Olive Oil Pancakes
I was flipping through José Andrés’ Made in Spain when I came across a recipe for olive oil pancakes. I’ve been on a pancake tear lately and was intrigued by his emphasis on Spanish products to make all-American pancakes – olive oil, chocolate, and honey. I’d always preferred Spanish olive oil, but I had never thought about Spanish chocolate. That morning, I found a 2 kilo bar of dark artisanal chocolate from Aragon at the Co-Op. I don’t know how I could have missed it , it was enormous. I heaved it into my bag and headed home.
Wanting to follow the recipe to the letter, I looked everywhere for Spanish honey to no avail. Living in New York City, you assume you can find anything and at any place and if possible at any hour. A reward for the challenge of living here – you may still rent and the subways don’t work on the weekend but look at all the imported mustard you get to choose from. Despite this, finding high quality Spanish products can still be a challenge. I found domestic, Argentinian, French and Italian honey in every flavor you could imagine. The closest I got to Spain was Valencian Lemon Honey that was stamped everywhere as a product of France.
When another snow storm presented itself I couldn’t let the pancake morning pass and opted for the Orange Blossom honey I already had. I added a little orange zest to the batter but let the pancakes be about the chocolate which was dark and smooth with hints of cinnamon. I thought the batter might be too heavy but after the first flip they puffed up right away – definitely more cake than pan but healthier for the olive oil. Now if I could only find that honey.
1 3/4 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Finely grated zest of 1 orange (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if necessary
1/3 cup dark chocolate, preferably Spanish broken into small pieces
1/4 cup honey*
Whisk together all of the dry ingredients and zest. Stir in egg, buttermilk, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil until just blended. Fold in the chocolate pieces. Allow batter to rest 15 minutes.
Heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium low heat. Ladle 1/4 cup of pancake mixture into the pan and cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining batter.
Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven at 200 degrees.
*Andres recommends Spanish lemon honey. If this is unavailable, he suggests combining one-fourth cup honey with one-half teaspoon lemon zest in a small saucepan, steep the honey for several minutes over low heat and strain before using.