A weekend breakfast doesn’t get much more fabulous than this! I’ve always had a fascination with lovely thick American hotcakes – they seemed like such a novelty to a Kiwi lass like me who previously only had the thin crepey ones. The thing is, some of them can be horrendously gluggy and stodgy – less than ideal. I played around with this recipe for a loooong time and think I finally cracked it – they’re light, fluffy and delicious. Go as crazy with toppings as you like; I’m talking whipped cream, fruit, toasted nuts, banana and bacon, lemon and icing sugar –even ice cream – it’s all good, my friends.
Makes 10–15 hotcakes
Prep time: 10 minutes plus resting time
Cooking time: 20 minutes
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups milk
2¼ cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 free-range eggs
¼ cup caster sugar
2 tbsp melted butter plus extra for frying
1 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste
pure maple syrup to serve
butter or whipped cream to serve
Add the lemon juice to a non-metallic bowl, pour in the milk and whisk to combine. Leave to sit for 5 minutes without stirring, to curdle.
Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine evenly.
Beat the eggs and sugar in another bowl until thick and pale (you can either use a handheld electric beater or a whisk).
Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture, along with the soured milk and vanilla. Whisk gently in the centre of the bowl until all the flour comes in from the sides and the mixture is very smooth.
Heat a large (preferably non-stick) frying pan over a medium-low heat. Don’t let it get too hot – to test, flick few drop of water in the pan. The drops should dance; if they just sit there, wait until the pan is a bit hotter.
If you have a good non-stick or cast-iron pan, you don’t need to cook the hotcakes in butter – and you’ll get a more even surface at the end this way. Otherwise, add the butter to the pan, then you can add half a ladle of batter to make a small sacrificial hotcake (the first one rarely works for some reason). After that, try using no butter at all.
Cook for a minute or so until bubbles form and pop on the surface, then flip over with a metal fish slice and cook through. The hotcakes should be golden brown-ish on both sides.
Serve with lashings of maple syrup and the butter or cream – or whatever fruit you like (bacon and banana is a huge favourite of mine!).