There’s one rule to this recipe you shouldn’t mess with, says Shannon Martinez: “When I say a ring mould is essential to the success of this recipe, I mean it.”

The Melbourne chef – who is considered an Australian authority on plant-based food, helming vegan eateries Smith & Daughters, Smith & Deli and Lona Misa – adds that the higher the sides of the rings you use, the higher your pancakes will be.

This is her take on plump, sky-high Japanese soufflé pancakes. They get their towering physique and airy texture thanks to egg whites, which are whipped to stiff peaks and then folded into the batter so it rises.

Martinez’s version, which she calls “fat-arse pancakes”, doesn’t contain eggs, but you’ll be able to get a similar fluffy texture thanks to soda water. And, importantly, “For these pancakes to do the whole soufflé thing, they need the assistance of metal ring moulds. The higher the sides, the higher you can get your pancakes,” she writes in her 2020 cookbook Vegan With Bite.

And what to serve them with? “Top with whatever you damn well please, but I love maple syrup,” says Martinez.

“Fat-Arse” soufflé pancakes with maple syrup
Makes 4 pancakes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
Non-stick cooking spray
Maple syrup, to serve

Wet
100ml plant-basked milk (or cow milk if you want)
100ml soda water
2 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Dry
200g plain (all-purpose) flour
50g icing sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

Method:
Combine all the wet ingredients in a jug and leave to stand for 5 minutes. The mixture will thicken slightly.

Sift all the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl with a pinch of salt and make a well in the middle. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and, using a spatula, gently fold the dry into the wet, mixing only until there are no visible dry spots. You need to keep the mixture light and airy for this to work.

Spray a heavy-based cast-iron frying pan with non-stick spray and warm over a low heat for a few minutes. For these pancakes to do the whole soufflé thing, they need the assistance of metal ring moulds. The higher the sides, the higher you can get your pancakes. Spray the inside of four high-sided ring moulds and place two in the pan (it’s best to cook them in two batches as you need space to flip them). Fill with 2–3 tablespoons of the mixture, depending how high you’d like them.

Once the mix is in and level, place a lid on the pan and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and flip the pancake while still in the mould. Place the lid back on the pan and cook for another 2 minutes. To test whether they are cooked through, press on the top of a pancake – if there is slight resistance, you should be good to go. Repeat to make the remaining pancakes. Top with whatever you damn well please, but I love maple syrup.

This is an edited extract from Vegan With Bite by Shannon Martinez ($34.99), published by Hardie Grant Books. Photos by Nikki To. Buy it here.

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