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Banana Pancakes w/ Butter Rum Banana Maple Syrup

Growing up, my favorite pancakes were banana.  We always sliced the bananas and just folded them into the batter.  When you took a bite of your pancakes, you'd get warm, fruity discs in every bite.  When I was older and starting making pancakes for my own kids, I did it the same way...but...I also tried mashing up the bananas and just using them as a part of the batter itself, as opposed to using them as a fold-in.  Doing this keeps the pancakes moist and just sort of permeates them with a light hint of banana.  The banana seems a bit understated.  I like them this way.  We all do, really.  But there's a special place in all our hearts for the kind with little pockets of soft, warm fruit hiding in every bite.  

These particular pancakes were adapted from some that I saw in the book Dos Caminos Mexican Street Food.  I liked the subtle addition of warming cinnamon and ginger...and of course, the buttermilk.  I like buttermilk in just about everything, it seems.  These pancakes aren't very sweet, so they take a blanket of Maple syrup very, very well.  But I started thinking.  I wanted to add bake those soft, warm, banana-y bursts when I took a bite.  So I came up with a quick syrup and seems to caress your tongue.  Seems to brighten your mood without even trying.  The pancake is good, but really, it's just the perfect vehicle for that seductive syrup.
Banana Pancakes w/ Butter Rum Banana Maple Syrup
from the kitchen of girlichef
yield: ~16 pancakes

2 c. all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp. ground ginger
2 very ripe bananas, pureed
2 eggs
2 c. buttermilk
2 Tbs. butter, melted

1½ Tbs. butter
big pinch salt
¼ tsp. ground ginger
2 bananas, sliced & kept separate
1 Tbs. rum
⅓  c. maple syrup
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the pureed bananas, eggs, and buttermilk.  Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just combined.  Stir in the melted butter.  If the batter seems too thick, you can thin it with a little extra buttermilk.

Place a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Once hot, add a dab of butter and let it melt.  Pour about a quarter of a cup of batter onto the skillet for each pancake.  Cook until the surface is bubbly and the edges begin to look dry.  It should be golden on the bottom.  Flip and cook until golden on the bottom.  Repeat.

Place a medium skillet over medium-low heat.  Add butter, salt, and ginger.  Swirl around until melted, then add first sliced banana.  Cook and toss until coated, about 30 seconds.  Add rum and cook another 30 seconds.   Add maple syrup and cook until bubbly.  Throw in final banana and immediately turn off the heat.  Toss to coat.

to serve:
Serve pancakes with soft butter and syrup.
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