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Orange Cardamom Pancakes

Nothing tastes better than hot, buttery pancakes on a lazy Sunday morning.  These aren't just any pancakes.  The flavors are all about freshly squeezed oranges with a hint of cardamom. When you make these, the entire kitchen smells of fresh oranges...
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: BREAKFAST
Servings: 3 people

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups All purpose flour unbleached
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsps white sugar
  • 1 cup butter milk
  • 1 egg large
  • 3 tbsps butter, unsalted melted
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon triple sec optional

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix. Make a well in the center and add the liquid ingredients. Mix the batter until there are no flour streaks but the batter is still lumpy.
  • Heat a hot griddle or frying pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, lightly grease the griddle with butter and add ½ cup of batter for regular sized pancakes. Wait till bubbles just begin to pop before flipping. The cooked side should be golden brown. Adjust the heat lower, if the cooked side is too dark. Set pancake aside when cooked throughly. Repeat. Serve hot.
  • The pancakes pair very well with fruit, warm maple syrup and marmalade.

Notes

Correct pan temperature:  The pan is at the right temperature when water beads and sizzles when sprinkled on the pan.
Buttermilk substitute:  If you do not have buttermilk, you can substitute with 1 cup of whole milk combined with 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to simulate the thick, tangy taste and texture of buttermilk.  That being said, buttermilk is actually preferable as it enhances the baking soda resulting in a fluffier, more voluminous pancake.  Finally, the acid in the buttermilk helps break down the gluten strands, resulting in a finer texture.
Mixing the dry ingredients:  The dry ingredients need to be mixed very well before combining with the wet ingredients to ensure uniform distribution.  This is particularly important as the recipe calls for the use of both baking powder and baking soda.  If the dry mixture is not uniform,  the pancakes will have large holes.  Uniform distribution can be achieved by sifting the dry ingredients together - resulting in an even finer pancake texture, or whisking the mixture carefully.
Baking soda and baking powder:  Its true, baking powder and baking soda is essentially the same thing - both work as chemical leaveners, meaning they release gas during the cooking process resulting in more height and a light, airy texture.  While baking powder, generally sold as "double acting" works twice, once when it comes in contact with the liquid and the second time when heated, baking soda acts immediately so it is important to get to the cooking part quickly before the baking soda looses its potency. Since baking soda neutralizes the acid, a combination of baking powder and baking soda is necessary to get just the right balance of airiness and tangy flavor.
Melted butter:  The butter needs to be melted so it easily emulsifies with the batter. The melted butter adds moisture and enhances the pancakes with a rich, buttery flavor.
Storage:  It is better to make the pre-cook the pancakes then store, than to re-use the mix because the baking soda looses its potency after about 20 minutes and the butter separates and hardens in the fridge.  To reheat the pancakes, put them in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  These pancakes reheat remarkably well - the microwaving adds additional height and the whole kitchen smells of freshly squeezed oranges!!