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Seriously, what does Highland Kitchen put in their pancakes? [moved from Boston]

Finally made it to Sunday brunch at Highland Kitchen yesterday. Thankfully, my dc insisted we get a single pancake to top off our savory main courses. My pork hash and collards were outstanding, but completely overshadowed by the pancake. Of course, the bourbon syrup doesn't hurt, but the pancake itself was so incredibly flavorful while still being light and fluffy... I would love to know how they do it. Any ideas?

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  1. Just wanted to say that I completely agree.

    1. Perhaps they separate the egg whites from the yolks and use beaten egg whites as leavening. I did this once (from a recipe in _The Cake Bible, I think) and I literally can't tell you how much better they are than whole-egg pancakes, because the improvement in quality would be incomprehensible to anyone who has't tried it.

      5 Replies
      1. re: KWagle

        +1 on this tip. Also, add your butter/oil to the yokes, then fold in the whites.

        1. re: KWagle

          That seems to be a common technique with what have been called the meltaway style of pancake (the kind that is light enough to feel like it melts in your mouth), which is the style I very much prefer to encounter. I've never understood dough-y pancakes. (What I make at home are a buckwheat pancake mix from a fabled seasonal maple syrup mill-restaurant in the southern tier of NY State, which mix doesn't use egg, milk or fat at all, but results in pancakes with a similar meltaway quality because the there's not a ton of gluten in them....)

          1. re: Karl S

            KarlS, please to divulge the recipe for the fabled-seasonal-maple-syrup-meltaway-with-no-egg-fat-milk? Sounds like the dream pancake.... YUM!

            1. re: gingershelley

              You have to travel* to Cartwright's Maple Tree Inn to buy their proprietary mix, the recipe for which I've never found or duplicated. (Not sold online.) Just add 1-1/3 parts water to 1 part mix.

              The closest commercially available mix (seems a bit heavier to me, but I use a bit more water to compensate) is from the Puritan Brand of Birkett Mills in Penn Yan NY

              http://thebirkettmills.com/shop/break...

              * And stand in line with hundreds of devotees who flock to it. I remember on a sunny Sunday last March, some family had flown in by helicopter, it seemed, landing on the field across from the place.

              1. re: gingershelley

                PS: PBS (WQED) Video - you can get a sense of the meltaway texture of the cakes on the griddle and on the plate:

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxBtHD...

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYcbUB...

          2. Can you say "butter"? More, more, more than you would think of using at home?

            1. Someone needs to just email them and ask (beg) for the recipe.

              1. and why a one-unit boston restaurant query is now in home-cooking is beyond me.

                1. I too am on the bandwagon of the 'whipped egg white' pancake! My stepmom makes the most delicious lemon-ricotta pancakes we eat with berries that have just that flavorful, etherial, texture but tons of taste... had them Christmas morning. I keep wanting them again, and I am NOT a pancake girl.

                  Must get that recipe and share.

                  1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/635555

                    egg whites discussed on this thread plus recipe from Epi.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: HillJ

                      I am sure a beaten egg white or two would help the lightness of my pancakes. I can't help but feel, though, that there was something else in the Highland Kitchen pancakes, because their flavor was different than any I had ever had before. I thought they tasted a little like the flavor of beignets, which they also serve at HK for brunch, but after looking at some beignet recipes I'm not sure what might have provided that flavor that is not already in regular, homemade pancakes.

                      1. re: Weiszguy

                        I love puzzles like this, Weiszguy! My quest for the ideal pancake, light and lovely, continues. It could be something as simple as the sugars used, the amt. of sugars, if the sugar is caramelized..or a dash of spice just heavy enough to impart that special something. Buttermilk, not whole milk is the HK way.

                        And, experimenting is about the only way I know of to discover that certain something HK has.