Cut the (Cream) Cheese

This week, we’re talking cream cheese pancakes.  But don’t worry, these are actually the opposite of decadent.

(The original recipe is at I Breathe I’m Hungry and my version is here!)

When I started reading this recipe, it looked like it was being touted pretty hard as a low-carb gluten-free pancake.  Now, I’m not particularly interested in low-carb or gluten-free (this is a pancake blog after all), but I thought the recipe sounded interesting and it couldn’t hurt to have a solid low-carb gluten-free recipe on hand, just in case.

Reality is, though, the carbs are the most important part of a pancake!! They’re what keep pancakes from being weird omelettes.  In any case, these tasted alright.  They were super cinnamon-y and reminiscent of a cinnamon cheesecake, so far so good, right?

My problem was really with the texture.  They were kind of spongey (from the cream cheese), very soggy, and ripped easily.  Honestly, they kind of tasted like crepes…of failure. failure crepes. And that’s not really what I want to eat in the morning.  Final verdict? I guess if for medical reasons, you have to eat low-carb and gluten-free, these would tide you over, but I’m sure there’s a better recipe out there.

2 out of 5 stackies: 

One ha-penny, Two ha-penny!

Traditionally, hot cross buns are eaten on Good Friday, so I’m just about a week late, but I like to think that a good pancake can’t be contained to just one day.

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The original recipe (and some excellent photos) are from Joy the Baker and you can see what I did over here.

First of all, these pancakes are pretty fun to make, there was much humming of the “hot cross buns” song…

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Also, the pancakes are easy to cook (minimal worrying about burning, overcooking, undercooking, etc.) and they fill the air with a nice spicy, citrus smell.

The pancakes also taste good! I’ve never had a hot cross bun but I’m definitely inspired to taste one.  The pancakes have a strong citrus taste (from the blend of lemon and orange zest) that balances out the mild sweetness.  I will admit that I totally forgot to add the vanilla extract…woops.  I think the pancakes definitely would have benefited from that extra flavor, but they were just fine without it, too.

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(happy looking pancakes)

You might think that the combo of cream cheese frosting and syrup is too much, but it’s really not, and this is coming from someone who really can’t handle overly sweet things.  The pancakes themselves are not that sweet and there isn’t that much frosting on top so adding that extra bit of syrup just takes the pancakes to the next level.

Oh! And I used dried currants (you might remember my earlier currant-tastrophe) which are like the more delicious (and tarter) cousins of raisins and, for the record: dried currants 1, regular currants 0.

4 out of 5 stackies: imageimageimageimage

Every Kiss Begins with Pancakes

Some non sequiturs (first) and then some sequiturs (is that a thing? well, I guess I just made it one)

  • If you came expecting pancakes for Chinese New Year, I’m sorry, but I will redirect you to my scallion pancakes post
  • I did not get the double meaning of the “every kiss begins with kay” commercial for a long time*
  • I’m planning on making these on Valentine’s Day but I wanted to do a trial run first (which was a good idea) – I have made some adjustments to the recipe (which you can get here) that should guarantee a successful V-Day pancake expedition, but my pictures are meh (sorry!)
  • I was originally inspired by this picture:

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(pic from Places In the Home)

And then I wanted to make it more Valentine’s Day-y so I decided to go with a red velvet and thus was born Pink Velvet Doily Heart Pancakes with Sweet Cream Cheese!

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(my doily is less than perfect)

My starting point was this recipe for red velvet crepes from Tidy Mom. I cut her crepe recipe in half and only made 1/4 of the cream cheese filling (I’m only cooking for 2 after all). I thought the cocoa flavor of the crepes came through really nicely but the sweetness level was a little off.   On their own, the crepes were not sweet enough, but with the cream cheese the combination was a little too sweet (I’ve adjusted sugar levels to my taste in my version).

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Also, my batter was simultaneously too runny for me to adequately control (which I think is why my doily looks a little janky) and not quite smooth enough.  I compensated by reducing the liquids in the recipe and I plan on blending the ingredients for a bit longer.  While I made a few doily crepes, I ended up making the bulk of the pancakes as just regular old hearts.

I’ll keep you posted on when I remake these, but for now, Happy Valentine’s Day!

3.75 out of 5 stackies: imageimageimageimage

*For anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, the commercial is saying (1) that when you give someone something from Kay Jewelers, you’ll get a kiss and (2) that “kiss” begins with the letter “k” –  MIND BLOWN

Blini, vedi, vici

I think bagels with cream cheese and lox are one of the best meals on earth.  If you think like me, but want to mix it up, then you should definitely try these buckwheat blini with gravlax and creme fraiche!

(Get my directions for the blini and gravlax here!)

Each bite of these little morsels was basically perfect, full of salty-dill-y gravlax, lightly tart and cremey creme fraiche, and soft buckwheat-y pancake.

Speaking of pancakes, I followed Ina’s (Garten, that is) recipe and the blini came out really nicely (I would expect nothing less from an Ina recipe, of course).

On their own, they had a light buckwheat flavor but were otherwise pretty bland.  I did think they came out a little on the thick side, but I think that could be easily fixed by thinning the batter out just a bit.

The more exciting part of this whole breakfast experience was the gravlax.  

Have you ever heard of gravlax?  It’s basically dill-cured salmon, “gravlax” is the Danish word for it, “gravad lax” is the same thing…but in Norway.  This article from the kitchn was really informative, the new Martha Stewart has a feature on smoked and cured fish, as well!

(getting ready to be cured…but what was it sick with? sorry my friend Eric was being particularly “funny” when I was telling him about gravlax)

My recipe was the result of several days of internet scouring and a melding of these two sets of directions: cookstr and the Nordic Recipe Archive.  The only directions I ignored were to baste the fish (I was too lazy to keep wrapping and unwrapping it + I wrapped it so tight that there wasn’t a whole lot of liquid leaking out) and I scrupulously ignored any directions to add liquor/liqeurs (alcohol cured fish just does not sound appetizing to me.

Make sure you cut the gravlax thinly – it should come off the skin fairly easily – it did for me and I have a terrible knife/cutting skills.

(begging me to be sliced)

I can hardly wait to make more gravlax, IT WAS SO GOOD.

4 out of 5 stackies (for the whole shebang (fish + pancakes)):