Aren’t these the cutest pancakes ever?! Ever since I made the regular size Japanese soufflé pancakes, I’ve been wanting to make mini ones. Well, what actually happened was that I was talking about them so much, trying to figure out what other ways I could make them fun that Mike suggested mini. And here we are. I think I might even like the mini ones more than the regular.
For one thing, they’re bite-sized and adorable. For another, they’re actually easier to make because they’re mini. They’re easier to flip and they cook a bit faster. The cook time on them is important because they need to be fully cooked or they’re deflate.
Here are some tips on making Japanese soufflé pancakes, either mini or regular size!
- The number one tip is: make sure you have properly whipped meringue. That means, ensure that all of your egg white whipping utensils are free of fat or oil (give everything a good wash in hot soapy water), use cream of tartar to add some stability, and add the sugar in bit by bit. The egg whites are done when you lift the beater from the bowl and they hold a peak. If you tilt the bowl, the white should not slide and there should be no more water whites left.
- Separate your eggs while they’re cold, but beat them when they’re room temp – room temp eggs beat up fluffier.
- When you’re incorporating the egg whites into the yolks, use a whisk so you don’t deflate your whites too much). Add 1/3 of the whites to the yolks, and whisk while turning the bowl, using a tapping motion. Stir 5-6 times in a circular motion, then add the next 1/3 meringue and do the same motions, being sure to scoop up the batter with the whisk. Add the last 1/3 of the meringue with the same motions then switch to a spatula to fold and mix throughly.
- The batter is ready when it can hold it’s own shape. When you lift some of it up with the spatula and let it settle down, it’ll still be a blob with no slumping or sinking.
- Low heat is key. It takes a really long time to cook these pancakes because the low heat makes sure that the pancakes are cooked through evenly. You can add a couple of drops of water to the pan before covering to encourage steaming.
- Make sure the pancakes are cooked long enough before adding the second bit of batter. If they aren’t cooked enough, they won’t have enough structure to hold up the new batter and they will sink and deflate more than if you take the time to let the first bit cook long enough.
- In the same vein, make sure the pancakes are cooked enough before you flip them otherwise flipping them will cause them to deflate even more.
- Also, make sure the pancakes are fully cooked removing them from the heat. They will deflate a little bit – that’s the nature of soufflés, even regular French ones. Time everything right so when they come out of the pan, you’re ready to eat.
Mile High Mini Japanese Soufflé Pancakes Recipe
Makes 10 mini pancakes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 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
- 1.5 tablespoons sugar
adapted from Japanese Everyday Food
Notes: I’ve only made one batch at a time but I think you’d be able to double this as long as your meringue is whipped properly – from what I can tell, in Japan they don’t make the pancake batter every time you order, so I’m pretty sure it’ll hold.
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 over low heat. 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 2 tablespoons of the 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 (about 1 tablespoon) 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. Once the pancakes are golden and cooked through, gently remove and serve on a plate with powdered sugar, butter, whipped cream, and maple syrup. Enjoy immediately!