These days I am breathing pumpkin everywhere I go and it seems like it’s in everything I cook: Pumpkin Paratha, Pumpkin Rice, Pumpkin Chai Latte, Pumpkin Café Latte, Pumpkin Bars, Muffins, Ice Cream and the list goes on. I love this time of year because it's full of colors everywhere and the fresh aroma of fall harvest is in the air. I also enjoy trying seasonal goodies in the cafes and restaurants during this time. So today I am writing about my pumpkin pancake recipe and homemade syrup.
I don’t fancy pancakes too often but I do make them occasionally for my daughter who loves pancakes and waffles soaked in lots and lots of syrup. I guess the very sight of fully soaked pancakes is what sends me away from pancakes. But when I do make them I try to add stuffs in the batter so that I can make it healthier.
When you order pancakes in a pancake house, you probably have noticed that they are all very thick but fluffy. This fluffiness usually comes from lots of baking soda/powder and eggs that go in to the recipe. One serving includes two to three thick pancakes that usually get drowned in commercially-made thick syrup which fills you up to your neck even before you’re finished eating.
I usually prefer to use yeast to leaven any batter if time permits. This is similar to dosa, Indian-style savory pancakes that need natural fermentation by soaking the rice and black lentil batter for at least 12-24 hours. That way of leavening a batter is a healthier way to get more nutrients out of your food. But baking powder/baking soda comes in handy when you need to make something in a hurry.
As a nutritionist, my cooking always involves an on-the-spot mental calculation about how much fat, protein or carbohydrate I’m using in my cooking and what will be the menu for the rest of the day. As a result, I often omit eggs from my pancake recipe (but without sacrificing the taste) in order to make a balanced menu for the whole day. You might find this eggless recipe useful if you are someone that prefers to control your cholesterol level or are allergic to eggs.
This pumpkin pancake recipe with simple, homemade, but flavorful syrup is great especially in the fall with locally picked fresh pumpkins.
(Yields 8 hearty sized pancakes)
1¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp Chai Spice
1 cup milk
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
Coconut oil, or any other oil to cook pancakes
(Serves 2 to 3; you can expand the recipe to serve more)
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup water
1 tbsp butter
¼ tsp Chai Spice
1. In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and the spice blend. In a separate bowl, mix the milk and pumpkin puree until smooth.
2. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and blend until the batter is smooth and does not have any lumps.
3. Pour ¼ cup batter onto a greased pan and spread slightly to make around 4" to 5” diameter circle. Cook the pancakes using oil until they are cooked and nicely brown in color.
4. Serve warm with the Chai syrup.
1. In a small saucepan, mix the brown sugar and the water and cook on a medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
2. Add the butter and cook until it reaches a rolling boil. After 1 minute take it off from the heat.
3. Add the Chai Spice and stir well until the spice blends well with the syrup. Let the syrup cool (It will be thicker when it is cold).
It might sound like these brownies have a very complex flavor, as I have combined a lot of different ingredients in this recipe. But I definitely didn't plan this recipe just to make another big hit in my test kitchen.
We have a Hot Cocoa beverage mix available in our online store as well as in retailers in downtown Chicago. The product is a combination of 75% dark chocolate and our signature spice blend Chai Spice, which is a blend of highly aromatic spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, star anise, and more!).
Spices like those especially release their aroma when they are infused in something containing high fat. So when our Chai Spice is combined with dark chocolate (high in cocoa butter) they meld so well that the result is a hot drink that will leave you with a taste of creamy, chocolatey, highly-fragrant goodness.
So I always wanted to try a brownie recipe combining these two winning ingredients together.
A few weeks ago, I happened to see a recipe for brownies that had avocado in it. It sounded strange but I was quite sure that the result would be awesome since I often make Indian flat-breads with avocado for its high content of good fat . This fat keeps the bread soft and fresh for a long time as opposed to regular bread containing no avocado.
I decided to incorporate this good fat in my recipe so that it will be little less guilt when I indulge and also would result in a soft, melt-in-your-mouth brownie with rich dark chocolate taste plus my favorite Chai flavor. I am sure you will love the recipe as much as I did!
1 cup Flour
¼ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¼ tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
3 tbsp Butter, melted
½ cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1 medium-sized Avocado
¼ cup Water
¾ cup Sugar
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
1 ½ tsp Chai Spice, divided
½ cup Milk
½ cup Walnuts, roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Use butter to prepare a baking pan.
2. In a small heat-proof bowl, mix butter and chocolate chips. Cook in double boiler method until the chocolate chips are melted completely.
4. Peel and deseed the avocado and puree it with water until it is smooth.
5. Add the puree to the melted chocolate-butter mixture and mix well.
6. Add sugar, vanilla, and half of Chai Spice to this mixture and mix well.
7. In a medium bowl, sieve together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
8. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently mix. Add milk and mix until the batter is just wet. Take care not to over mix it.
9. Pour the batter on to the pregreased pan and smoothen the surface. Sprinkle the remaining Chai Spice over the batter.
10. Sprinkle the chopped nuts on the top and bake it for 25 – 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean when inserted at the center.
12. Let it cool completely before you cut it in your desired shapes.
Dr. Gayatri Borthakur, a nutritionist turned entrepreneur, has a PhD in nutrition and a passion for delicious but healthy foods.