I wanted to try my hand at a Mother’s Day breakfast in bed recipe to practice for surprising my own mother, but she ended up going to Mexico this year with my dad (their first trip south of the border, exciting!) for Mother’s Day so I ended up just making it for myself, since I figure I’ll be a mother eventually and I might as well reward myself while I have the time to sit down and enjoy it. I wanted to make something seasonal with a sweet & tart tang, so incorporating rhubarb seemed like an excellent choice. I also wanted an especially moist, flavorful, and fluffy pancake, so I melted down some crumbled goat cheese with mascarpone and a couple tablespoons of butter and incorporated that into the batter. I also beat just the egg with the whisk attachment for a while to get it nice and frothy, which translates to more air bubbles in the pancake and a fluffier, less dense pancake overall. And to add an extra-instense burst of sweetness to tone down the goat cheese, I scraped out the inside of a vanilla bean pod and added that to the mix. All of these things combined to result in the best pancakes, ever. And then I covered them with even more tasty things.
For the topping, I simmered down some rhubarb with fresh strawberries, sugar, a dash of water, and the husk of the vanilla bean pod that was left after I scraped it out. This made the most refreshing & tangy syrup with a wonderfully sweet but not overly so flavor that only vanilla can bring. It’s also a great way to use emptied vanilla bean pods; if you’re ever making a recipe that calls for them, try to save the husk and incorporate it into a jam or syrup later down the line for some decadently intense flavor. I also made a cinnamon vanilla whipped cream, which brought another bit of warmth to the dish through the cozy cinnamon flavors and the light and fluffy cream. The pancakes ended up wonderfully airy in texture with an incredibly rich and sumptuous flavor, the goat cheese was subdued by the sweet creamy mascarpone and the vanilla, but you could still get a very subtle hint of tang, which was complimented perfectly but the sweet zing of the strawberry rhubarb vanilla syrup. And the whipped cream rounded out all the flavors and just added a nice and fluffy element to the dish. YUM. I got all my ingredients at New Seasons Market, which is a store local to the Pacific Northwest area that sells a huge array of delicious seasonal fresh produce and all-natural ingredients. You can see if there’s a store near you using their find-a-store locator here. And the great folks over at New Seasons have offered up 2 $25 gift certificates to one of you! To enter, you can use the rafflecopter widget below, best of luck, friends!!
And just a short note, the Cape Cod workshop is all sold out, but we still have a few spaces left at our Sweden workshop this summer and would love to have you join! There’s also a new First We Eat podcast episode out, and this one is all about the rise & fall of white bread (think bizarre bread laws and strange adulterations) you can subscribe in iTunes here, and if you have any episode suggestions feel free to shoot them on over to us here.
1 vanilla bean pod, split in half lengthwise
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the strawberry rhubarb syrup, bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until thickened and the berries and rhubarb and very soft and have nearly disintegrated, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
For the goat cheese & marscarpone pancakes, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the goat cheese and marscarpone to the pan. Stir until the cheese has melted and a smooth mixture forms, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg at high speed until slightly frothy, about 1 minute. Scrape the inside of the vanilla bean pod over the bowl, allowing the dark paste to fall into the egg mixture. Add the vanilla extract and the cheese mixture and whisk at medium speed until combined. Add the milk and whisk for a minute more, then switch to the paddle attachment and add the dry ingredients at low speed, stirring until just combine
ed. Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes while you heat a greased griddle and preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
When water flicked onto the surface of the pan hisses and sizzles, it’s ready for the batter. Scoop about 1/2 cup of batter onto the surface of the griddle, spreading it out in a circle shape with the back of a spoon as soon as it hits the surface. Allow to cook until bubbles start appearing on the surface, then flip it over and cook until golden. Place the pancakes on a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm while you prepare the remaining pancakes.
For the cinnamon whipped cream, beat all ingredients together in a bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment until the cream is light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon the whipped cream over the stack of pancakes and top with the syrup. Makes about 7 medium-sized pancakes.