This puffy, chocolate, baked pancake with those crispy, crinkly edges and that deliciously soft center makes a simple yet special breakfast any day of the week!
How are you doing this week? Really. Talk to me.
For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving, are you up to your eyeballs in pie recipes? Or are you chilling out and letting someone else do the cooking?
I’ve shared this tip before, but let me reiterate one of my favorite holiday cooking tips: if you happen to be the one hustling in the kitchen to get some (or all) of the dishes prepared for the big day, do yourself a favor, channel the old-school ways of life, and print out the recipes you’ll be using. Like, print them out on real, live paper…and then tape them to your cupboards.
It might sound silly, but this little tip has saved my life on more than one occasion when I’ve been entertaining and/or cooking for a crowd.
It’s great to rely on our handy electronic devices on an average day – I cook from my iPad 93.7% of the time I’m in the kitchen. But when I’m on high-intensity mode for holidays, I think it is an utter pain to flip through screens and browser windows with sticky fingers to reference multiple recipes.
Taping printed, hard-copy recipes to my cupboards keeps me sane and moving and multi-tasking at all new high levels.
Even though the holidays come with already big meals and lots (and lots and lots) of meal prep and food making, I always like to increase the madness and throw in a special breakfast on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s the way I grew up, and I guess old habits/traditions are hard to break.
I have some set breakfast traditions for Christmas (although I’m fully prepared to buck tradition this year, and I’ll tell you why in a few weeks), but for Thanksgiving, I always change it up a little.
This year, it’s going to be this Chocolate Dutch Baby (also known as a German Pancake). No question.
Why? Well, because it’s crazy delicious, for one. I mean..hello…a giant chocolate pancake baked in a buttered pan resulting in crinkly, crisp edges and a soft, tender center? That’s my love language right there.
And also, as I talked about on this classic German Pancake recipe months ago, these are Brian’s specialty. He makes them, the kids love them, and I get a morning off (and in the case of Thanksgiving, by “morning off,” I mean, more time to make more pie!).
Our absolute favorite way to eat this Chocolate Dutch Baby is with a hefty dollop of sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries. It’s luxurious and so very delicious. You could dust lightly with powdered sugar or serve with maple syrup or any other topping of your choice.
To be honest, you could even eat it plain. Not terribly exciting…but still terribly delicious.
You can tell a lot about a person by what part of the Dutch baby or German pancake they claim, you know. I’m an edge girl all the way (same with my brownies, if you have to know). Give me the curled, slightly crispy, chocolate-y edge, and you can safely and peacefully have the puffy middle pieces.
If you are looking for a simple, no-fuss breakfast fit for a holiday or easy enough for any day of the week, this Chocolate Dutch Baby will do the trick. It’s so popular at our house, that we double and make two pans to avoid the infighting that occurs when there is a shortage of chocolate pancake goodness to go around.
I have subbed the all-purpose flour for finely ground white whole wheat flour. The pancake is slightly more dense but still delicious.
You can experiment making in a cast iron skillet (maybe half this recipe for a 9-inch skillet) or other baking pan; I always use glass but take care when pouring the batter into the hot glass pan (if the batter is chilled at all, it can increase the chances of the pan cracking - you know, hot meets cold and all that; I've never had that happen, but want to give a fair warning).
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup milk (I use 2%)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (3.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (1.25 ounces) natural, unsweetened cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Sweetened, whipped cream
- Fresh fruit
- Maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put two tablespoons butter in a glass 9X13-inch baking dish and pop the pan in the oven while it preheats (if it's taking a while to mix up the batter, keep an eye on the dish so the butter doesn't burn; take it out when the butter is melted).
- Combine the eggs, milk and vanilla in a blender and process on low speed until smooth, 10-20 seconds. Add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt and blend until just combined; the batter should be smooth but take care not to overblend or the pancakes may turn out dense and cakey.
- Take the preheated, buttered pan out of the oven and swirl the butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter into the pan and immediately return to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes until the pancake is puffy and lightly browned on the bottom and edges.
- Serve immediately with sweetened whipped cream, fresh fruit, a drizzle of maple syrup (or whatever else you want to throw on there).
Recipe Source: easily adapted from our favorite classic German Pancake recipe