Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vegan pancakes with hot berry sauce

This was my second attempt at vegan pancakes – without an egg, baking powder becomes the rising agent for fluffiness. The first recipe I followed called for THREE teaspoons of baking powder and even less flour – sure, they were light and airy, but also tasted overwhelmingly gassy, like that aftertaste from kalamata olives or semi-sundried tomatoes that have been sitting in the fridge for too long. Most vegan recipes use vegetable oil to replace butter, but I added a generous glug of soy cream (17% fat) which did the job. Perhaps you could replace the cream with 2 tbsp oil if you want. You could also use normal white sugar but muscovado sugar is a bit more interesting, innit.

(Explanation for terrible photo: I reeeeally couldn't be bothered getting off the sinky couch and fetching the camera once I'd started eating. Photo is merely proof, not a serving suggestion...)

2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp brown sugar (‘light muscovado’)
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup soy milk
1/3 cup soy pouring cream
½ tub Tofutti soy cream cheese
1 tbsn icing sugar
tiny bit of vanilla essence
1 cup frozen mixed berries
Squirt of honey

1. Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl. The sugar will be a pain to sift through, but persevere! Make a well and gently mix in the soy milk (metal spoon works best!), and cream.
2. Blueberries are the best for pancakes, so if you’re using a frozen berry mix pick out all the nice round little ones and add 1/3 cup into the batter. This will leave 2/3 cup of mostly blackberries and raspberries for the sauce.
3. When I added the batter to a hot, oiled frying pan I was impressed to see they cooked exactly like standard pancakes – when the tops started bubbling open like the top of a crumpet, it was time to flip them over. Don’t burn them because then you’ll have to be a good host and eat them yourself while your guests have the nice golden brown ones.
4. In a bowl, add half the icing sugar, and vanilla essence to Tofutti (this was an afterthought, because the Tofutti was a tiny bit salty). This is meant to be a vegan version of that whipped butter stuff you get on McDonalds hot cakes – something to add some substance to the pancakes, you know?
5. Squirt some honey (a teaspoon, max) onto the remaining berries in a cup, and microwave for 20 seconds, or until steaming hot.
6. To assemble, smear a generous dollop of cream cheese mix onto pancakes and pour berry sauce over the top. Sift the remaining icing sugar over the top – it DOES make a difference, I’m not just being an OCD wannabe food stylist, promise.