I mentioned a few days ago that one of my scrumptious meals in New Orleans was, without doubt, the BEST buttermilk pancakes I have ever tasted in my entire life. They were so light! And fluffy! And moist! More so than any other pancakes I’ve tasted, even the many extremely well-executed pancakes I’ve eaten over the years. I really couldn’t get over it.
I briefly entertained the thought of going back into the kitchen, unannounced, and perhaps trying to pressure the chef to give up his secret; but I never do that kind of thing, and besides, all I had at my disposal was a butter knife. Then I thought maybe I could just charm the secret out of him, but it was first thing in the morning after a late night, and believe me, I did not look the least bit charming.
So I gave up and just went back to enjoying them and wondering what on earth made them so light and moist. Then last Sunday, I made these waffles for our brunch. We were both suitably impressed. And yes, I know it’s not really cranberry season right now, but I figure that if Mother Nature can send thirty degree temperatures and snow when it’s technically Spring, then I can used dried cranberries in March. 🙂
Anywho, these waffles’ texture reminded me of those pancakes, so fluffy and light and perfect. And these waffles have whipped egg whites in the batter. Which got me thinking that maybe that is the secret to those buttermilk pancakes – whipped egg whites! I have seen a lot of waffle recipes call for the whipped egg whites, but never a pancake recipe. Then again, I’ve never experienced pancakes so light and fluffy. So maybe that’s the secret. Any thoughts from my readers? Have you ever made pancakes with whipped egg whites? Or seen a recipe that calls for it? I am now thinking I may have to try it sometime!
Source: slightly adapted from The Best of Fine Cooking Breakfast & Brunch, Spring 2013
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
6 tbs vegetable oil
1 large egg, separated
1 tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat your waffle iron.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Measure the buttermilk, milk, and vegetable oil in a measuring cup; mix in the egg yolk and set aside.
In another bowl, beat the egg white almost to soft peaks. Sprinkle in the sugar and continue to beat until the peaks are firm and glossy. Beat in the vanilla.
Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Drop the whipped egg white onto the batter in dollops. Also drop the orange zest and cranberries on top of the batter. Use a spatula to fold all of it in until just incorporated.
Working in batches, pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup batter at a time onto your waffle maker and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions. My waffle maker yielded 4 waffles.