Friday, August 14, 2009

Good Morning, Glorious Layers of Awesome-- Nikki and Hannah (A Co-Post)

This month, I had the good fortune of conceptualizing and creating the challenge with the lovely Hannah, who graced the midwest with her presence for a short spell. We had planned to come up with a three-course layer meal, but when she arrived around 6pm and the natives were getting restless, we began to brainstorm with breakfast in mind. A strata? Maybe. A skillet of some sort? Meh. How 'bout a tower of banana pancakes layered with mascarpone cheese and Nutella, and sprinkled with strawberries? DING, DING, DING! A winner was declared! We headed off to the grocery to assemble the supplies, and after a good night's rest, we started the cooking. (Poor Jay-- it was his first day back at school, so he was not part of the breakfast action. We love him, but not enough to cook this at 5am.)
Our ingredients:

The recipe for the banana pancakes is:
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1-½ Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 pinch(es) Salt
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 2 Overripe, Mashed Bananas
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
We started by mashing some bananas-- Hannah mashed them 'til they were nearly smooth, which helped with the consistency of the pancakes. Here's Hannah hard at work.

Then, we mixed the banana with the remaining wet ingredients. Hannah insisted on taking one of me cracking an egg. Sigh.

(Please note my displaced helper to the right... she was a little irritated that Hannah got to do the usual fun jobs. Only her deep and abiding love for Hannah kept her from going into full pout mode.)
Once we mixed the wet ingredients, we added the dry stuff, and stirred. Now, it's time to pour the mixture onto the hot skillet.

The thinness of the batter mixed with the little bit of texture provided by the banana made for some crazy-shaped pancakes. Ah, well. They're artsy.
As I poured pancake after pancake, Hannah set to work slicing strawberries. They were super ripe, and smelled heavenly.

At this point, the smallest helper was restless, so we let her use the camera for awhile... here's her picture of Hannah chopping strawberries:

Ansel Adams, eat your heart out.

After Hannah completed the strawberry-cutting, she moved on to the mascarpone cheese-flavoring. We decided it was good on it's own, but EVEN BETTER with a little vanilla and some honey. So Hannah adjusted it accordingly:

Hannah really likes mascarpone cheese. Like, a lot.

After everything was cooked, and mixed, and ready to go, we started an assembly line of sorts:

First, we applied a good coating of cheese.

Next, we applied another pancake and then a nice layer of Nutella:

Then, we topped it off with a third pancake, and sprinkled it all over with strawberries.

And now-- the verdict:

Nan thought they were excellent, and pronounced her first taste of Nutella as "tasty good".

Hannah did a bit more doctoring-- apparently the results were not QUITE decadent enough--
and then declared it excellent.

And I found our dish to be delightful. The banana pancakes balanced the nutella nicely, and the fresh strawberries and mascarpone were delicious, too.

And don't feel tooo bad for Jay-- we saved him some leftovers, and he created his own layers of awesome after Nan went to bed. His verdict?

I'd say it was a success. We shall replicate it again someday. And it was super fun working with Hannah.


  1. This looks yummy. I think this is something Simon might even try. Even though he doesn't call my food "dirt" like his fair cousin, I'm pretty sure he thinks it. I particularly like nutella and have never thought to add it to a pancake. Yum. Kudos ladies!

  2. To be frank, Natalie mostly licked the newly-discovered (by her) Nutella off the pancakes. She's a Nutella fan for life now.

  3. I have to say that anything with Nutella in it has to be a winner! It is super yum and I never buy it because it would be gone in a day!

  4. Yum, yum, and triple yum, as Little Pea says.

  5. These look awesome. I'm glad we've got T-bone Candpants posting again. These seem very European due to the Nutella. Which begs the question of whether they would seem Australian if you substituted Vegi-Mite for the Nutella?