So I’ve got a couple of things I want to talk with you guys about today. Daft Punk and these chummy pancakes.
Let’s talk about Daft Punk first.
So I’ve known about Daft Punk for quite a while (upon a smidge of researching, I found that they’ve been around since the 1990s), but for the longest time made no attempts to listen to their music. And then one day I got an issue from Vogue where they were highlighted in a very generous article. I couldn’t help but be impressed by their techno, sharp, shiny appearance–they really are the definition of retro futuristic. And then there was all this hype about whether or not it really was Daft Punk in the flesh that accepted the Grammy for best album. Or were those two gents their assistants while they lounged at home, watching the whole affair on television? And to top it all off, they’re French, and I like French. So all those things combined–cool name, even cooler look, a swirl of intrigue, and their French nationality–prompted me to youtube their techno name.
I am hooked.
I do not know how many times I’ve listened to Instant Crush, but it’s more than what would be deemed healthy. I haven’t heard a whole lot of their songs, but Instant Crush is definitely my favorite. The instrumentals are grounding and wistful, the words echo reality, and the music video quite genuinely tugs on the heartstrings. The whole is wildly relatable, which may seem strange with its whole techno vibe and Casablancas’s vocoder voice. But it is deep. It’s an elegy of a melancholy hope and accepting closure.
And we will never be alone again,
Cause it doesn’t happen every day,
Kinda counted on you being a friend,
Can I give it up or give it away?
Now I thought about what I wanna say,
But I never really know where to go,
So I chained myself to a friend,
Cause I know it unlocks like a door…
Daft Punk, “Instant Crush”
And now let’s talk about these sweet and darling pancakes!
Valentine’s Day is coming up, so of course I had to make some heart shaped pancakes. There are three ways to go about this: a heart shaped mold, a piping bag, or winging it with a spoon. I have tried all three, and using a piping bag is my preferred method. The heart shaped mold creates pristine hearts, but it does take quite a while as you can only cook two at a time (unless you buy more) and the batter sticks quite easily. Winging it with a spoon is effective, but it’s rather tedious. The piping bag is definitely my favorite, and I think it’s charming how you can see the swirls from where the batter went down first.
The batter itself is also quite remarkable–it’s entirely vegan (which, unfortunately for some, seems to mean strange and not that tasty), but hardcore pancake lovers would never even know. They are fluffy, cakey, cinnamony, and sweet. The egg is replaced with nutritional-powerhouse chia seeds mixed with water. When mixed with water, the seeds create a sort of gelatin which works wonderfully to bind the pancakes together and offer some structure. Plus I think the little black flecks are charming.
The whole lot, folded with cinnamon sugar, fried up, and generously drizzled with syrup? Divine. They are certainly the perfect something to whip up for your loved one Valentine’s Day morn.
VEGAN CINNAMON SWIRL PANCAKES
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons water
- 220 grams / 1 1/2 cups unrefined all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 45 grams / 3 tablespoons unrefined cane sugar
- 1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 250 mL / 1 cup soy, almond, or rice milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- coconut oil, to grease the pan
In a small bowl, combine the chia seeds and water and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes.
While chia seeds are soaking, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In another small dish, combine the unrefined cane sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
Dump the milk, extract, and chia seed gel into the dry ingredients and mix until all the dry ingredients are moistened. You might need a splash or two of extra milk to thin the batter a bit. Dump in the cinnamon sugar and, with a spatula, fold it in gently, being sure to leave traces of cinnamon sugar unmixed. Transfer the batter into a piping bag.
Melt a knob of coconut oil in a preheated, non-stick skillet. Using the piping bag, pipe heart shapes into the pan and allow to cook on medium-high heat. After a minute or two, or when the edges are slightly dry, flip the pancakes and allow to cook another minute or two on the other side. Serve warm with pure maple syrup or agave nectar.
(I just can’t help it–they look so cool!)