Breakfast is touted as the most important meal of the day, so why not make it spectacular? Forgo the usual cereal and milk and make something extraordinary. Jason Reaves, pastry chef at Market Salamander in Middleburg, Virginia, and a recent winner of Food Network Challenge, has created eight can't-miss haute pancakes that anyone can whip up at home. Find one you like and try it for your next breakfast. You, too, may be the top chef -- at home.
Start With a Marinade
Marinating meat before you cook it adds depth of flavor, right? Apply this same thought process to Reaves' rum raisin pancakes. To start, toss a cup of raisins with 1/4 cup of dark rum and allow to sit for several hours or chill overnight. Strain, and then add raisins to pancake batter. Sprinkle each pancake with cinnamon sugar before flipping. Finally, add a small amount of rum to maple syrup for topping the pancakes.
The Thrill of Blueberries
Blueberries always make a great addition to pancakes, but Reaves takes it up a notch by adding cream cheese. To make, combine fresh or frozen blueberries with a couple tablespoons of sugar, to taste, in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Thicken blueberries by adding a slurry of cornstarch and water and bring back to boil. Cream together cream cheese and a small amount of sugar and vanilla. Spread the cream cheese between each pancake and top with cooked blueberries.
Cinnamon, Spice and Everything Nice
Dress up your next batch of pancakes with cinnamon and apples. First, Reaves suggests that you saute sliced apples in a pan with a small amount of brown sugar and butter. Next, sprinkle each pancake with cinnamon before flipping. Finally, top the pancakes with the cooked apples and dust with powdered sugar. What a great way to get fruit and fiber into your diet!
Don't Forget the Nuts
Every dish seems to taste just a little bit better when you add some nuts. In this case, Reaves recommends pecans. To start, stir up your favorite pancake batter, either from scratch or ready-to-go mix. Next, sprinkle each pancake with chopped pecans and butterscotch chips before flipping. Cook on other side, and serve when ready.
Swirl in the Chocolate
You can't have haute pancakes without chocolate, and Reaves certainly delivers. Mix up the pancake batter and then divide into two parts. Add cocoa powder to one half, just enough to turn the batter light brown. Next, pour both batters together onto the pan to form a pancake and quickly swirl together using a toothpick. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips onto the pancake before flipping. Finally, drizzle the finished pancakes with chocolate sauce.
We All Scream for Strawberries and Cream
For a unique breakfast, Reaves recommends throwing a little English into your pancakes with strawberries and cream. To begin, toss fresh sliced strawberries with a few tablespoons of sugar, to taste, and a small amount of high-quality vanilla bean paste or extract. Chill for 20 minutes. Next, whip heavy cream with sugar and vanilla extract. Increase the milk in the pancake batter to make a thinner, crepe-like pancake. Layer the pancakes and strawberries and top with whipped cream.
Make a breakfast your family will never forget by adding caramel and bananas to your pancakes. Start by melting a small amount of butter in a saute pan, add brown sugar and allow to caramelize lightly. Toss in sliced bananas, then remove from pan and keep warm. Next, cook the pancakes in the same pan so they will soak up the caramel and banana flavor. Reaves likes to top the finished pancakes with the cooked bananas and a small amount of crushed, toasted walnuts.
Turn Your Favorite Cookie Into a Pancake
For those who love snickerdoodles, there's no better cookie. Reaves likes to bring this same flavor to pancakes. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the pan where the pancake batter will be poured. Immediately pour the batter over the sugar. Next, sprinkle cinnamon sugar on each pancake before flipping. Serve when ready and enjoy!