08 March 2011
Sweet Potato Pancakes with Coconut Banana Topping
It’s March already, that crazy month when you never know what you will face the next time you step outside, winter or spring. Already we have had a surprise snow day this month when nothing sounded better than a warm mug of Spiced Hot Chocolate. Today, however, the morning fog lifted luminously and the sky shone with streaks of blue and white over the greening lawn. Even if that greening is little more than moss, the changing weather gives me hope.
Now, a full week into March, we are just getting ready to observe Ash Wednesday. It falls on the late side this year, only a day shy of the latest possible Ash Wednesday, adding to my seasonal confusion. Tomorrow we will finally observe Shrove Tuesday by dining on a traditional feast of Pancakes and Sausage.
Even my pancakes appear to be a little conflicted. This year my recipe is fortified with a vegetable I tend to associate with winter holidays; sweet potatoes. But then, they are dressed for the warmth of the Caribbean with coconut milk and bananas. Despite the variety of flavor notes, or quite probably because of them, these pancakes are both quite delicious and delightfully unusual.
While these Sweet Potato Pancakes might evoke memories of a Thanksgiving morning, the tropical topping makes them a perfect breakfast, brunch or even dessert that anticipates the promise of warm breezes over the coming months. They will make a delicious and appropriate late Shrove Tuesday dinner.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 14-ounce can lite coconut milk
½ cup milk
1 cup baked sweet potatoes, mashed
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and ginger.
In a medium mixing bowl combine the lite coconut milk, milk, mashed sweet potatoes, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat. When hot add a little oil to the pan. Pour pancake batter in 1/3 to ½ cup-sized portions onto the hot griddle. Cook until bubbles form and begin to pop and the edge is dry. (The bottom of the pancake should be golden brown.)
Flip the pancake and cook the other side until golden.
Serve with Banana Topping (recipe follows), maple syrup, or honey.
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
Toast coconut in medium skillet over low heat, stirring constantly until golden brown. Transfer the coconut to a small bowl. Set aside.
Put medium skillet back on the stovetop. Place the butter in the skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.
Add the macadamia nuts and bananas to the sugar mixture and stir to coat.
Add the water to the mixture and stir well. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
Spoon the Banana Topping over Sweet Potato Pancakes. Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the top, if you like.
Serve and enjoy!