Dropping a bit of butter on top of your pancakes and washing breakfast down with coffee is commonplace.
With Try This at Home (Clarkson Potter, February 2012), Richard Blais stretches the envelope on everyday dishes.
One example is his marriage of coffee and butter in recipe below.
Pancakes with Warm Maple Syrup & Coffee Butter
Serves 6 (makes about 18 pancakes)
If I entered a competitive-eating contest, it’d be one for pancakes. I like mine crispy edged, yet soft and tender inside. After years of tinkering, I’ve found that the best way to get this texture is to start with a fresh pancake batter, but you don’t even have to make it yourself. (I love the buttermilk-based Robby’s pancake mix available at Robby's Pancake Mix or Amazon.) If you can, let the batter sit overnight in the refrigerator to hydrate and swell—that extra time makes for the fluffiest pancakes, I promise you. I love the play of the sweet maple syrup with the creamy, slightly bitter nature of the coffee butter in this recipe.
2 cups high-quality store-bought pancake mix (such as Robby’s pancake mix)
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1⁄2 cup brewed coffee
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Pure maple syrup, warmed, for serving
Sliced fresh strawberries or blueberries, sprinkled with sugar, for serving
1. In a medium bowl, whisk the pancake mix, flour, milk, eggs, and melted butter together until smooth. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and as long as overnight.
2. Put the coffee in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook until reduced by about half. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
3. Put 4 tablespoons of the softened butter in a small bowl and whisk in the cooled reduced coffee until completely incorporated. Set aside until ready to serve.
4. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter on a pancake griddle or heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the batter by ¼-cup amounts to make 4- to 5-inch pancakes and cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the bottoms are browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the pancakes and continue cooking until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate in a low oven to keep warm until ready to serve. Continue with the remaining batter, adding the remaining butter as needed.
5. To serve, put 3 warm pancakes on each plate. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon of the coffee butter and some warm syrup, garnish with the fruit, and serve immediately.
2.0 Whipped Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is sweet and delicious, but I give it more textural interest by using Versawhip, a soy protein. It’s one of the cooler so-called “molecular” ingredients that chefs play with; it’s probably no coincidence it’s also one of the most forgiving and easy to use. It aerates maple syrup until it’s the consistency of whipped cream, without using any cream. Versawhip is available from the manufacturer Will
Powder (WillPowder.net); the online gourmet retailer L’Epicerie (Lepicerie.com); and Amazon.
To make whipped maple syrup, put 1 cup of pure maple syrup and 2 teaspoons Versawhip in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on low speed until dissolved, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip until the syrup holds soft peaks. The whipped syrup can be held at room temperature for up to 1 hour.
Makes about 3 cups.
(* Recipe from Try This at Home by Richard Blais- Clarkson Potter, February 2012- reproduced with permission of publisher)