Yeah, I know, I said the mashed sweet potatoes would be next, but other planned activities tonight, we needed something relatively quick. I’d planned to do the mashed sweet potatoes next to a roast leg of lamb, and that takes time, so I picked another recipe to go with bacon and eggs- coconut pancakes from the MDA forum. It’s another entry in the “shredded stuff fried up” genre I like so well, and they looked pretty straightforward as well as tasty. Let’s take a look.
1 cup finely shredded coconut
1 cup almond flour or meal
1/4 tsp salt [table or finely ground sea]
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pure vanilla extract [next time i’ll probably up it to 2 tsp for more flavour]
1 tsp cinnamon [think i’ll do the same with this]
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
I’m pretty iffy on cinnamon as a flavor- it’s not that I *dislike* it, but there are far more instances in which a recipe that includes cinnamon where I find it a distracting or overwhelming flavor than when I enjoy it. I’m reliably informed by Stingray’s entire family that I’m just plain strange this way, but there you go. I also decided to omit the vanilla because I almost always tend to prefer savory-enhancing flavors to sweet-enhancing ones- that, and I wanted to have this come out fairly basic first so I had something of a neutral flavor platform to build on if I decided these were worth a repeat.
I found the coconut oil in the “you crazy health nuts that will pay a premium” aisle of the grocery store, and the coconut in the baking aisle next to the candy, chopped nuts, and mini-marshmallows- be sure to get the unsweetened kind. On to the cooking!
1. The package says “flake”. The recipe says “finely shredded”, and we’re going for a pancake texture. Time to drag out the food processor again! Pour the entire bag of coconut into the processor on the premise that there will be more “finely shredded” coconut in a cup than there will be “flake”, and you can’t really think of a use for the thicker texture that would be hurt by having a finer shred instead. Cap down, turn on, set to “pulse”, and go for that earth-shattering “low” setting.
2. Your first clue that the bowl of the food processor is not properly affixed and aligned to the motor will be that the coconut is not shredding any finer despite furious activity on the part of the motor. Your second clue will be the faint smell of cooking coconut and the fainter smell of hot plastic. Your third clue will be your spouse coming in wondering, from the noise, what the hell is wrong with the food processor. Again. Stop jamming the button and fiddle the damn thing into place before trying again.
3. Much better. Extract a cup of the finer coconut and pour the rest into a plastic bag to throw back into the cabinet.
mix all the dry together in a large bowl. mix wet together. pour wet into dry and stir until combined.
4. Locate your medium-sized mixing bowl, which is clean when you want it for once, and dump in the coconut. Locate the almond flour and dump in that, too. Interrogation of the spouse will eventually, with no waterboarding necessary, reveal the location of the baking soda- in it goes, along with the salt. Grab a mixing implement and poke at it until it looks reasonably well combined.
5. Cheerfully forgetting the middle step of the recipe mere seconds after reading, measure out the lemon juice and put that in. It’s all going to the same place, right? Crack in two eggs. Lucky for you, your stinginess on running the central air means that the coconut oil will be liquid at room temperature rather than the solid it was at the grocery store! Yay! Two tablespoons of that! Whisk to combine.
6. Okay, that seems to be more or less a batter- at least everything is now clumped together. Including the substantial dough ball that has accumulated inside your whisk. Give it a shake, hoping to have it fall out in chunks. Huh, I guess the dough is sticky, because continued shaking is only turning into a more perfect sphere. Shake it a few more times as if that will help. Shout for advice.
7. Spouse tells you to just pry apart the whisk wires and let it fall out. They’re that flexible? Oh.
heat some extra coconut oil in a pan on medium heat. pour your batter into preferred pancake size and cook to desired brownness, flipping once.
8. Grab an acceptably medium-sized skillet (not the cast iron- Spouse will be wanting that for the bacon and eggs later) and pour in a small lake of coconut oil. Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature it will go to to hold a tray full of the finished pancakes during the rest of the cooking since at this altitude they’ll be colder than the tapwater within minutes otherwise. Set flame to medium and stare for awhile. Figure when the oil starts moving on its own it’s hot enough.
9. Using a spatula and a spoonlike implement, extract a chunk of dough and deposit into the pan. This is the time to discover that while it is sticky, the dough is also kinda dry- the pancake will need to be folded, spindled, and mutilated into a roughly flattish roughly disclike shape. Repeat, going a bit smaller this time to make for a more easily manipulated dough piece. Repeat going a little bit smaller still- and that’s about all the pan can hold.
10. Now is the time to stare and fidget for awhile wondering what constitutes a desired degree of doneness, what constitutes done in a pancake too dry to fork-check for internal wetness, how you determine the degree of browned on a side you cannot see, and exactly how ARE you going to flip them without major error. Fortunately for you, the fretting time is roughly enough time to turn the side down to a light golden brown, at least when you finally get one more or less intact up with the spatula and spoon to check the underside. We didn’t break it! Hooray!
11. The self-congratulations turn to ashes as you break off a quarter of the first pancake turning it. And then the second. Managing to flip the third just barely intact will tell you something about the upper limit of easily manipulatable coconut pancake size. Now’s a good time to ponder the meaning of life, the universe, and how much it matters how much these cook through and the question of how you can tell. Take them off the pan and transfer them to a sheet to put in the warmed oven at some point before they burn.
12. Apply the lessons learned from the first three pancakes and make them just slightly again smaller than the one that didn’t break when flipped. These will cook faster since the pan and oil have had time to get hotter, so it’s a good thing you can manipulate them without a third hand and some calculus notes. Brown on each size (amazing how fast that goes this time), then transfer to oven. Bugger off for a few minutes so your spouse can do the bacon and eggs.
13. Cut off what seems like an adequate hunk of butter from a stick and throw in the microwave to nuke until melted. Wash the fresh blueberries you picked up at the last minute. Apply butter and blueberries to the pancakes. Scurry off with some bacon and eggs and nom.
For these I’d give high marks to taste- they were just all-around more interesting than flour pancakes with a background nuttiness you’d expect from something made half from almond meal- and lower marks to texture. They were a little too dry, crumbly, and a little bit too chewy; while the chewy might be a built-in, I’d experiment more with the quantities of the wet team to deal with the dryness. Stingray and another poster in the original thread recommended a bit of milk to bolster the wet ingredients, and that’s probably the first place I’d go- perhaps even buttermilk. That same poster also mentioned a few whipped egg whites, and that would probably also help with overall cohesion.
Use more butter than the adequate-looking hunk. It’s not adequate. Enjoy.