Guest Post: GF Clinton Street Pancakes with Fried Bananas and Chocolate Sauce

My amazing friend Sam has been talking about this pancake recipe she made for Months – promising to write it up for me. Lucky for all of us, she finally did!! Here’s what she said:

A while back, Refinery29 put out the recipe for Clinton Street Bakery’s famous pancakes and I almost died. 1) Because I’ve always wanted to try them but the line is all the way to Timbuktu, and 2) because everyone tells me about the life-changing orgasms they get when eating them, and 3) because I’m gluten-free and can’t have them.

I took the recipe straight home to Patricia Ann from Arkansas (aka: my mom), and she said, “Well, sweet pea, we can do that!”

We didn’t really stray too much from the original recipe, and I’ve noted where we did. The whole process is a bit time consuming, but SOOOO worth it. Just be ready with many bowls, pots, and helper hands. Oh and time. Don’t try to rush through this or you’ll surely fail. Also, a bit of advice…don’t try and make this healthy – be ok with the amounts of fat and whatnot this recipe calls for.

Must pay homage to Clinton Street Bakery and Refinery29 with the original recipe

Pancake Ingredients:
– 4 cups all-purpose flour (instead of this I used half quinoa flour and half all purpose baking gluten-free flour)
– 1 tbsp baking powder, plus 1 tsp
– ¾ cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 6 large eggs, separated
– 3 cups whole milk
– ¾ cup (or 12 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted, (plus 2 tsp unmelted for the griddle)
– 1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping Ingredients:
– 1 cup flour (1/2 quinoa flour, half all purpose gluten free baking flour)
– ½ cup cornstarch (gluten free)
– 1 tbsp baking powder
– ½ tsp ground cinnamon
– ¼ tsp salt
– 1 ½ cups seltzer water or club soda (club soda)
– Canola or peanut oil for frying (I used olive oil but peanut oil would’ve been more flavorful)
– 4 bananas, peeled and halved horizontally (long-ways)
– Cinnamon sugar (2 tbsp sugar and 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon)

Sauce Ingredients:
– 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
– 1/2 cup light corn syrup [Side note from Rae: I bet you could substitute agave for this!]
– 1/4 cup half-and-half or heavy cream (we used heavy cream—yeah buddy!)
– 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder (I used cayenne and a little more than they called for—depends on how spicy you want it)
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pancake Instructions:
1. First measure and sift all the dry ingredients into a large (preferably stainless steel) mixing bowl: flour, baking powder, sugar, salt.

2. Then in another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, melted butter, and vanilla until combined. I whisk the wet mixture into the dry mixture. The result should be, and was, slightly lumpy, yet combined to form a batter.

3. Whip (I used a hand held electric mixer) the egg whites in a medium mixing bowl until they reach medium peaks (soft in the middle). Be careful, you don’t want to overwhip the egg whites.

4. Gently mix half of the whipped whites into the batter with a large rubber spatula. Then gently fold the remaining half into the batter. Remember: this batter should be slightly lumpy and have large parts of egg whites not fully incorporated; it should look like whitecaps in the ocean with foam on top. (The batter will last a few hours in the fridge without deflating too much. I didn’t test this out – just cooked everything right away.)

5. Heat a griddle — either an electric griddle, a stovetop griddle, or a big flat pan — to 350 to 375°F. I used a big flat pan, but I can see why people have griddles! Grease the hot griddle with the remaining butter. Drop a cup (approximately 4 tablespoons) of pancake batter on the griddle and cook to set. When you see bubbles start to form on top, lift the pancake halfway up to see if it’s golden brown and crispy on the edges. If ready, flip the pancake.

6. When the pancake is golden brown on both sides, remove with a spatula. Repeat with the remaining batter and filling, cooking several pancakes at a time (don’t overdo it! If you can only do one at a time, that’s ok!).

Topping Instructions (This was my absolute favorite part!)
1. Melt the chocolate, corn syrup, half-and-half, butter, vanilla, chili powder (I used more than it called for because I like spicy hot chocolate), and cinnamon together in a stainless-steel bowl over a pot filled with warm water on low heat. Mix until smooth. Keep warm until ready to serve.

2. In a separate large bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt with a whisk. Continue whisking as you slowly pour in the seltzer. Set aside.

3. Fill a Dutch oven halfway with oil. I had to ask my mom what a Dutch oven is—according to my mom, it’s a big pot that you can generally deep fry things in (she’s from the south), but according to Wikipedia, “A Dutch oven is a thick-walled (usually cast iron cooking pot) with a tight-fitting lid”.

Heat the oil to 350°F, checking the temperature with a cooking thermometer (I eye-balled it and put a tester in to see if it fried). Roll the banana halves in the batter and place them on a dish.

This part is VERY important to do correctly!!
With tongs, dip a banana tip into the oil and hold firm until the oil begins to bubble. Gently drop the banana half into the oil but only after you’ve held it in the oil without touching the bottom. Otherwise, your batter will stick to the bottom and fall off. Sad! Fry 2 banana halves at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bananas turn golden brown and crisp. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to agitate the bananas every 30 seconds so they do not burn on one side. Repeat with the remaining bananas.

4. Place the fried bananas on a paper-towel-lined plate. Slice the bananas into 1-inch pieces and sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar.

Serve the slices on top of the pancakes with the Cinnamon Chili Chocolate Sauce.

And there you go! Clinton Street Bakery’s famous pancakes without the long wait? Yes. Need gluten-free? Yes. These were labor-intensive (not difficult just took some time and counter space) but fabulous.

Find Sam on Instagram @thisclimategypsy or on Twitter @samantha_lacey.