In France, afternoon snack is called “le gouter.” At 4:00, French kids and their parents stream into boulangeries everywhere and buy croissants, pains au chocolat, or chaussons au pommes to regain some energy after school. As a kid, my favorite gouter wasn’t actually any of these delicious butter filled pastries. What really got me excited was a big chunk of warm baguette with some Nutella spread. Most boulangeries sold Nutella in little single serve packages with a little plastic spoon for just that purpose. I always agonized over whether to spoon the Nutella directly into my mouth or to have it on the bread. I usually compromised by licking the container clean.
Not only have I not outgrown my Nutella addiction, I’ve also passed it onto my kids. They’re big fans of the straight from the spoon method. A friend recently shared an amazing link with me to this awesome site maintained by some lucky blogging expats who suffer through life in Italy. These ladies, united in their love for Nutella, created a blog and a holiday to celebrate their devotion. It’s called World Nutella Day. There are literally hundreds of recipes devoted to Nutella. I think I’m going to be busy.
For father’s day, I gave Steve a filled pancake pan. He is the undisputed breakfast king in our house, always on the prowl for new breakfast gadgets. He was thrilled with his fluffy little pancakes. I asked him what was inside but he refused to answer. He just held one out to me and said, “Try one.”
I bit, and warm gooey nutella flooded my mouth. Heaven. Pure heaven.
I know it’s kind of obnoxious to share a recipe that requires a special pan like this, but the fun factor was so high, I just had to do it.
This weekend, we’re going to try to fill them with jam. I can’t wait to bite into a warm pancake filled with cherry jam.
Filled Pancakes (Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Jar of Nutella (or any type of jam)
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
1) In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, granulated sugar and salt.
2) In a small bowl, lightly whisk together the egg yolks and buttermilk. Whisk the yolk mixture into the flour mixture until well combined; the batter will be lumpy.
3) In another bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter in two additions.
4) Put 1/2 tsp. butter in each well of a filled-pancake pan. Place over medium heat and heat until the butter begins to bubble. Pour 1 Tbs. batter into each well and cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Put 2 loaded tablespoons of Nutella in the center of each pancake and top with 1 Tbs. batter. Using 2 wooden skewers, flip the pancakes over and cook until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter and fillings.
Dust the pancakes with confectioners’ sugar. Makes about 40.