I started cooking early, this past Sunday morning before anyone was up, and didn’t stop until late Sunday evening. I had a lot to make up for. Some things I cooked the previous weekend were not successful. It all started with a lemon pound cake. I’m pretty sure I’d made it before and recall it being moist and tender but this time it was a little dry. The same thing happened with buttermilk biscuits ( twice). I could blame it on a new flour that I purchased. Well actually, my sister brought it up for me from North Carolina, when she visited recently. It’s a highly acclaimed flour in the south but it may not be taking well to this New York climate. In any event although the cake and biscuits were gobbled up by family and friends, I felt like I had wasted a perfectly good weekend making things that weren’t good enough to blog about.
So, Sunday morning I was up before the sun, chopping and mixing and trying to make as little noise as possible, for fear I’d wake someone up an they’d start asking for breakfast and all I had to offer was leeks and roasted tomatoes.
The Dutch Baby you see here was actually the last thing I made on Sunday. I had been wanting to cook one ever since I saw it in Melissa Clarks’s cookbook “In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite”. Melissa has a way with words and anything she describes and puts on paper is on my list of things to cook. What I knew about a Dutch baby is that its compared to a crepe, a pancake or clafouti. All things I’ve eaten so I figured it had to be good. I don’t know if I’d compare it to pancakes though, it’s nowhere near as cake-y as a pancake. It’s more crepe-like with a slight custard center, which is why I think it held up so well to its rich adornments.
Speaking of those adornments-bacon maple syrup, powdered sugar and whipped cream-those are things I would never consider putting on a pancake and yet they were so perfectly matched on the Dutch baby. Again I attribute that to the light texture and custard like center of the Dutch Baby. Make no mistake this is not dessert this is something to enjoy quietly on a Sunday morning with hot coffee or tea.
No one was more surprised than I that I fell for this so hard. When my kids were younger they begged me to take them to a certain chain pancake restaurant so that they could make themselves sick from pancakes doused with too much syrup and other sugary stuff. I never gave in, instead we stayed home and I’d make pancakes from scratch while they pouted and sulked. Thankfully as they got older they learned the virtue of simplicity. Until this past Sunday when they saw me present this hot from the oven, rising from the sides of the pan puffy Dutch Baby. Pancakes stacked on a plate never looked this good. I could hardly wait to dig in. I saw an idea for (of all things) bacon maple syrup to go along with this. I made the syrup (spiked with a little bourbon-see note below) and along with the powdered sugar dusted on top and the lightly sweetened freshly whipped cream, I was in Dutch Baby heaven.
This is not the sort of thing you want to eat more than twice in a month, but because the ingredients are easily available (eggs, flour, milk) by the time the last crumb was gone my hands were already reaching for the eggs to make another, before my common sense got the better of me. As I mentioned before I added bourbon to my syrup which brought it over the top delicious. However, bourbon is alcohol and alcohol ignites when introduced to heat, which is necessary to cook out the alcohol but leave behind its essence. I’m not encouraging anyone to play with fire. If you are familiar with the technique of flaming food have at it, if not the bacon maple syrup is fine without the bourbon.
recipe: dutch baby with bacon maple syrup ( adapted from a recipe by Chef Cole Dickinson)
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 bacon slices, diced small
1/2 cup maple syrup
Put an 11 inch oven proof skillet in cold oven. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
In a bowl whisk the 1 cup of whipped cream, when it has thickened slightly add the 1/4 cup confectioners sugar and continue whisking until the cream is thick and smooth not curdled. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Put the eggs, flour, milk and vanilla in a blender. Blend on high until frothy, about 30 seconds,stopping to scrape down sides of blender.
When oven is preheated put butter in hot skillet. Return to oven until butter has melted about 2-3 minutes. Carefully pour batter into hot skillet. Bake until Dutch baby is lightly browned and sides have risen, about 17-19 minutes.
While the Dutch baby cooks make the bacon maple syrup. Heat a 9 ich skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook,stirring occasionally, until crisp and browned, 6-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Discard fat in pan; add maple syrup. Simmer over medium-heat for 20 seconds. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
Remove Dutch baby from oven;let cool for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle all over with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into wedges. Serve immediately with whipped cream and bacon maple syrup. Serves 4-6