These Japanese soufflé pancakes (舒芙蕾) are ubiquitous in every social media site because of its popularity. Though delicious, the process of making them is kinda tricky.
Through diligent practice and a bit of patience, I have come up with a foolproof recipe that yields fluffy, jiggly souffle pancakes. Have a crack at this dish for tomorrow’s brunch or for tonight’s dessert.
These jiggly pancakes make you feel like you’re eating soft, fluffy clouds. Top them with maple syrup and whipped cream. Better yet, why don’t you try a tiramisu topping? However you dress them, Japanese pancakes always come out delicious and unforgettable.
I must admit, soufflé pancakes can be delicate. But, once you get this recipe done, you will feel like in cloud nine after each fluffy mouthful.
Fluffy Japanese Pancakes (a.k.a Soufflé Pancakes)
If you have ever tasted these creamy clouds for breakfast, you know how their deliciousness say it all. All intricate dishes can be fussy to make. These pancakes aren’t called “soufflé” pancakes for nothing.
It is a rule to remember that anything “soufflé” is a possible code for scrumptious but moody.
Even so, this is not the time to give up easily. Together, we are going to look at the pointers you should consider in making this pancake style. With practice, you can make and serve airy Japanese soufflé pancakes to that special someone.
The recipe is quite similar to that of buttermilk hotcakes or American pancakes, but they have a distinct texture. These Japanese pancakes are softer and fluffier. They also have a texture similar to soufflé.
What are Japanese Pancakes / Soufflé Pancakes?
Japanese Souffle Pancakes (舒芙蕾), though often called soufflé pancakes, have the same set of ingredients, yet they are more varied in texture and composition than the standard pancakes we all know and love.
Famous for their exceptionally soft, thick, and airy texture, they are the perfect pancakes, indeed! They differ from regular pancakes because the egg whites are beaten to make a meringue first, and there is less flour. The meringue is beaten to a fluff, just like in a soufflé, before being folded into the pancake batter.
This results in more bubbles inside the pancake batter. These bubbles can retain their shape better, resulting in an airy, fluffy pancake. The end result is like having a mouthful of clouds.
Tips for Making Perfect Soufflé Pancakes
1. Master the Meringue. If you had not made soufflés, please don’t make this recipe yet. It needs experience to execute this complex soufflé pancake recipe.
- Flour. Be sure to sift your flour as you add it into your batter. This is to prevent creating a heavy batter. Ideally, you should use cake flour in your batter.
- Eggs. Cold eggs help achieve a more durable and steady meringue.
- Water. Use some water to steam your pancakes. This process will help them double in size better.
- Mixer. Always see to it that the electric mixer’s whisk attachment and bowl are clean and completely dry. Even droplets of oil or water will not turn the egg whites into meringue.
- Mixing process. Determine when you should stop mixing your meringue. It should have a peak, a level higher than a soft peak and a level lower than a hard peak. When you over-mix slightly, you don’t damage your pancakes, but it will certainly make them less fluffy.
- Flipping process. Because the pancakes are like soufflés, it is important that you know your timing when you flip. Flipping them too soon will deflate them.
- Stabilization. Cream of tartar helps make the meringue stable. For every egg white, add 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar.
- Muffin rings. For a better height, and uniform shape, place muffin rings on the pan and then pour the batter into them. Doing this prevents the batter from spreading. If you don’t want to use muffin rings, make the pancakes smaller.
- Serve right away. Soufflé pancakes are delicate and filled with air. You should consume them immediately if you want to savor the cloudy bites.
2. Why Use Cake Flour?. Cake flour is extremely light hence perfect for rising and contains less gluten in it. It is ideal when making soufflé-style pancakes and is more forgiving compare to All Purpose flour or bread flour.
3. Cook “Low and Slow”. Exercise patience here. Japanese pancakes need low setting heat. High temperatures will only cook the exterior, leaving the interior raw. I believe no one wants “rare” pancakes. Always cover the pan to retain that moisture as well.
4. Flip the Pancakes Gently. Remember that cloudy and fluffy pancakes are the goal. You cannot throw each one in the air to flip. Just practice Zen and invert each pancake delicately with a flipper or a flat spatula. The impact of flipping the pancake high in the air will burst the bubbles you worked so hard to get into the pancakes.
How to Make the Soufflé Pancake Toppings :
Because of the high flow of creative juices I experienced, I was able to re-create a tiramisu soufflé alternative for this Japanese Pancake Recipe (舒芙蕾).
Homemade Tiramisu Topping:
- Top the pancakes with homemade whipped cream and dust with a teaspoon of espresso powder.
- Then on top of all that, drizzle about a teaspoon of melted dark chocolate and swirl.
Homemade Whipped Cream:
- Mix 1 cup of heavy whipping cream plus 2 tbsp of confectioner sugar.
- Then, whip it until the mixture turns in soft peaks.
There! Your soufflé pancakes now have a decadent and easy tiramisu topping.
Having various toppings is one of the best characteristics of Japanese pancakes. You can use maple syrup, whipped cream, custard, powdered sugar, cream, and fruits. It’s entirely up to you.
A plate of airy, cloudy, and tasty Japanese Soufflé Pancakes with tiramisu topping is oh so unforgettable!
Steps on How to Make the Soufflé Pancakes:
1. Whisk the egg yolk with full milk, vanilla extract and vegetable oil until pale and frothy. Sift flour and baking powder into the mixture and whisk until well incorporated. Pay attention with the batter consistency.
2. Place cold egg whites + cream of tartar in a mixing bowl and whip using an electric mixer until pale and frothy. Then, add sugar in batches until a glossy meringue is formed. You want stiff-ish peaks, not STIFF-peaks. Meaning, if the egg whites stand right up with stiff peaks slightly bending over like the world’s whitest chocolate kiss, it is done.
3. Add 1/3 of the meringue to the yolk batter and whisk until completely incorporated. For this stage, you don’t have to be gentle, but you shouldn’t beat the crap out of it. Then, add the batter to the remaining meringue and fold into the mixture using a spatula. Carefully and gently incorporate until there are no more whites, being cautious not to deflate the batter.
4. Pre-heat a large non-stick pan (with lid) over low heat. I used a griddle here and set the heat to 250 F. Add a small drizzle of oil or rub it with butter. Then wipe off the excess oil or butter (you need just enough to create a thin film).
5. Scoop the batter into the griddle (or to the pan) using a large ice cream scoop. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of water around the batter, cover and let it cook for about 4-5 minutes.
6. Remove the lid dome cover, flip the pancake VERY GENTLY. Cover and cook for another 4-5 minutes until done. Repeat with the remaining batter.
7. Arrange the souffle pancakes in stacks, top with whipped cream, dust with confectioner sugar or drizzle some maple syrup. Add your favorite fruits (optional) and serve immediately.
Jiggly Japanese Souffle PancakesPrint Pin Rate
For the Batter:
- 2 egg yolks
- 35 g whole milk
- 10 g vegetable oil
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 30 g cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
For the Meringue:
- 3 egg whites
- 40 g sugar
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- Whisk the egg yolk with full milk, vanilla extract and vegetable oil until pale and frothy.
- Sift flour and baking powder into the mixture and whisk until well incorporated. Pay attention on the batter consistency.
For the Meringue:
- Place cold egg whites + cream of tartar in a mixing bowl and whip using an electric mixer until pale and frothy. Then, add sugar in batches until a glossy meringue is formed. You want stiff-ish peaks, not STIFF-peaks.
- Add 1/3 of the meringue to the yolk batter and whisk until completely incorporated.
- Then, add the batter to the remaining meringue and fold into the mixture using a spatula, being cautious not to deflate the batter.
- Heat a large non-stick pan (with lid) over low heat. I used a griddle here and set the heat to 250 F. Add a small drizzle of oil or wipe it with butter. Then wipe off the excess oil or butter.
- Scoop the batter into the griddle (or to the pan) using a large ice cream scoop. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of water around the batter, cover and let it cook for about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove the lid dome cover, flip the pancake VERY GENTLY. Cover and cook for another 4-5 minutes until done. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Arrange the souffle pancakes in stacks, top with whipped cream, dust with confectioner sugar or drizzle some maple syrup. Add your favorite fruits (optional) and serve hot.