Dark chocolate and lavender pancakes

I’m not much of a sweets person. If you dangle a piece of cake in front of me, I’ll probably eat it but usually I save my stomach space for savory things.

Like on Thanksgiving, I don’t get the people who save room for pie. Why save room for pie when you could stuff yourself into oblivion with stuffing and cauliflower gratin? SMH.

That said, about once every other month I have a hankering for a pancake, and given how rare this is I feel obliged to fill it. And while I love a good diner short stack, cooking pancakes at home brings back some of my best memories of growing up.

It feels like senior year of high school when I took a “mental health day” every Monday, because I went to a hippie school where you could get away with that kind of BS.

So this year, in honor of my bi-monthly pancake hankering AND National Pancake Week (real thing?) I made the lavender-chocolate chunk pancakes with crème frâiche from Food52.

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It probably goes without saying that these pancakes are far from basic. If the crème frâiche isn’t a tip off, the lavender should be. But if they seem too snooty, let me just say that crème frâiche is essentially sour cream, and the lavender isn’t that noticeable. It feels less like you’re eating a flower and more like you’re entering a state of deep, beautiful, carb-induced zen.

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Also, it’s an excuse to go to a spice store. I went to Kalustyan’s to buy my lavender–this is one of the most massive spice stores in Manhattan and the only most compelling reason to live in Murray Hill.

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Kalustyan’s has everything you could ever want and more. Being there, I felt like a kid in a spice store. But do me a favor: please don’t go if you’re feeling weak-willed or else you WILL spend your rent money and have to make your roommates pancakes every morning so they don’t kick you out.

Also, since you only need about a teaspoon of dried lavender flowers for the pancakes and you’ll have to buy at least an ounce, you can use the leftovers for:

  1. Lavender tea
  2. Potpourri
  3. Lavender-infused gin if you, like me, won’t rest until you’ve recreated the Provençal at Employees Only

So yeah basically this is a recipe for pancakes and you should make them tomorrow morning.

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Food52’s Lavender-chocolate chunk pancakes with crème frâiche, slightly adapted:

1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar (I used 1 and increased the chocolate from ½ a cup to 1 cup)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ tablespoon sea salt (the flakier the better)
1 to 1 ½ teaspoons dried lavender flowers (to taste)
½ cup crème fraiche
1 cup milk (they recommend whole, I used skim)
1 to 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Optional: Grind lavender flowers using a mortar and pestle, rolling pin or large book.

Place flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and lavender in a medium-size bowl. Mix well. In a separate medium-size bowl, add the crème frâiche, milk, lemon zest, vanilla extract and eggs. Using a whisk, mix until well blended. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk only until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and gently mix again, preferably with a spatula.

Heat a non-stick skillet (cast iron if you have it) for one minute over medium heat, or until a drop of water hisses and quickly evaporates. Then add a tablespoon of butter, or spray with non-stick spray. Melt evenly throughout the pan.

Ladle the batter using a small ladle or a 1/4 measuring cup. Cook for about two minutes, and gently check the bottom of one of the pancakes. Continue cooking until the pancakes are light brown, and then turn over. Cook until the second side is also light brown, about a minute or so. When light brown, remove pancakes. Repeat until all batter is gone.

You could serve with maple syrup, but they really don’t need it.

Lavender-chocolate chunk pancakes with crème frâiche: http://food52.com/recipes/17041-lavender-chocolate-chunk-pancakes-with-creme-fraiche

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