Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Whipped Cream

Sometimes people assume that I am a health nut.

That is before they get to know me.

I have a massive sweet tooth. I blame it on my Dad who likes dessert as much as I do.

When I lived in Rochester, New York my favorite restaurant was called Creme de la Creme (it had all the fun little things over the letters that I can’t figure out how to type). It was a dessert only restaurant with a menu that was amazing. The chocolate page (where I discovered the beauty of Bete Noire), the fruit page (tarts and pies), the drinks page (upon one would find the most amazing hazelnut milkshake).

The “lighter fare” page was where my favorite dessert could be found. The Viennese Meringue Torte had fresh strawberries and lightly whipped cream layered with crispy baked meringue pieces. Heaven on a plate (especially when paired with the above mentioned hazelnut milkshake.)

Before a night out on the town, a group of us would converge on the restaurant that was formerly a house on Alexander St by Park Ave. We would crowd into the front parlor under a pink lamp with long fringe on the shade, practically eating our knees since the cushion on the sofa was so worn out. The same group of sweet lovers would come often- Misa, Rob, Holly, Scott… Claire would order the carrot cake, I believe….. people might be fuzzy in my memory but not dessert!

This was after ’89 of course, when I had landed a job to pay for my “dinner” of desserts. Before that- ’87-’88, as a poor college student at RIT, I would have my late night dinners at Gitsi’s Texas Hots on Monroe Ave. My 3am meal would consist of a grilled hard roll with jelly… a meal that cost me 50 cents.

OK, sorry for the trip down memory lane, let me bring it all home to the farm and tie it in a nice little bundle.

My love of sweets is what drove me to cook this recipe for breakfast on a Sunday. I used our eggs in the pancakes and served it along with our bacon, so it counts as using our ingredients!!

But I can’t cook just what I grow, I need a little help from my friends! The butter, chocolate milk and cream all came from Clear Spring Creamery and the Strawberry Daiquiri mix came from Garner’s Produce- both farms sell by me at the Penn Quarter Market and are great operations.

Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Whipped Cream

For Pancakes- mix together in a large bowl-
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

In a small bowl mix together-
2 cups chocolate milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup melted butter
1 t vanilla

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and cook over a medium griddle 2-3 minutes on the first side and 1-2 minutes on the second side….ya know, like you usually cook pancakes.

For the topping-
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 to 1 cup of Strawberry Daiquiri mix (or a strawberry syrup will do in a pinch!)

Beat cream until it holds peaks and then gently stir in as much of the strawberry mixture as you like. You can also add sugar if you need to, but you probably won’t.

To serve- place pancakes on a plate and put a dollop of whipped cream between each pancake. Drizzle additional strawberry mix/syrup over the top if desired.

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