We’re off to a strong start to 2018 after a lazy end to 2017.
While the rest of the world was out drinking and dancing or standing in freezing cold Times Square, E and I were passed out on the couch in the middle of “Girl’s Trip,” only to be awaken by a teething baby. We jolted awake and got the baby back to sleep just in time to watch the ball drop. At 12:15, we fell back asleep. We have so turned into our parents.
For New Year’s morning, after a workout to sweat out any remnants of last year, I wanted a soul warming breakfast to help everyone set a cozy intention for the day. I was craving pancakes, but thought against eating such a decadent breakfast right after the gym. E had perfected the art of Dutch baby over the summer. Dutch babies are like oversized, fluffy pancakes, but with a bit more swagger and lighter in density. They bake up golden brown and airy in a skillet, and can be served directly from said skillet at the kitchen table, topped with whatever fruit or syrups your heart desire.
To take my mind off of the frigid weather and put E and I in a state of mind to plan our next Caribbean vacation (yet another January sojourn awaits), I made what I call Island babies–Dutch babies with a bit of Caribbean flavor. A shot of rum from Barbados, a sprinkle of nutmeg and a layer of plantains (or bananas when your plantains have gone well past ripe), motivated us to commit to our island vacation, stat. We let Q try just a smidge of the pancake, too, since the alcohol burns off during cooking.
Some cooking tips: A good cast iron skillet works well for this, or you can use a pie pan if that’s what’s handy. And, preheat the skillet before you pour in the batter, so the baby cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to pan, E advised me. I obliged. He was not wrong. He also likes to caramelize the fruit a bit before placing on the batter to soften up the fruit. I skipped this, and simply placed a small thin pat of butter on top of each banana slice. Lastly, the pancake will fall slightly once you remove it from the oven, so if you want that Instagram worthy shot of breakfast or to wow your brunch pals, be quick about putting on your toppings so you can present the completed dish before it settles.
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 shot rum
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup flour
banana or plantains
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and place your baking skillet or dish inside to warm. Combine all ingredients except flour into a large bowl, then gradually add the flour. Let mixture sit for five minutes, then pour into a greased 9- or 10-inch skillet or pan. Layer on banana, and place in oven, baking for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle on powdered sugar. Top with fruit, nuts or syrup. Cut into quarters or whatever sized wedges of your choosing.
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