto pan, shaping 2 or 3 pancakes at a time.
- Once bubbles have begun to form, flip pancake over and cook till bottom is dark golden-brown.
- Serve hot, straight from the skillet or keep them warm in a low oven. Makes about 18 pancakes.
Happy Women’s Day, my dear bloggers!
Today we celebrate the achievements of women all over the world and from all walks of life – from the dedicated homemaker to the independent career woman – who deserve to be honored for their significant contribution in shaping our present and future. As a spouse, daughter, sister, mother, co-worker or friend, a woman has an influential role in society, which is still unfortunately not acknowledged by many. While issues of gender bias and abuse persist at large, we still hesitate to take steps to raise awareness and empower women to recognize and stand up for their rights.
This year’s campaign theme, Be Bold for Change, aims at bringing the contribution of male and female to equal value and closing the gender gap but is it an impossible dream? We are always under constant pressure to comply with the norms society imposes on us that we fail to express our true selves. I deem myself lucky to have escaped this coercion, having always been free to speak my mind and do what I feel right. Today, I choose to be bold and take some time out for myself. To recover from my horrible period cramps and post viral symptoms and to bake a simple chocolate cake from Nigella Lawson, one of my baking inspirations and a remarkably gifted woman.
CHOCOLATE OLIVE OIL CAKE
50g cocoa powder, sifted
125 ml boiling water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150g ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch kitchen salt
150 ml regular olive oil
200g white caster sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/325ºF. Grease a 23 cm/9-inch spring form cake tin with a little oil.
- Line the base of the tin with baking parchment. Measure and sift the cocoa powder in a bowl.
- Whisk the boiling water into the cocoa till you have a smooth and chocolatey but runny paste.
- Whisk in vanilla extract, set aside to cool. Combine ground almonds with baking soda and salt.
- Put sugar, olive oil and eggs in a mixer with paddle attachment, beat vigorously for 3 minutes.
- You should have a pale-primrose, aerated and thickened cream. Turn the speed down a little.
- Pour in cocoa mixture. When all is scraped in, slowly tip in the ground almonds and scrape it.
- Stir it a little with a spatula. Pour batter into the prepared tin. Bake cake for 40 to 45 minutes.
- Bake until the sides are set and the centre on top still looks slightly damp. Cool for 10 minutes.
- Serve the chocolate cake cut into thin slices with vanilla ice cream, like a pudding. Serves 8-10.
Nigella’s Olive Oil Chocolate Cake
Flan makes a delightfully elegant summer dessert without all the effort and expenses you would normally incur in the creation of something way more complicated but with no guarantee of turning out the way you want it. Flan spares you the pain of spending hours planning, baking and assembling; you can actually just whip it all together well in advance and whip it out at the very last moment and still expect a pat on the back for your culinary flair. Taken from Kitchme, this Spanish flan ditches the regular milk and eggs custard to derive its rich, velvety smooth texture from a mixture of condensed and evaporated milks. My tin of condensed milk had an almost dulce de leche consistency, which added to the pronounced caramel flavour I was hoping for in this simple yet ‘sophisticated’ dessert.
1 cup white granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 fluid ounce) evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Melt the sugar in the pan until liquefied and golden in color. Be very careful when handling syrup.
- Pour hot syrup into a 9 inch round glass baking dish, turning to evenly coat the bottom and sides.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Beat in condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla until smooth.
- Pour egg mixture into the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in oven for 60 minutes.
- Let cool completely. To serve, carefully invert onto serving plate with edges when completely cool.