I've jumped on the Japanese soufflé pancake bandwagon before but I previously made a mould for these using rings of foil lined with parchment, however I wanted to improve on them and see if I could do them freeform. I will admit, when it comes to pancakes, these are the most faffy compared your usual mix everything in a bowl or jug and then pour into a heated pan approach, which is why I wanted to master them free form so it reduced the work a little. Of the various types of pancakes you cake make, these are definitely the lightest.
One thing to note, although I've said frying pan with a lid, given you need a wide pan to cook a couple I don't have a lid for the pan I use so I just use a larger pan and turn it over to make lid. Basically try and make do with what you have!
Hands-on Time 10 minutes
Cooking Time 16 minutes
2 Eggs, large (only 1 yolk is needed)
1 1/2 tbsp Self-raising flour
Pinch Fine salt
1/2 tbsp Full-fat milk
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tbsp Caster sugar
1 tsp Oil (flavourless e.g. sunflower or vegetable)
Drop of water
2x Medium bowls
Large deep-sided frying pan with lid
Flat spatula or fish slice
Separate the eggs. Break the whites into one of the mixing bowls. You only need one yolk in the other bowl. The second yolk can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days if you don’t have another immediate use for it.
Add the flour, salt, milk, and vanilla to the egg yolk and gently whisk for a minute until you have a thick pale yellow mixture.
Clean the whisk.
Whisk the egg whites until you have soft peaks. Gradually add the tablespoon of sugar whilst whisking until you have a glossy meringue with stiff peaks. Don’t rush this.
Take 1/4 of the egg whites and add them to the egg yolk mixture and gently whisk.
Add the remaining egg whites and fold into the mixture using a spatula until there are no specks.
Decant the mixture into the piping bag.
Pop the frying pan over a very low heat and leave to warm up for 1 minute.
Add the teaspoon of oil and brush it around the bottom of the pan.
Pipe the mixture into 4 small mounds using two thirds of the mixture. Add a drop of water to the pan and cover. Leave for 4 minutes.
Remove the lid, pipe the rest of the mixture on top of the pancakes, cover and leave to cook for another 4 minutes.
Remove the lid. Now in one quick yet determined motion, slide the flat spatula under each pancake and flip them over. Cover again and leave to cook for 8 minutes.
When the time is up, the pancakes should be golden on both sides and puffed up.