When I think of hot chocolate, I think of 6-year-old me in second-hand snow pants and rented ski gear. I’m holding a piping hot cup of cocoa while waddling around a ski lodge, trying my best not to spill all over my jacket. I’ve filled the cup to the absolute brim and topped it with as many marshmallows as could fit. I savor each sip, from the ones in the beginning that burn my tongue to the last drops that I furiously shake out of the cup and into my mouth.
In all seriousness, I think that I enjoy ski trips half for the skiing and half for the hot chocolate. And you can’t have one without the other. Hot chocolate doesn’t taste nearly as good without hours of skiing put in. And skiing is bitter cold without a piping cup of liquid chocolate.
First there was salt + pepper. Then eggs + bacon. Now it’s skiing + hot chocolate.
I typically jump at the opportunity to make a delicious breakfast during the holidays. It’s like my opening act for dessert later in the day. And creating memory-inspiring baked goods is my favorite thing.
That’s why I’m partnering International Delight to bring you these delectable hot chocolate pancakes. And no, that doesn’t mean just chocolate pancakes. That means pancakes made with a rich dark hot chocolate.
This hot chocolate is perfect because it doesn’t require any mixing or toiling over the water to milk ratio in your hot-choc. Just open the carton and you’re good to go. It makes these pancakes almost custardy in consistency and cuts your pancake-making time in half. And of course it couldn’t be called hot chocolate pancakes without a drizzle of fudge sauce and marshmallow. My fudge sauce is dark and creamy, and creates a perfect touch of sweetness atop the pancakes.
How to make fluffy pancakes
Although homemade pancakes use no special ingredients, sometimes it can be tough making pancakes that are properly fluffy and thick. There are a few tricks I’ve picked up over the years that will hopefully help you out while making these decadent hot chocolate pancakes.
Mix the dry ingredients separately—I know it seems like a waste of clean bowls to mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately before combining the two. But the reason you should do this is twofold. First, this prevents you from adding the flour in too early and then over mixing it (which would make for dense, hockey puck-like pancakes).
Second, it prevents the baking powder from reacting with the wet ingredients too early on. If you mix in the baking powder too soon, it’ll react with the wet ingredients right away and might cause the pancakes to not fluff up properly on the griddle.
Pre-heat the griddle—As soon as the pancake batter hits the griddle, you want it to start cooking. If the griddle isn’t hot enough, the pancake batter will sort of just sit there and heat up, which in turn will make for sad, limp pancakes.
Make a thicker pancake batter—Homemade pancake batter is a bit of a Goldilocks situation. Too runny, and the pancakes will be ultra thin and won’t fluff up much. Too thick, and the pancakes will taste doughy. (Lucky for you, my hot chocolate pancake recipe below has done all the hard work for you and turns out perfectly every time!).
In a medium bowl, combine dark hot chocolate, egg, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir wet ingredients into dry until just mixed (do not overmix!).
Pour 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake into pan. Cook for 2 minutes, or until pancakes just begin to harden around edges. Flip and continue to cook for 2 minutes more.
To make the fudge sauce, combine chocolate chips and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk slowly until completely combined, then pour into gravy boat or cup with spout. Pour over pancakes and top with mini marshmallows!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.