What you see here ladies and gentlemen, is lamb dressed as mutton.
To think of them as lowly pancakes would be an exercise in the ridiculous, and an exercise in lying, and we all know what happens to liars around here don't we (you are hung up by your fingernails and dipped in an enormous tin of piping-hot vegetable oil.)
The lemon-scented, pillowy belly of these babies is oh-so-cleverly disguised under the lacy-edged exterior of what could easily be your average Sunday morning breakfast. Ha HA! Fooled you again! Pancakes shmancakes, this is pretty lady food, soufflé cakes to be precise.
When my sister Maddie was little, she was a gorgeous little butterball of squish, she had this squinty eyed smile that would make the most hardened person fall in love with her. We used to call her Pudding, not in a mean way, just in a way that made you want to go cuddle her until she squealed. At her 21st birthday last year we told the guests, and they all agreed, that Maddie had grown up; from a little pudding to an elegant soufflé.
These cakes, like Maddie, are all grown up.
Why put the lemon on the outside when you can put them on the inside? Smart! The scent is intoxicating as you cook these, if you are patient enough, I would wait half an hour before adding the egg whites so the lemon can infuse itself deep into the batter.
Bill Granger's Lemon Soufflé Cakes
adapted from "bills Sydney Food"serves 4
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
25g unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons brown sugar (bill uses caster, brown gives a more caramel flavour)
a pinch of salt
2 egg whites
Place buttermilk, egg yolks, lemon juice, zest and vanilla essence in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add melted butter and mix well.
Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine, make sure there are no lumps in the brown sugar. Make a well in the centre and gradually whisk in the wet ingredients until they are combined, taking care not to over-work it.
Whip the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl to soft peaks then fold them into the buttermilk mixture using a large metal spoon.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, melt a teaspoon of butter in the bottom. Add a spoonful of cake mixture into the pan and cook until brown on the bottom and dry around the edges, flip the cake over and cook until golden brown on both sides. Keep warm under a piece of foil while cooking the rest. Serve with an extra squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of maple syrup.