Huge in Japan, soufflé pancakes are trending on social media - and they’re a great alternative recipe for Pancake Day. Or any day of the year! Fondly known as "fuwa fuwa" (fluffy fluffy), they get their height from meringue mix which is stirred into the batter. In one Osaka pancake house, they're so popular you need to line up 1-2 hours before opening!
When the pancakes soak up your miso caramel sauce, they become wonderfully sticky and soft.
How to make Japanese fluffy pancakes
Japanese fluffy pancakes are deceptively simple. The fluffy souffle effect is achieved by combining egg white meringue with classic pancake batter. You can either pipe them freely into a pan, to rise on their own. Or use a ring, to help guide them vertically as they cook and rise. If you use a ring, it’s vital to grease them well so you can easily release them once cooked.
What is the difference between a pancake and a Japanese soufflé pancake?
A soufflé pancake is characterised by its light and airy texture, and the impressive height! The rise is achieved by whipping the egg whites until stiff and folding them into the pancake batter, made from flour, milk, eggs, and sugar. This results in a batter that is more aerated and lighter than a traditional pancake batter. Because of the added sugar in the meringue mix, souffle pancakes are often sweeter than classic crepes or drop scone pancakes.
Why do my Japanese pancakes deflate?
The soufflé pancake’s signature rise is due to the incorporation of beaten egg white. However, the stability of the egg whites can be compromised by a number of factors. Some of the common causes of deflated pancakes include:
- Over-mixing the batter: Overmixing will ‘deflate’ the egg whites. Plus it can cause the gluten in the batter to develop too far, making the pancakes dense and heavy.
- Not cooking the pancakes long enough: Soufflé pancakes need to cook long enough for the batter to set all the way through. If you turn them out of the moulds before they’ve cooked, the liquid middle will simply collapse.
- Time: Your pancakes will naturally start to sink the longer you leave them. They are a treat to be enjoyed fresh from the pan! So serve them as quickly as you can, to impress guests with the tallest pancakes possible.
Japanese Souffle Pancakes Ingredients
- 4 egg whites
- 2 egg yolks
- 75g granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g plain flour
- 60ml milk
- Oil, for frying
- Butter, for greasing
Japanese Souffle Pancake Method
- Grease your baking rings generously with chilled butter.
- Separate your eggs, and put 2 egg yolks in a large mixing bowl, with one large spoonful of the granulated sugar (about 10g), vanilla and baking powder. Blend until smooth and pale. Then add the flour and milk and whisk into a smooth batter.
- Take 4 egg whites, and beat into soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining sugar, whipping all the while until it is glossy and forms stiff peaks.
- TOP TIP: Use the two leftover egg yolks in this https://www.souschef.co.uk/blogs/the-bureau-of-taste/cured-smoked-egg-yolk-recipe
- Get ready for cooking, and heat your pan on a low heat and add a small dash of oil.
- Now - gently start to fold the two mixtures together. Take a large spoon of whipped egg whites and stir into the runny batter, then very carefully fold in the remaining meringue - one spoon at a time. This stage is crucial to the final ‘rise’ of your pancakes, so be careful to keep your batter as light and airy as possible.
- Put your greased baking rings into the pan, then spoon a ladle of pancake batter into each ring. Put the lid on and wait for 3 minutes. Check at that point - you are looking for the mix to have risen almost to the top of your baking rings, and for small air pockets to have bubbled onto the surface of your pancakes.
- Once cooked on one side, use a spatula to lift the rings, being careful not to burn your fingers on the hot metal. You might find tongs useful. Gently flip, and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and serve as quickly as possible, before they start sinking!