Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Herrine Ro: Hi, everyone. If you've seen my previous video on how to upgrade pancake mix, video's up there, you would know that I learned a lot of tips and tricks from chef Neil Kleinberg from Clinton St. Baking Co. Neil Kleinberg: Don't make them too big, 'cause then they're gonna run into each other. Herrine: So, the first time I had the famous pancakes at Clinton St. was back in February, and they were phenomenal. Wow. This restaurant in New York City is famous for its pancakes. People normally wait hours just to get a taste. So, I thought it'd be a great idea for you pancake fans out there to make another video including all those extra bonus tidbits. [Skype connection theme playing] Hi! Y'all are upstate now? Neil: Yeah, you're in Cape Cod? Herrine: Yes, it's so much - Neil: I see the ocean in the background. Herrine: That is the marsh, and then Neil: No, I'm joking. [laughs] up front is the beach. Ready to talk pancakes? Neil: Sure. Herrine: The first method that I tried was just adding ginger ale instead of water. Have you ever done that, or have you ever heard of that kind of [both laughing] tactic? Neil: Is this a spoof or put-on or what? Herrine: The next thing I did was make a pancake breakfast casserole. So I basically used the pancake mix as, like, the binding factor for a casserole that had bacon and cheddar cheese and eggs in it. Neil: [laughs] That sounds like a nightmare. I would keep those items separate. I would make the pancakes and then not do a casserole but do a side of scrambled eggs with cheddar in it and a side of bacon and then call it day. Herrine: Honestly tasted kind of like a McGriddle, if you can believe it. Neil: I don't even know what a McGriddle is. Herrine: What do you recommend I make with the pancake mix? Neil: I think we should make the Clinton St. famous blueberry pancakes at home using a box mix, and this is the way I would do it. If you're gonna get a mix, get something that has the basic dry ingredients in a regular pancake mix that you're making from scratch, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda. Herrine: The only pancake mix that I was able to find, which was difficult in and of itself, was this one. Have you ever seen it? Neil: Oh, Krusteaz! Never heard of it. [Herrine laughs] Herrine: We're looking at things like thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, soybean oil, egg whites, and buttermilk. Neil: OK, well, that's not bad. Those things are dried, so they took those items and they kind of [sucks air] [clucks] dried them, so you have everything in a mix. And we're going to, with a mix, embellish and make them really, really as good-tasting and as good-looking as we possibly can. Now, the key in making something delicious from a box of something is to add things to it to enhance the flavor, the texture, and the way they come out. Herrine: What kind of ingredients would you recommend me adding to this to zhuzh it up? Neil: Sour cream, maybe. Maybe some regular buttermilk. Maybe enhance it, because it has dried buttermilk in it, something fatty that's gonna give it a luxurious flavor. So, whatever the instructions are on the mix, you're gonna follow them. But you're also gonna add, what does it say on that box? Herrine: It's just adding in cold water. Neil: No, you should add the cold water, and then you should add some buttermilk if you can find it. Take 1/3 a cup of water out, and in place of it, add 1/3 cup of buttermilk. If you can't find buttermilk, then take 1/3 cup of a spoon of sour cream with a little regular milk mixed in. You should wind up with 2/3 cup of liquid. You can add an extra egg. It will make it much richer. Herrine: Would it be too much if I added some vanilla extract in there or, like, some cinnamon? Neil: You know, extract would be fine. Cinnamon, eh, then you're gonna turn the pancakes a color by adding cinnamon. If you wanna do anything at the end, you know, if you're making sliced bananas in the pancakes and you wanna sprinkle some cinnamon sugar over the top at the end, that's perfectly fine. But if you add any spices that are dark to the batter, you're gonna have a dark batter, and then they're not gonna look that great. Herrine: And if I were to put in vanilla extract, just a little, like, cap? Neil: Yeah, a cap. That goes a long way, and it won't color the batter. Herrine: So, let batter stand for two minutes. Neil: OK, perfect. There should still be lumps in the batter. And then you let it rest. Herrine: What is the purpose of letting it rest? Neil: Well, you're letting it rest so you can pull the flavors together and you can actually form a batter. And if you go too quick in the pan, then the molecules of the liquid and the dry won't have a chance to meld. Well, the best way to cook the pancakes is to have a flat surface, preferably a grill or a large cast-iron pan or a large flat pan that doesn't have sloped sides. Herrine: I'm trying to think, like, what I have in my arsenal right now. I do not have a skillet. I do not have a griddle. I have, like, a large saucepan. Neil: OK. That's fine. Herrine: OK. [laughs] Neil: So, get the large saucepan hot by turning on the flame and then lowering the flame so it's hot to the touch, like, a bead of water would bubble up on it. [pan sizzles] Herrine: I think it's definitely hot enough. Neil: Then, at that point, add a generous amount of butter, like a pat of butter, maybe 1/2 a tablespoon or something like that and swirl it around the pan till it starts to get foamy but not brown. That's the point at which you're gonna put a spoon or a ladle full of pancake mix in the pan. A key characteristic of a great pancake is to have that golden ring around it when you first flip it, and in order to to get that, you have to put enough fat on the pan. If you have a large pan like you're describing at home, kind of use that large pan as a clock. Start the first pancake at 12 o'clock, then the next one at 3 o'clock, then the next one at 6 o'clock, and then the next one at 9 o'clock. Don't make them too big 'cause then they're gonna run into each other. Then let it cook, medium heat. Herrine: How many times should I flip the pancakes? Neil: Never flip them more than once. Herrine: Why is that? Neil: They're gonna become tough, and they're gonna get burnt. They're not gonna cook properly. Let the pancake cook. You'll start to see the bubbles come up. That's the point at when you add your filling. Remember when we did them together at the restaurant, we put a good amount of butter on them, clarified butter and some whole butter, so that the pancake would get a nice golden ring around it? When the cake is kind of halfway cooked, when you could actually peek under it with a spatula and see that is a golden brown edge and the bubbles start to form on the top, that's when you add blueberries. We use wild Maine blueberries that have a very short season, but we get them frozen. And they're wonderful frozen because they're tiny and they pack full of flavor. You should get them, and then sprinkle them into the pancake while they're on the griddle. If you can't find those, then the cultivated regular frozen blueberries are really good. Actually, frozen fruit is really good in a pancake because they don't overcook and they cook into the batter and they hold their shape really well. And if you can't find that, then fresh blueberries are always around. Herrine: Definitely sweeter than your regular blueberries. Is there, like, a rule of what's too much? Neil: Yeah, it's too much if they're not, you know, spaced out correctly, and then the pancake itself is not gonna cook properly. And then with a spatula just flip each one and then don't push it down, and then in about a minute or two they should be cooked on the bottom. Herrine: Now I just gotta flip it. Moment of truth. [groans] Ugh, no. F---. I can see why he didn't want a pan with sloped sides. [pan sizzling] I got! I got four golden rings! [pan sizzling] After I'm done with the pancakes, is there any other way that I can make this pancake meal even more delicious? Neil: Yeah, we're gonna make maple butter. That's our trademark syrup, and there's a very easy, great technique of how to make it. Herrine: I've never made an emulsification before. Neil: You can't go wrong. Even if the pancakes suck, this maple butter will make them delicious. Herrine: OK. [laughs] Hopefully I don't... it sounds very easy, and I hope that I don't mess it up. Neil: You won't mess it up. Take a small saucepan, take a half a cup of really good maple syrup, and then have a little whisk and take a quarter, a stick of butter or a half a stick of butter sliced in some pats, and then as the maple syrup is getting warm, one pat at a time, whisk the butter into the maple syrup until it melts. Herrine: I am alarmed at the amount of butter that is in this. Neil: And the sauce should be caramellike in color. It can be light or darker caramel, depending on the maple syrup. Herrine: So, at Clinton St., the maple butter is, like, still very liquidy. It's not like a whipped maple butter, and it has a very, like, pale, light yellow, light brown color, and I think it's almost getting there. Neil: You can get a grade B, which is a dark amber.