holidays & recipes: breakfast of champions
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. 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!
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!