This dish reminds me of my trips to Shimokitazawa, a super hipster neighborhood my friends live in in Tokyo. This is a culinary hybrid, kind of like if a soufflé and a pancake a baby. It makes a memorable treat to enjoy on special occasions.
Technique tip: Be sure not to over-mix the batter. Cook pancakes on lowest heat setting and follow these directions well, as these pancakes are an advanced recipe.
Swap option: You can try almond extract or matcha powder to change the flavor of these pancakes.
Special equipment: Ring molds.
Add three egg yolks to a medium mixing bowl. Add in the almond milk, vanilla and the softened butter, and whisk well to combine. Gently add in sifted cake flour and baking powder to combine, taking care not to over-mix. Set aside.2.
To an additional medium mixing bowl or stand mixer, add the egg whites and cornstarch. Whisk on high speed (use hand mixer, whisk attachment or whisk) until meringue starts to form, turn speed down to medium-high and slowly add in the sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form, making sure the meringue is not over-whipped.3.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the batter, carefully incorporating well, taking care not to over-mix.4.
Prepare a large sauté pan over the lowest heat setting. Place ring molds into the pan and spray molds and pan with cooking spray. Ladle your batter in 1/2 to 2/3 of the way up the prepared molds. Add 2 teaspoons of water into bottom of the pan to steam and place lid on top. Cook for 10 minutes on one side (or until golden brown), then carefully flip and cook for another 10 minutes. Both sides should be a slight golden brown. You may need to press the pancake down gently so it hits the bottom of the pan.5.
Remove molds from the pan and place each pancake on to a serving plate. Top with butter, syrup and powdered sugar. Enjoy!