I claim to love pancakes. I go on and on about them, and order the hugest stack on the rare occasions we go out for breakfast. Halfway through the stack, I have that pancake lump in my stomach and, in between the waitress checking on us, quietly whine that I hate pancakes and swear to never eat them again. Portion control and pancakes are apparently not my strong suit. So I've taken to making them on Sunday afternoons to have for the rest of the week's breakfast. Something about not being in a restaurant helps me keep the portions well with the limits of what one person should eat. And these chocolate cakes are a nice departure from the typical sourdough or buttermilk pancake. They're not overly sweet or chocolately, and are cleaner than chocolate chip pancakes, I haven't quite mastered the art of bake-in's in my pancakes, so usually wind up with chocolate pancake bits stuck to my skillet. I've never made the chocolate sauce because it would be too much chocolate for me, and I rarely use syrup on my pancakes anyway. But I include the recipe for those who want to make a richer treat. And no, they're not burnt (not entirely, really). Think of it more as a deep concentration of chocolate.
Total Calories: 2200; Yield: 12 4-inch pancakes; Whisks: 3. Chocolate Sauce: 1 cup heavy cream; 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped. Griddle Cakes: 1/2 cup dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder; 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour; 1 cup sugar; 1/2 tsp. baking soda; 1/8 tsp. salt; 2 whole large eggs; 1 large egg yolk; 3/4 well-shaken buttermilk; 1/4 cup vegetable oil; 1 tsp. vanilla.
Make Sauce. Bring cream to a boil in 1-quart saucepan, then pour over chocolate, gently whisking until smooth. Keep warm or at room temperature. Make Griddle Cakes. Sift first 5 ingredients into a large bowl, then whisk in remaining ingredients until well-combined. Heat griddle over moderately-high heat and lightly coat with butter. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle and cook until bubbles appear on surface, 1-2 minutes. Flip cakes and cook until tops spring back when pressed gently, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Tips/Comments. After the pancakes cool completely I freeze them to take to work later during the week. Depending on the level of toastiness you like, 1-2 toaster oven cycles do the trick of defrosting (and I'm told they smell wonderfully chocolately). They're also a nice snack, especially when spread with a thin smear of peanut butter.