{Recipes: Buckwheat pancakes and Fleur de sel de Guerande Caramels}

I awoke this morning with a hankering for pancakes..and not just any pancake…

But those fluffy, soft and nutty buttermilk buckwheat pancakes from our favourite local brunch spot, Red’s Diner.

So I did a little research on a few recipes and got to work in the kitchen..

The star ingredient: whole grain buckwheat flour.

An earthy flour dotted with dark flecks from the outer hull. It has a rich nutty flavor and a very high nutritional value, making it popular in many nations, especially in Asia. In addition, buckwheat flour is gluten-free, leading people with gluten intolerance to seek it out as a flour alternative. It is important to mix it with other flours, as the flavour can overpower the baking product.

I subbed in about a 1/4 of the flour for the buckwheat, and the rest of was like your typical pancake recipe: egg, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and buttermilk (subbed with almond milk and a splash of apple cider vinegar).

I spooned the batter into my de Buyer french crepe pan from William Sonoma (I LOVE this pan, it has the perfect heat distribution and makes a wicked omelette too)

Within minutes, my house is filled with that familiar and comforting scent of flapjacks and I am rewarded with this perfectly golden pancake 🙂

A beautiful warm and nutty aroma…

Topped with some melted Dark Chocolate Dreams (aka chocolate peanut butter) and a drizzle of maple syrup..

Along with a few medallions of sliced banana..

In the end, the recipe still needs a bit of tweaking to match my beloved Red’s pancake..but they were still good and you better believe I gobbled every last bite.

Buckwheat buttermilk pancakesmakes 4 large pancakes

  • 1 cup buttermilk (I subbed in almond milk and 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • maple syrup
  • banana and nut butter of choice (optional)

In a large bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. In another bowl, beat together the buttermilk and egg. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to combine them.

Preheat a large nonstick griddle or skillet over a medium flame. Ladle the batter onto the skillet with a 1/4-cup measure. Flip the pancake when it is golden brown on the bottom and bubbles are forming on top, about 1 1/2 minutes. Cook the other side until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes.

———————————-

Another recipe that has been on my to-do list for a while are creamy and chewy fleur de sel caramels.

I’m not sure why, but I’ve always thought making candies were complicated and messy. THIS recipe was simple and no more messy than making a batch of cookies.

Here is what you need: sugar, cream, golden syrup, vanilla bean paste and extract, fleur de sel de guerande (from my Paris trip) and butter

Oh, and a candy thermometer 🙂

Heat your cream, butter and fleur de sel in a saucepan till it boils then remove from the heat and set aside..

In a heavy saucepan, boil your sugar, golden syrup and water in a heavy saucepan, gently swirling the pan till the sugar dissolves and the mixture turns to a beautiful amber colour. Careful not to stir, you don’t want your caramel to crystallize.

Carefully stir in your cream mixture, stirring frequently for another 10-15 minutes till the temperature reaches firm ball stage (248F). Pour into a parchment lined 8×8 glass dish and allow the caramel to cool.

Two hours later, your patience will yield this shiny golden sheet flecked with yummy vanilla bean.

Chewy and soft.. you will never want to eat those bulk caramels again after you make this.

Slice it up into bite sized pieces and wrap them up in small squares of waxed paper and store in a dark cool place.

Not before enjoying a few squares yourself of course 🙂

Quality control, right?

Pack a couple handfuls of these caramels into an antique tin or glass jar with a ribbon for a delicious homemade gift for friends/family 🙂

Fleur de Sel Caramels (adapted from Gourmet)

Makes about 40 pieces

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel*
  • 1 tsp each – vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup (or light corn syrup)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Special equipment: parchment paper; candy thermometer

Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly oil parchment.

Bring cream, butter, vanilla, and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.

Boil sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3 to 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel.

Carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour into baking pan and cool 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close.

Note: Feel free to sprinkle more fleur de sel on top as the caramel cools or dip these cools squares into chocolate to make it extra decadant 🙂

Comments
2 Responses to “{Recipes: Buckwheat pancakes and Fleur de sel de Guerande Caramels}”
  1. I was just telling a friend the other day that one of my kitchen goals is to make salted caramels! These look gorgeous!

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