Cloud Cakes

by Lori on August 30, 2010

The pillowy embrace of cool, cloudy mornings has been the norm for most of our summer.  It’s almost as if summer skipped coastal Southern California this year.  Chilly mornings were spent watching the fog casually roll out, giving way to gentle, breezy days.  With no incentive to rush off to the beach, there was more time to enjoy leisurely mornings curled up on the sofa with a cup of coffee and some always appreciated alone time.  All too familiar with this routine, I knew my peace and quiet would soon be rocked by the sound of two hungry kids coming into the kitchen growling with hunger.

This recipe lightens up the typical pancake breakfast quite a bit, lending itself to those who prefer the cushioned comfort of a fluffy pancake without the weight of the traditional breakfast mainstays.  Topped with seasonal fruits, these little lovelies will have a year-round presence much like the fog we seemed to have borrowed from San Francisco.  There’s lots of room to play with this recipe, and it won’t be long before I add the warmth of Fall spices and caramelized apples or pears.  If you come up with a great combination that you’d like to share, let me know by leaving a comment below.

Cloud Cakes
Adapted from Simply Classic: A New Collection of Recipes To Celebrate The Northwest

For a mixed berry topping:
2 cups sliced strawberries and blueberries
Granulated sugar to taste but use enough to make a little syrup

For the pancakes:
3 large eggs separated
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons orange zest (or to taste)

Combine sugar and berries in a small bowl.  Let stand at room temperature while cooking pancakes.

In a medium bowl, whisk cottage cheese to break down the curds.  Add egg yolks and orange zest and combine.  Mix salt into flour and gradually whisk into egg mixture.  After flour has been incorporated, gradually whisk in milk until smoothly blended.  In a separate bowl which is dry and free of any oil, beat egg whites just until stiff.  Gently fold into yolk-flour mixture until evenly blended.  Let batter stand 5 minutes.

Cook in 1/4 cup portions on a hot, lightly greased non-stick* griddle or skillet.  Cook until lightly browned on each side.  Divide among 4 plates and serve immediately topped with mixed berries and a dusting of powdered sugar.

*Despite my attempts to make it otherwise, I’m afraid a non-stick griddle or skillet is a prerequisite for this dish.

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