Valentines Day. It’s my least favorite holiday—probably because I’ve had so many that were disappointments (pre-husband, of course). But now that I’m a wife and mommy, it’s become more palatable because I can make it special for my little boy and husband. This year, I decided to start the day on a festive note with heart-shaped chocolate pancakes, topped with fresh strawberries and chocolate syrup. They’re decadent and delicious, and should not be limited to B-list holidays like this one (that’s just my opinion).
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp table salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Cooking spray, such as Pam
4 cups strawberries, thinly sliced
Chocolate syrup, such as Hershey’s
Powdered sugar for dusting, optional
1. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to thoroughly distribute the ingredients, then make a well in the center.
2. In another mixing bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg whites, and oil together.
3. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the well in the flour mixture. Whisk until the ingredients are just combined. The batter will be lumpy.
4. Heat a griddle over medium heat. To test if it’s pancake-ready, flick a few drops of water onto the heated surface. If the water dances around and sizzles, you’re ready to go.
5. Spray the griddle with cooking spray. If you are using pancake moulds, spray them, too. If you are using moulds, pour enough batter to fill each one. Otherwise, pour 1/4-cup measures of batter into rounds onto the griddle surface.
6. Cook the pancakes until the bottom-sides are slightly browned and bubbles appear in the uncooked batter on top, about 1 to 2 minutes.
7. Now it’s time to flip the pancakes. Note: if you are using moulds, remove them at this point. Allow the pancakes to cook for about 1 minute more, until slightly browned on the second side.
8. Either serve the pancakes immediately or keep them warm on a sheet pan in a an oven set to 170-degrees until you are ready to serve them. Repeat this process with any remaining batter.
9. To serve, place the pancakes on individual plates or altogether on a platter. Scatter the sliced strawberries over the pancakes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and drizzle the chocolate syrup over, to taste.
🥞 If you want to make these pancakes even more chocolaty, sprinkle chocolate morsels onto the each pancake as the first side cooks. Flip the pancakes and cook the second side as directed.
🥞🥞 To make more sophisticated pancakes, you could add finely grated orange zest to the batter. Omit the strawberries when serving.