During our stay at the quirky but totally cool SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, we ordered room service a fair bit for the kids. Before you call me Mrs Moneybags, I should say that room service, even at a Beverly Hills hotel, was substantially cheaper than anything I’ve ordered in Australia in-room. In short, given the lack of supermarkets in close proximity and the fact that the nearest take out joint was a good 10 minute walk, room service was an entirely guilt-free solution.
One menu item that was of great curiosity to me was olive oil pancakes. Unfortunately as Master Seven isn’t a fan of pancakes we opted for scrambled eggs but man I wish we’d had them. I should mention here that the SLS Hotel is the home of The Bazaar, a freaky good bar and tapas restaurant owned by José Andrés, the Spanish chef credited for bringing tapas to the United States. As such, the hotel kitchen has a Spanish flair also.
Before leaving LA, I bought Jose Andres’ book Made in Spain: Spanish Dishes for the American Kitchen as a souvenir and when I finally got a post-vacation moment to leaf through it, I discovered the recipe for Olive Oil Pancakes :D
I liked the idea of using olive oil instead of butter (or *shudders* margarine) and agreed with Senor Jose that the olive oil gives the pancakes a lighter taste. For those watching cholesterol intake, this is a healthier option too. I was surprised that chocolate was included in the recipe and wondered if the SLS Hotel’s pancakes would have actually appealed to Master Seven after all. He does enjoy a good chocolate hit!
I made the pancakes the first time according to Jose’s recipe and they did turn out a treat. Not at all sweet so the Spanish lemon honey would indeed be a welcome accompaniment (had I been able to find it in Perth…). I decided on my second run to use milk chocolate instead and drizzle the pancakes with some homemade orange syrup. Who doesn’t love the Jaffa combo?
The recipe for the pancakes as per the book can be found here but I have adjusted the ingredients to my liking and the method for the Thermomix in mind. You can follow the non-Thermomix recipe with my ingredients list however :) I decided to use Green & Black’s marvelous milk chocolate instead of dark as I felt the latter was too bitter for the kids to enjoy but either will go nicely with the orange syrup. I have to say that G&B’s make the darkest of milk chocolates and I happily use it in place of dark chocolate in baking.
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar (or 3 or 4 if you want a sweeter pancake to eat without syrup)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
4 tbsp Spanish extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if necessary at the frying stage
60g dark or milk chocolate (I adore Green & Black’s Milk Chocolate)
1/2 cup water
1/2 orange juice
one small star anise
one small cinnamon stick
To make: Place the chocolate in Thermomix and use Turbo a couple of times to break into smallish chunks. You don’t want too many flakes and small pieces so keep an eye the progress. If you need to, tip out chocolate chunks and pick out the larger pieces to break down with Turbo again. Place chocolate in bowl and keep aside. There is no need to clean the Thermomix bowl.
Place all other ingredients except two tablespoons of olive oil in Thermomix and use Speed 3 or 4 for ten seconds to make a smooth batter. Blitz for a few more seconds if not smooth. Add chocolate pieces and mix for a few seconds on Speed 2, Reverse.
Heat frypan to low/medium and pour in remaining olive oil. Ladle in enough pancake batter to form a 12cm wide pancake. The first batch will always get brown faster so keep an eye on it. Once bubbles form on surface, flip over and cook through other side. When pancakes are done, keep warm in a slow oven until ready to serve.
To make orange syrup, place sugar and water (hot already if you like) in small saucepan and heat over medium heat to dissolve sugar. Bring to boil for a minute. Add orange juice, star anise and cinnamon stick and briefly boil and reduce to simmer. Orange juice is not pleasant if overheated. Allow to cool then fish out star anise and cinnamon stick, and transfer syrup to container. Use syrup liberally over the pancakes :)