I’ve already mentioned that my food obsession extends from the kitchen to television and magazines. Thanks to the DVR I never miss an episode of Top Chef or The Next Iron Chef, and I love getting my Food Network, Clean Eating and Cooking Light magazines in the mail. I also often print off recipes from other blogs or the Food Network website, all of which I compile in my beloved homemade recipe binder.
I used to lack confidence in the kitchen, and I also didn’t worry much over the nutritional content as much as I do now. I took recipes to be literal and unadaptable, insisting on making them exactly as written. Obviously that’s all well and good for new cooks, but it can be terribly limiting and boring otherwise. Now I look at recipes more as guidelines, good sources of inspiration and just begging for interpretation.
The way I cook and eat these days, it’s often hard to find recipes that work for me. I suppose that’s why so much of what you read on here are my own concoctions and my ultimate goal is to publish my own cookbooks. Sometimes I miss the days I was a bit lower maintenance, and would clip and prepare a recipe simply because it sounded tasty. That’s why I get geekily excited when I find a recipe that *does* make my mouth water, and that I think has the potential to be transformed into something even better. Recipe doctoring has become one of my favorite past times, and though I’ve had a few flops more often than not it’s a positive thing to tweak and experiment.
My inspiration today was the latest Rachael Ray magazine**, which had a spread of celebrity chefs’ different riffs on pancakes. They whipped up everything from Ricotta Thyme to Oatmeal-Raisin varieties, but what most grabbed my attention was the base recipe that accompanied the piece: Classic Fluffy Pancakes.
When it comes to baking I rarely make anything “classic” these days. The recipe as written contains white flour, sugar and milk. I was intrigued by the basic formula and proportion of the ingredients, though, particularly because my overly healthified pancakes often come out decidedly not fluffy.
Here is the original recipe. I didn’t change the measurements at all, nor did I omit or add anything. Instead I made straight substitutes for the ingredients that yielded fluffy pancakes with the added bonus of being free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar and flour.
The key is definitely beating the egg whites, which might seem a little too annoying or time-consuming for a quick weekday breakfast. On this Sunday of a long holiday weekend, though, it was an extra step well worth the results. I highly recommend this recipe, whether you choose to incorporate my tweaks or make some of your own. So many different flours would work here, and I think some cinnamon stirred into the batter would be delicious.
adapted from Rachael Ray magazine, December 2011
1 1/2 cups almond flour
3 tbs. palm sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
2 eggs, separated
3 tbs. butter, melted
In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine egg yolks with coconut milk and melted butter. Pour the liquid into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Beat egg whites until they form peaks, then carefully fold them into the batter. The less you mangle the peaked whites the fluffier your pancakes will be!
Cook and serve as desired. We went for pure maple syrup and berries
**Rachael Ray has the tendency to get on my nerves, and I find it a little frustrating that her magazine has fewer recipes and more human interest pieces than it did when first published. Still, it usually has a lot of engaging content (like gifts for foodies, articles on celebrity chefs) not to mention the recipes. Right now on the magazine website you can get a whole year for only $5! If you don’t already subscribe that’s a REALLY good deal and great gift idea.