As you can see, I really liked these pancakes. Hello, photogenic! Tyra Banks the secondth, in essence.
I like pancakes. They’re my arena. Some people can sprint like a gazelle with a horde of angry lions behind it, some people can swim like their middle name is Ariel, some people can science like Newton blessed them with an apple infused with the knowledge of Darwin and Einstein dropped on their head… the closest thing I have is pancakes. Give me a bowl, a whisk, and a frying pan and I will feel at home even though I may be in the middle of Antartica with a polar bear for company. But give me ingredients too, of course…fried air doesn’t quite cut it, somehow.
Anyhoo. Maple Nut Banana Muffin Pancakes. Say WOT? Combine breakfast with breakfast, and you get heaven. Bliss. Bananas. Is there rehab for hooligan breakfast obsessed teenage bloggers? Not that I’ll want to go, I’m perfectly happy with the way I am. Just curious.
I have resolved: It’s been a while, but I am finally ready to get BACK into BLOGGING. I have finagled Lia back into writing her columns after she took a break due to the school assignments being ploughed on top of her like white on rice–she’s spending her days now obsessively watching anime, that girl has no excuse. So expect her back on this space soon, whereas I am going to BAKE again, and post posts! I’m sorry my activity took a gradual decline down, down, down in a spiral of lacklustre posts and one-try recipes after the school year started to seep in. But now I am blessedly liberated from exams and I have a whole tab full of things to make and Word documents stuffed with ideas of recipes and flavor combinations, so I have no excuse either. It’s time to ensure that the rest of the year isn’t spent Pinterest-ing and Tumblr-ing and YouTube-ing my days away in a spineless, amorphous blob of lethargy and laziness on the couch. I will get things done! I will move my lazy tush! Of course all of this is easier said than done, but I’m kind of counting on the fact that if I throw out (quite rashly) this Holiday Resolution out here, I will be Obliged by the law and divinity of wordpress to stick to it. Poke me if I get to potato-y, won’t you?
Man, I can’t wait. Can you feel it in the air? That’s the sound of the pumpkin and gingerbread-y and spiced things and Christmas tsunami roaring in the distance. It’s coming. And it will rain down soon in a roaring crash of Ho-Ho-Ho and tinsel and pine leaves and cranberries and citrus and spice. And I can’t wait. Is it fall already where you are now? Here in Singapore we are stuck in perpetual Summer-Spring–either it’s blazing hot and so humid you can feel every sweating pore on your body, or it’s raining so hard it floods. And hails. And knocks down a wall. No joke. It’s nice that it does get considerably cooler when November comes close–some trees even turn AUTUMN SHADES, bless their bark–but it’s never going to snow here, or get chilly enough for long underwear. Oh well–at least hot chocolate is appropriate in rainy weather.
This October started badly–with a horrible, horrible case of CHICKEN POX that caused me to miss some exams, become a stressed and depressed and very spotty lump, and recover only to be faced with a beautiful week of exams after exams. That combined with other commitments has been a struggle to say the least, and I’ve wanted to give up many times. But thanks to friends–special shout out to a certain Watermelon Pal that has stuck with me throughout the school year and that has helped me so much through this time–and people who upload Coldplay and Bastille concerts onto YouTube in HD sound that make excellent no-click study soundtracks, I’ve made it. I finished my last exam today and man it has never felt better. I came home, made these pancakes, it’s 6.50pm now and I don’t have to worry about an exam tomorrow/the last 5 sides of notes to memorise. Tis a beautiful, glorious feeling indeed. Hopefully, it’ll be the start to a great end of the year. Man, 2014 sure has whizzed by, hasn’t it?
Okay, back to these pancakes. Have you ever wondered how bakeries do their muffins? I try at home but I never get that beautiful bell-shaped muffin top, swelled pompous and dewy rich above the fluted muffin cup, like a sort of weird and wonderful mushroom. I’ve tried baking soda, I’ve tried baking powder, I’ve tried baking powder and baking soda, I’ve tried butter VS oil, I’ve tried filing the cups 3/4 to all the way full…to not much avail. I’ll keep trying, though. Because I am stubborn, and also because it means more banana goodies bakery-style or not. Have you had a banana walnut muffin then? I think most people have, and it’s incredible–I’ve had some really good ones, with the mix of banana creamy sweetness and flaky chunks of robust walnut amidst soft, fluffy rich crumbs. It’s one of those classic flavor combinations that can’t go wrong, so when mixed into pancake batter it makes for an incredible explosion of happiness.
Man, was this great as a post-exam celebratory lunch. They came together in no time, fluffed up beautifully in voluminous rounds of golden, nutty brown pancake in the pan, and yielded a soft muffin-y crumb scented with subtle vanilla and the sweet spice of cinnamon, a lovely mahogany maple note, and creamy moist banana flavor, studded throughout with the glorious gritty-wholesome richness of toasted walnut in buttery chunks. I tell you, this is the Blue Ivy to the Jay-Z and Beyonce (banana walnut muffins and pancakes) of the breakfasting world. I tell you, I don’t believe I just used that analogy. I tell you, this is really great and you should make it ASAP.
Sometimes life throws you lemons and no matter how you try, you know you’re going to make a really shitty lemonade, but you still put in effort and that is what matters. It’s alright if your lemonade goes blue, or is too sweet, or is too sour, or looks like armadillo bile. As long as you tried, and tried your best, you can serve up that gross as lemonade with a huge grin on your face because you gave it your all and you never wanted to be a professional lemonade maker anyway. And at the end, you get these maple-nut banana muffin pancakes. This is the life lesson du jour for me…I hope you understood that analogy, or at least got your own interpretation of it.
Anyway, I’ll just give you the recipe now. And one more shot, in case you weren’t already convinced to try these.
maple nut banana muffin pancakes
(vegan, possibly gluten free)
You will need:
-2 tbs flaxseeds, ground OR 2 tbs flaxseed meal (I find freshly ground flaxseeds are best)+6 tbs water
-a handful of walnuts, or as much as you like
-6 tbs wholewheat/buckwheat/spelt/all purpose flour
-1 tbs coconut flour
-1/4 tsp baking powder
-1/8 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp cinnamon, or as much as you like
-1 large banana
-1 tbs maple syrup
-1/8 tsp vanilla bean paste/ 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
-140-150ml plant based milk
The night before, or at least 1/2 an hour before you make the pancakes, mix together the freshly ground flaxseeds or flaxseed meal and water in a small cup or bowl. Cover with clingwrap and let this sit for at least half an hour to create flax eggs.
After half an hour, or during, toast the walnuts in a dry pan over low heat, shaking it to allow them to toast evenly every now and then. Once you start to smell the fragrance of the walnuts, remove from the heat and let cool before putting into a ziplock bag and smashing with a rolling pin/mug into chunks of your desired size.
Mix together the wholewheat flour, coconut flour, baking powder and soda and cinnamon in a small bowl. In another bowl mash the banana and add the 2 flax eggs that you prepared earlier, maple syrup, vanilla and plant based milk (start with 140ml first). Whisk the wet ingredients till combined and add the dry ingredients plus the walnut chunks before whisking until just incorporated and without any pockets of flour–it’s okay if it’s lumpy! The batter should be thick at this stage, not runny–if you want thinner pancakes, adjust the amount of liquid to your preference.
Let the batter sit while heating a pan on low heat till a drop of water hisses and evaporates immediately upon contact. Grease with oil and coat the entire surface before dropping 1/4 to 1/2 cup portions of the batter onto the pan. Let the pancakes cook until the edges start to dull and solidify before flipping and cooking for about 2-3 minutes. Once the underside is golden brown, transfer to a plate. Serve warm, with toppings of choice, and enjoy!