It’s no secret that I LOVE Japanese soufflé pancakes. I dream about them. I doodle them. I make them. I eat them. I look at pictures of them. I like to think that I’m one the founding members of the I heart Japanese Fluffy Pancakes Club. That’s a non-existent club, by the way.
But it shouldn’t be – should I start one? Anyway, I constantly look at fluffy pancakes. I follow the hashtag on Instagram. I’m always on the look out for new flavors, new cafes, and new ideas.
So, about a year ago, I saw what I thought was an ultimate soufflé pancake creation. Creme.brûlée.soufflé.pancakes. Soft and fluffy pancakes with a crispy crackly sugar crust!? I’m so in. Of course, the place that makes these glorious pancakes is in Hong Kong. I love Hong Kong. But we have no plane tickets to Hong Kong right now. So the next best thing is to make creme brûlée pancakes at home, right?
It’s a good thing I’ve been working on my pancake skills because I think if I tried this recipe first before getting the pancakes down would have been a case of trying run without knowing how to walk. But, if you’ve played around with soufflé pancakes and they come out tall and fluffy (or maybe even if they don’t but still taste good), I think you should give this a try.
I nailed it! I stacked up two fluffy pancakes, topped them off with creme anglais, sprinkled them with sugar, and torched it all to a burnished crackly crisp. Melt in your mouth pancakes covered with decadent creme and caramelized sugar. Seriously so good and no plane ride or massive line up. I’m starting to think I should open a soufflé pancake shop LOL.
How To Make Japanese Soufflé Creme Brûlée Pancakes
- 6 tablespoons milk
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
- 1 tablespoon (10 grams) flour
- 2 tablespoons room temperature butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3 tablespoons (30 grams) flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Start off by making the creme sauce. Whisk together the egg yolk, sugar, and flour until smooth. Whisk in the milk and strain into a small pot. Heat over medium low heat until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Set aside.
Whisk the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of sugar until pale and frothy. Mix the milk in batches. Sift the flour and baking powder over the yolk mixture and whisk well making sure everything is incorporated.
Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until frothy and pale, adding in the sugar in bit at a time until the whites are whipped into a glossy thick meringue that holds a peak. Be careful not to over whip.
Take 1/3 of the whipped egg whites and whisk it into the bowl with the yolks until completely incorporated. Add half of the remaining whites and whisk into the yolk batter, being careful not to deflate. Transfer the egg yolk mixture to the remaining egg whites, whisk and then use a spatula to fold together.
Heat up a large non stick frying (with a lid) pan. Very lightly brush with oil and use a paper towel to rub it around. You want a very light film.
Using an ice cream scoop or measuring spoon, scoop about 1/4 cup batter onto the pan, leaving space in between. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. If you have a crepe maker or griddle with a lid that will cover the entire thing without touching the pancakes, use that on the lowest setting.
Remove the lid and add some more batter on top of each pancake. Cover and continue to cook for 4-5 more minutes. Lift the lid and use a spatula to gently peek under the pancake. The pancake should release easily – don’t force it.
If you still have any batter left, pile it on top of the pancakes and then gently flip. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes. The pancakes will grow even taller and fluffier when they’re done. During this last cooking step, make sure your creme sauce is loose and pourable. If needed, heat it up gently while whisking, thinking with extra milk.
Once the pancakes are golden and cooked through, gently remove and pile onto a plate. Spoon the creme sauce on top and sprinkle generously with sugar. Use a cooking torch to brûlée and enjoy immediately.