holidays & recipes: breakfast of champions

Pancakes with Mascarpone Cheese Espresso Syrup topped with a Chestnut

Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey… one simply can’t get enough of sugary delights to brighten one’s day. But don’t get me wrong, I’ll be indulging my sweet tooth during the holidays without inhibiting my passion for sweets. What better way to celebrate the season than getting that sugar high, that extra boost of energy that’s much needed during this time of year.

Making French toast, pancakes, and homemade stollen, is one of my breakfast traditions. Stollen is a traditional German loaf-shaped cake with dried fruit, lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar. I make them the way they’re supposed to be made, without skimping on butter. It’s what I would call a special breakfast. Honestly, I only enjoy a calorie-laden breakfast (full of fat and butter, makes everything all the more delicious!) during Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, New Years, my Birthday, and Valentine’s Day.

There’s nothing French about how Americans prepare French toast. In fact, the first reference to French toast was in a 4th Century Roman cookbook. But then again, Roman toast does not conjure up thick slices of bread dipped in egg and milk batter, dusted with powdered sugar in my dream breakfast. Pancakes on the other hand, are an unrefuted all American breakfast. Flapjacks, as it’s also known, are made from a batter composed of flour, milk and eggs, with various secret ingredients and techniques to make it fluffy. It’s cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan and stacked as high as kingdom come. But history suggests that it was a type of cereal food dating back to the prehistoric societies. There are many variations on how pancakes are prepared and enjoyed in every part of the world. But what matters always is to enjoy each and every bite however way you want it.

Pancakes with Mascarpone Cheese Espresso Syrup topped with a Chestnut

My version of a pancake is to have the batter base as Morinaga, Showa, or we make our own. But considering being in Japan, the ingredients are just that, natural ingredients. I sometimes opt not to make my batter completely homemade. 

I also use two eggs instead of one, use part heavy cream and whole milk. The pancakes seem to fluff up like mountain tops.  Our family’s tradition is to top it with butter, mascarpone cheese, and 100% espresso sauce, and Canadian Maple Syrup. Not all together, but one kind of topping on each pancake that’s eaten separately. It like having the best of everything in one plate!  

I hope your holidays bring you wonderful memories and the excitement of many more Christmases to come. And may your breakfast of champions be a reminder of what all your tomorrows may bring! Happy Holidays, everyone!

Pancakes with Mascarpone Cheese Espresso Syrup topped with a Chestnut

I grew up having the a “Dutch” pancake recipe, more so, the Pennsylvania Dutch Recipe Book, that my mother has. I don’t have my mother’s old cookbook, but here is a recipe that is pretty darn close by Kris at Allrecipes.

Super Fluffy Pancakes

3/4 cup milk (we opt for heavy cream and whole milk, half of each)
2 tablespoons white vinegar (optional)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar (we had three)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg (we add two eggs)
2 tablespoons butter, melted

The Espresso Sauce (syrup) comes with the mascarpone cheese, however, you could do a reduction (espresso and sugar).

Enjoy!

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20 comments

  • December 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm //

    Oh so beautiful photography! And the pancakes sound utterly divine, I love your topping suggestions.

    • December 23, 2011 at 8:41 am //

      Thank you so much Rachael, Have a Happy Christmas & Merry New Year

  • December 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm //

    Wow — this is a very luxurious breakfast! I love the caramel drizzle around the outside of the plate. Yummy! :)

    • December 23, 2011 at 8:40 am //

      Thank you Christine! Have a Happy Christmas & Merry New Year

  • December 21, 2011 at 11:41 pm //

    Espresso sauce, how divine…loved the Article..
    Do you have a recipe for espresso sauce?
    Or ill conjure up My own…

    • December 22, 2011 at 7:39 am //

      Hi JMS, the espresso sauce (syrup) actually comes with the Mascarpone cheese, but I think the reduction with some espresso/sugar would be fabulous. I should have probably noted that in the post = )

  • December 22, 2011 at 12:24 am //

    The pancakes look so beautiful. Happy Holidays

    • December 23, 2011 at 8:40 am //

      Thank you Joy! Have a Happy Christmas & Merry New Year

  • December 22, 2011 at 1:50 am //

    The heck with breakfast. I would eat this for dinner, too! :)

    • December 22, 2011 at 8:15 am //

      Me too = ) !

  • December 22, 2011 at 6:30 am //

    Those pancake photos are stunning! I may just have to serve pancakes this holiday weekend.

    • December 23, 2011 at 8:39 am //

      Thank you = ) Have a Happy Christmas & Merry New Year

  • December 22, 2011 at 8:43 am //

    The espresso sauce alone is fantastic! These pancakes are just gorgeous!

    • December 23, 2011 at 8:39 am //

      Thank you so much! Have a Happy Christmas & Merry New Year

  • December 22, 2011 at 9:28 am //

    These look and sound amazing! I saw the photo earlier on FB and had to check them out! Espresso in pancakes is genious! I like my espresso in the AM but even better in delicious pancakes :)!

    • December 23, 2011 at 8:39 am //

      Thank you Amy, I’ve loaded some up on Flickr, I greatly appreciate your kind comment.

  • December 22, 2011 at 9:38 am //

    Konnichi wa Myfudo! I love your pancakes piled high and the espresso syrup is such a great addition to this dish. Looking forward to following your website. Take Care

    • December 22, 2011 at 10:53 am //

      Thank you =) my close neighbor! What part of Asia are you in? Is it cold there? It’s gotten cold here, I’m hoping for a White Christmas = )

  • December 25, 2011 at 4:43 am //

    mmmmmm those pancakes look amazing! I can imagine how soft and fluffy they are with the addition of the cream and extra eggs. Probably very filling as well. A definite must try. Merry Christmas btw!

    • December 26, 2011 at 7:32 am //

      Thank you Shan!!! Happy Christmas and Merry New Year