For our fourth and last visit to an anime cafe, let’s pop into a countryside cafe. Quaint and casual, this lovely anime location straight out of a Miyazaki film is set in a secluded garden that the average passerby will likely miss. This cafe with it’s functional stone tile floors and highly worn and polished wood furniture, lacks the artwork and knickknacks in every nook and cranny of it’s city counter part. You might even think at first that this anime cafe is quite bare. But once you rest in it’s plush chairs and gaze out the cafe’s expansive windows, you see that it’s the shady light from the lush garden that is the real artwork of this place. Only the seasoned locals are in the know, making this charming place all the more special. And what’s on the menu at this garden cafe? Though tea and pudding might be a fine repast for urban dwellers, robust rural dwellers tend to enjoy something a bit more substantial. Something angel sweet and light, fluffy as a cloud. There is only one thing that can fulfill country cravings, it’s extra fluffy pancakes of course!
Extra fluffy pancakes – Flying Witch
As a quick reminder the anime Flying Witch is about a lovable and kind hearted teen witch (Makoto) that moves from Yokohama to the countryside to live with her cousins and finish her witch training ala Kiki’s Delivery Service. Makoto isn’t exactly the most skilled student witch, so there are plenty of silly, sweet, and unexpected results from her training, but her understanding country cousins seem to take all this oddness with good humor and patience. Makoto doesn’t just get her cousins caught up in her magical misfires, she also brings them along on her whimsical adventures. One such adventure was waking up early to catch a ride on a flying whale. The whale is so massive, it even has ruins of a forgotten temple on it’s back! And what better way to celebrate that fun adventure than to come home and have a breakfast of extra fluffy pancakes with the whole family!
Extra Fluffy Pancakes!
I know you’re expecting an amazingly simple recipe for delicious and insanely fluffy pancakes . . . I was expecting to post that too. Well . . . the thing is, I don’t actually make pancakes from scratch. I always thought it was a lot of work for not much pay off. But I really wanted a pancake post, and I thought, “How hard could pancakes be?”, the answer is hard, very hard. There’s a lot of ingredients in pancakes, a lot more than I thought there would be. Well, I tried many, Many, MANY recipes and I think I’m just very bad at making pancakes from scratch. Some turned out flat and floppy. Some turned out crunchy on the outside and crumbly on the inside. And some where just bitter. Why?! What could possibly make pancakes bitter?!
So here is how I actually make Extra Fluffy Pancakes (the cheater’s way)
Krusteaz or your favorite “Complete”instant pancake mix
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Stick of butter
Toppings such as: Whip cream, Fruit slices, Fruit preserves, Frosting, Chocolate syrup, Sprinkles or traditional Butter and Maple syrup!
In a mixing bowl add in as much instant pancake mix as how many pancakes you want to make. 1 cup of mix makes about 4 medium sized pancakes, so adjust as needed. By “Complete” instant pancake mix, I mean the kind that you just add water.
Next whisk in warm water until the mix is a very thick batter. Water should be warm to the touch, but not hot. Batter should be thick enough that if you try to pour a spoonful, it should not pour but rather drop in thick blobs. The warm water is really important here, the warmth wakes up the leavener so it starts making bubbles before the batter gets to the frying pan.
Don’t forget to stir in the vanilla, instant pancake mixes never put in enough vanilla in my opinion. You could also add in a dash of cinnamon, that’s pretty tasty too.
Next, the cooking! Heat your frying pan on medium high heat. Unwrap one end of the stick of butter and rub the butter on the hot frying pan (like drawing with a crayon) until the pan has a thin coating of melted butter. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the batter into the pan for each pancake. Wait for the top surface of the pancake to be covered with bubbles and it is no longer liquidy. Then spoon a second layer of batter on top of the pancake. Focus on getting the batter around the edges and avoid the middle. Wait for the second layer of batter to settle, and then very carefully flip it over. This is the trickiest part! Then brown on the other side. Be patient, these are thicker pancakes so they take longer to cook all the way through. Once they are cooked, slide onto a plate and allow to cool for a moment before topping.
Lastly, the toppings! In anime cafes, pancakes are more of a dessert than a breakfast, so feel free to top them with anything sweet. Try fruit slices and whip cream, or frosting and sprinkles. Ice cream and chocolate syrup is my favorite! Enjoy with your favorite episode of the anime Flying Witch!