[last Pancakes of the Week: Meyer lemon ricotta pancakes with lemon curd and warmed blueberries]What do you get when you put together orange, clove, chocolate chips, and coffee beans?
How about a morning wake-up call, in pancake form?
Say "good morning" to these orange-clove, chocolate chip pancakes, with a side of coffee-clove syrup. Yup. That's how we started our weekend here at the house, because *that's* how we roll.
Every time I've been at the market recently, I've been bombarded with gorgeous citrus fruits of all sorts, from countless varieties of tangerines to juicy, thin-skinned meyer lemons to absolutely blood-red blood oranges. Oh, the glory of citrus season! It's always so incredibly difficult to resist returning home without at least a bag or two of a few oranges, lemons, or grapefruits. Our fruit bowls have been constantly overfilling with citruses--I even get these great lemons on campus, where all of the citrus trees are bountifully fruitful right now. (I always try to stuff my bag with a few whenever I'm biking through the History Corner.)
Given this overabundance of oranges that have been rolling about our kitchen table for the past few weeks, I decided to whip up some orange-flavored pancakes for breakfast this weekend. Since it's been cold and wet almost non-stop for the past few weeks, the wintery clove seemed to be a natural companion for the oranges. Then, my thoughts turned to chocolate--little hints of melty, gooey, sweetness--to go with the tartness of the citrus and the spiciness of the cloves.
Finally, as I bent down over the mortar and pestle to get a whiff of the cloves, coffee suddenly popped to mind! Now, I don't really drink much coffee, but the earthy darkness of a strongly brewed coffee would be perfect with the cloves, orange, and chocolate, so I whipped up a bowl of coffee syrup, adding a handful of whole cloves in to further tie together the flavors.
The final result? A bold and fragrant blend of juicy orange and spicy clove, a kick of coffee, with just a dash of decadent chocolate mixed in for a sublime start to a wintery, cold weekend. A perfect breakfast in bed.
Happy Monday, all!
makes ~1/2 cup of coffee syrup
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup whole coffee beans
4 Tbspn instant coffee powder, or instant espresso powder
2 Tbspn whole cloves
1/2-2/3 cup sugar
1 tspn corn starch
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk, coffee beans, instant coffee/espresso powder, and whole cloves until the milk comes to a simmer. Cover and remove from heat, letting the mixture steep for ten minutes.
2. Return the saucepan to medium heat, adding the remainder of the coffee beans. Bring to a simmer, simmer for a minute or two.
3. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain out the coffee beans and cloves, leaving the milk.
4. Return the milk to the saucepan. Whisk in the sugar and corn starch. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for a minute longer until the mixture has thickened.
Orange-clove chocolate chip pancakes
makes 18-21 silver dollar pancakes
1 heaping Tbspn whole cloves
4 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tbspn freshly grated orange zest
4 oz. whole milk
1/2 stick butter, melted
2-4 drops orange gel food coloring, if desired
8 oz. flour
2 Tbspn sugar
2 tspn baking powder
1 tspn salt
mini chocolate chips
1. Using a mortar and pestle (or a spice grinder), crush the whole cloves finely. Set aside.
2. Combine orange juice, zest, whole milk, eggs, melted butter, and food coloring (if using) in a bowl and whisk thoroughly.
3. Add dry ingredients and the crushed cloves. Mix until smooth. (If the batter is too thick, thin it with a little splash of milk.)
4. Oil lightly a medium hot skillet and cook the pancakes, adding in a sprinkle of chocolate chips to the batter when you place it on the griddle.
Serve the pancakes with coffee-clove syrup on the side for dipping, or pour the coffee-clove syrup on top.