Hey! It’s Tax Day here in the USA!!! Yay! But who wants to talk about that? Not me…I’d rather talk food and Superheroes and make Captain America Pancakes! How bout you?
Less than a week from today (April 23rd to be exact), Avengers: Infinity War, the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), is premiering here in Los Angeles…with the movie rolling out widely in theatres two days later. Here in the States, sadly, we have to wait until April 27th…but, please, the anticipation is worth the wait.
Growing up, I was a huge fan of Superheroes. And like a true Superhero, I was more comfortable keeping my alter-ego disguised as a regular kid rather than flaunting my Superpowers. Looking at this picture, you might think that it doesn’t look like I want to be undercover?
“Look how happy you are about your new Underoos,” you say.
But you would be wrong. Let’s just say, this was an example of a really nice family member giving me a really nice Christmas gift and then being forced to model and show my appreciation for the gift. I feigned a smile…and my acting career was launched.
In all seriousness, I would get up early on Saturday morning to watch Superhero cartoons. We went to the mall to meet Spiderman. And of course, when Halloween came around, I dressed up as Spidey…and my sister, yep, she was the Hulk!
We were a Superhero family!
With the upcoming release of Avengers, I thought it would be fun to put together a themed dish for this week’s Tiny Kitchen Big Taste release…and with all the drama between Iron Man (my new favorite Superhero BTW) and Captain America (also a fave), I thought making Captain America’s shield would be perfect! But what to make??? I went through several ideas from Macarons to cupcakes, finally deciding on something I had never seen before, Captain America Pancakes.
Now, I have always loved pancakes…and truth be told, as a kid, McDonald’s Hotcakes were my jam. I loved how tender they were and how they absorbed that little butter patty (or, in my case, three little butter patties…don’t judge, there are three pancakes) and that plastic tub (or, in my case, two tubs) of corn syrup…ahem, I mean Maple [Flavored] Syrup. I was a kid. I didn’t care.
And truth be told, I still have an affinity for those Hotcakes today …although, I limit myself to one butter patty and my sugar-free Maple [Flavored] Syrup at home (again don’t judge).
It all comes back to the fact that Pancakes are fun! Do me a favor, close your eyes. [Well, after you read this paragraph, close your eyes.] Think of pancakes. Now think of the emotion that comes to mind. Happiness, right!?!
So what could be better than combining happiness and a Superhero? Nothing, until you have to find the best way to execute the plan. How hard could it be…they’re just pancakes. Let me just say, I went through at least 6 iterations of this recipe until I figured it out. I probably put more time into this recipe than I did any other recipe I have made…but the end result…Superhero Happiness!
The recipe is not hard to make at all, it was trying to figure the best way to present it that took the time. I went though the stacking idea, a pancake-in-a-pancake idea. Is the star whipped cream? Is it pancake batter? Oh, and then there was the flipping debacle…to flip or not to flip. A couple of tests proved not flipping as the better option to maintain the vibrancy of the pancake. But how to cook it then? Low heat a little steam…which is actually great, because it helps to contribute to a really tender pancake.
Speaking of tender pancakes, if you’re anything like me, you probably have experienced tough and rubbery pancakes. Well, I have come to learn from my baking friends (they are so much smarter than us chefs because they measure and use chemistry), you do not want to overmix the batter!
“But it’s lumpy,” you say, “I’ve got to whisk out those lumps with a little elbow grease.”
Au contraire, mon frère. That is the worst thing you could do with pancake batter…that will only help the gluten to develop and the end result will be the Villain of this story.
RESIST the temptation to flex your Superpowers…and let those lumps be.
A couple other notes about this recipe:
First, the whipped cream. If you have a few extra minutes, I encourage you to make the whipped cream from scratch. And going through the extra couple of minutes to stabilize it with the Gelatin will be worth it. But here is a quick tip that I learned as I was experimenting with this recipe. I think it was batch number 5 that I decided to try and stabilize Cool Whip…you know, the tub of Whipped Cream topping. And it worked…the Stabilized Cool Whip did not melt on the pancakes. So if you’d prefer to take that short cut, I won’t judge. But one of these days, promise me you’ll try the real thing.
Stabilized whipped cream is great. It really holds up and it’s what’s often used in decorating cakes…and one of my new favorites in life.
Second, the star. I promised you a template…and HERE it is. Just click, print, cut and use!
I really can’t wait for you to try this recipe, especially if you have kids or are just a big kid yourself. Let me know if you have any tips or tricks that you make it even better.
And when you see it, let me know what you think of Avengers: Infinity War…or depending on where you are in the World: Bulgaria, Отмъстителите: Война без край; Brazil, Vingadores: Guerra Infinita; Czech Republic, Avengers: Infinity War; Germany, The Avengers: Infinity War; Estonia, Tasujad: Igaviku soda; Spain, Vengadores: Infinity War; Spain (alternative title), Vengadores: La guerra del infinito – 1ª parte; France, Avengers: Infinity War; Greece, Εκδικητές: Ο πόλεμος της αιωνιότητας; Croatia, Osvetnici: Rat beskonačnosti; Hungary, Bosszúállók: Végtelen háború; India, Avengers: Infinity War; Lithuania, Kersytojai: Begalybes karas; Poland, Avengers: Wojna bez granic; Portugal, Vingadores: Guerra do Infinito; Romania, Razbunatorii: Razboiul Infinitului; Serbia, Osvetnici: Rat beskraja; Russia, Мстители: Война бесконечности; Slovenia, Mascevalci: Brezmejna vojna; Turkey, Yenilmezler: Sonsuzluk Savasi – Bölüm 1; Ukraine, Месники: Вiйна нескiнченностi, USA (fake working title), Mary Lou; USA (informal title), The Avengers 3: Part 1; Vietnam, Avengers: Cuoc Chien Vo Cuc; World-wide (working title), Avengers: Infinity War – Part I
Captain America Pancakes
SO WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED IS:
For the Pancakes:
For the Stabilized Whipped Cream:
YOU'LL ALSO NEED:
For the Pancakes:
Make the Stabilized Whipped Cream
- In a large bowl, combine Heavy Whipping Cream, Powdered Sugar and Vanilla Extract.
- Using a Hand Mixer (or whisk), whip together until it forms stiff peaks.
- In a Small Bowl, mix 4 teaspoons Water with 1 teaspoon Unflavored Gelatin. Let sit for 1 minute until the Gelatin blooms and becomes a solid.
- Microwave Gelatin for about 8 seconds until it becomes a liquid. Let cool.
- Begin to whip the cream again, drizzling the Gelatin in slowly until combined. (Note: this will create a very thick stabilized whipped cream)
- Place in piping bag until read to use. (Note: if you don’t have piping bag, use a resealable plastic bag and snip off the corner.
Make the Captain America Pancakes
- In a large 4 cup Measuring Cup with a spout, mix Pancake mix according to package directions. Add Vanilla, additional Oil (if directions do not ask for it) and Cinnamon. Mix until combined. (Note: Do not overmix or pancakes will turn out tough. Batter will be lumpy.)
- Transfer about 1/4 of the batter to a small glass Measuring Cup with a spout.
- To the larger Measuring Cup, add Red food coloring. To the smaller Measuring Cup, add the Blue food coloring. Stir until combined. (Note: It may take a little more red to get a nice vibrant color.)
- In a non-stick Frying Pan over medium-low heat. Add a touch of vegetable oil and rub around the pan with a paper towel to help ensure it will be non-stick.
- Add Red Batter to create a 7-inch pancake. Do not flip it. Instead, cover with a lid and let cook. To help steam better, add a teaspoon of water and replace lid until cooked through. Remove from pan.
- Add Blue Batter to create a 2-inch pancake. Again, do not flip it. Instead, cover with a lid and let cook. To help steam better, add a teaspoon of water and replace lid until cooked through. Remove from pan.
Make the Shield
- Place Red pancake on a plate. Place the Blue pancake in the center.
- Pipe a whipped cream ring equal distance from the edge of the Blue pancake and the edge of the Red pancake.
- Create the star by cutting a 1/2-inch thick slice of banana. Place the Star template on the slice of Banana and cut out the star.
- Place in the center of the Blue pancake.