Christmas Chocolate Pancakes
These pancakes are perfect for Christmas morning brunch. Most of the preparation can be done the night before keeping your Christmas morning a little more relaxed.
These pancakes are super soft and fluffy with melted chocolate oozing out of the centre.
The raisin syrup is tart and contrasts the sweetness of the pancakes and rum butter perfectly.
Through my testing, I found that using a yeasted pre-ferment produces the softest pancake. You can substitute the pre-ferment for a sourdough starter, it works, but the resulting texture won't be quite as soft.
Don’t forget that you can watch the full walk-through of the recipe on the video at the bottom of this page.
This recipe makes a stiff batter which produces a relatively thick pancake. This is perfect for encasing the chocolate and producing a light, soft and fluffy pancake that protects the chocolate and creates an oozy centre.
This is the recipe formula for the pancakes. Download my recipe calculator to make quick and easy adjustments, or scale the recipe to suit you.
If you want to avoid using cow’s milk in the recipe you could stick with water, or use plant-based milk. I have used almond milk with really good success in other recipes.
I’m using instant dried yeast in this recipe. If you want to use fresh yeast you can double the quantity.
If you are using another type of dried yeast then use the same amount specified in the recipe.
It helps to think of yeast as speed control. The less you use the longer the process will take, the more you use the quicker things will go.
This can be helpful if you are working in a hot climate as reducing the yeast will slow things down.
Just remember that using a lot of yeast in a recipe produces a heavy commercial yeast flavour in the final product.
Whereas using less yeast with a longer fermentation process results in a beautifully textured and mature-tasting bread.
Honey can be substituted for any sweetener but it’s worth remembering that it will affect the flavour profile. Feel free to explore.
Golden Caster Sugar
I use golden caster sugar in the raisin syrup as it gives a nice light caramel/toffee taste, but you can easily swap it for honey, white caster or granulated sugar.
You can use any sugar you like for the rum butter but I’d suggest sticking with fine sugar. Icing sugar works really well as it blends perfectly with the butter and the result is silky smooth.
Don’t forget that your timings will be affected by the temperature of your kitchen. My timeline is based on a kitchen temperature between 20C/68F and 22C/72F and should be used as a guideline.
The warmer your kitchen is the quicker the process will go, the cooler, the slower things will go.
20:00 Mix pre-ferment (5m)
20:05 Prepare the vanilla & raisin syrup (15m)
20:20 Prepare the rum butter (10m)
08:00 Prepare the pancake mix (20m)
10:00 Cook the pancakes (20m)
Hands-on time: 1h10m (approximately depending on experience)
Total time: 14h 20m
Another option would be to make the pre-ferment on the morning of day 1 and make the pancake batter on the evening of day 1. After it has doubled in size you can stir it to reduce the volume, cover it and place it in the fridge to ferment once more overnight.
The next day, remove the batter from the fridge, you can either use it cold or leave it to come up to room temperature. Either way, the batter needs to be gently stirred before cooking.
If you use the batter cold you may need to cook the pancakes on a slightly lower heat and extend the cooking time, to make sure the centre is cooked through properly.
You'll need a reliable set of scales for this recipe. I also use micro scales to weigh small quantities of yeast for the pre-ferment and the main recipe.
I use a heavy-based cast iron pan to cook the pancakes but a non-stick pan will work just as well.
150g Golden raisins
75g Golden caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced & strained
1. Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan and gently bring to a boil. Gently simmer for ten minutes.
2. Place the mixture in a blender and blend until smooth.
3. Check the consistency. We are aiming for a pouring consistency so if the liquid is a little stiff, add a touch more water and blend again.
4. Strain the syrup through a fine sieve and use the back of a spoon to gently push the sauce through the sieve.
5. Discard the contents retained in the sieve and store the syrup in the fridge until needed.
100g Butter cubed (room temperature)
100g Icing sugar
A healthy splash of rum or brandy
1. Use a spatula or an electric whisk to combine the ingredients into a smooth paste. The butter will store for several weeks in the fridge.
35g Water (room temperature)
35g Soft flour (protein content 10%)
0.3g Instant dried yeast
1. Add the water to a medium-sized bowl. Next, sprinkle the yeast on top and then add the flour.
2. Using a spoon, combine the ingredients. Don’t worry about creating a smooth mixture but make sure there aren’t any dry clumps of flour.
3. Leave to ferment at room temperature overnight (12-18hrs).
183g Soft flour (protein content 10%)
183g Milk (3.5% fat)
1.8g Instant dried yeast
70g Pre-ferment (from above)
2g Vanilla extract
1 medium-sized egg (approximately 50g)
86g Dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
1. Take the bowl with the pre-ferment in and sprinkle the instant dried yeast over the top of the pre-ferment. Pop the bowl to one side.
2. Add 100g of the milk to a glass and leave it on one side.
3. Add the rest of the milk to a small saucepan, followed by the vanilla extract, salt, butter and honey.
4. Gently heat the mixture on the stovetop until the butter and honey have melted.
5. Add the 100g of cold milk from the glass to the milky mixture in the saucepan to cool it down.
6. Add the egg and whisk the ingredients well.
7. Add the mixture from the saucepan to the bowl with the pre-ferment and yeast. Mix the ingredients to combine well.
8. Add the soft flour and mix once more to create a batter. Don’t worry about getting the mixture completely smooth, this will happen naturally during the fermentation period.
9. Roughly chop the chocolate into chunks about the size of your fingernail. Fold into the batter.
10. Cover the batter and leave it to ferment at room temperature.
11. When the mixture has doubled in size it’s time to cook! Gently stir the mixture to reduce the volume and make sure the chocolate is evenly distributed throughout.
12. Preheat a cast iron or heavy-based non-stick pan over low to medium heat (4/9).
13. Add a little butter to the pan, and once melted spoon in approximately 2 heaped tablespoons of the batter. Gently ease the mixture out into a round pancake but don’t flatten the mixture too much.
14. Once the underside of the pancake is golden brown you can flip it over. The pancake will soufflé a little and once the second side is golden the pancake is properly cooked.
15. Repeat with the rest of the mix and serve with the raisin sauce topped with a little of the rum butter.
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