Whipped Cream

1. If you‘d like to serve the Fluffy Japanese Soufflé Pancakes with optional fresh whipped cream, make it now. First, prepare an ice bath: Put ice cubes and water in a large bowl and place a clean and dry medium bowl on top of the ice water. Add ½ cup heavy (whipping) cream and 1½ Tbsp sugar to the medium bowl to keep them cold.

2.Whisk on high speed until medium to firm peaks form. The cream should not be runny but soft, fluffy, and firm instead. Keep the whipped cream chilled until you‘re ready to serve the pancakes.

Mixing the Batter

1. Separate 2 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell) into whites and yolks in two different bowls. Put the bowl with the egg whites in the freezer for 15 minutes.

2. In the meantime, add 1½ Tbsp whole milk and ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract to the egg yolks and whisk using a hand whisk until thick and frothy.

3. Sift ¼ cup cake flour and ½ tsp baking powder into the bowl.

4. Whisk to combine thoroughly; do not overmix. Set aside while you make the meringue.

Making the Meringue

1. After 15 minutes, take out the bowl with the egg whites from the freezer. The egg whites should be half frozen. Now, start beating the egg whites with a hand mixer (you can also use a stand mixer or balloon whisk).

2. When the egg whites turn frothy and opaque, gradually add in 2 Tbsp sugar, roughly one-third of it at a time. Then, increase the mixer speed to high (Speed 10) and beat vigorously until stiff peaks form (see the next step for how to check). It takes about 2 minutes of beating at high speed to reach stiff peaks. Tip: When using a stand mixer, I usually pause beating when the meringue is almost done. Take off the whisk attachment from the mixer and use it to hand-mix the looser egg whites near the bowl’s edge into the stiffer whites near the center until it’s all homogenous in texture. Then, put the whisk back on and continue beating.

3. To check for stiff peaks, stop whisking and pull up your beaters or whisk. The meringue in the bowl or on the whisk should be firm enough to hold a peak, pointing straight up (or maybe folding over a little bit just at the very tips). By this time, the meringue should have a glossy texture, too. Tip: If you overbeat the meringue, it will become very stiff and grainy and won’t incorporate into the batter at all.

4. Heat a large nonstick frying pan to 300ºF (150ºC) over the lowest heat. Brush with 1 Tbsp neutral oil and lightly remove any visible oil with a paper towel (otherwise the pancakes will have a spotty pattern). Keep the pan on low heat while you fold in the egg white meringue into the egg yolk mixture in the next step.

5. Take one-third of the egg white meringue and add to the egg yolk mixture. Whisk together by hand (don’t worry too much about breaking air bubbles at this point).

6. Next, take half of the remaining meringue and add to the egg yolk mixture. Using a hand whisk, gently fold them in without breaking the air bubbles in the egg whites. Why do we use a whisk instead of a silicone spatula?

7. Now, transfer the egg yolk mixture back into the bowl with the remaining meringue. Very gently fold the two mixtures together, taking care not to deflate the air bubbles in the meringue and batter as you fold. Mix the batter very gently until well combined and homogenous.

Cooking the Pancakes

1. Keep your nonstick frying pan heated to 300ºF (150ºC) at all times over low heat. Remember, each pancake gets roughly four small scoops of batter, and you will be making three pancakes. For the first pancake, place one scoop of batter and make a tall mound in the frying pan, using a small ladle or a serving spoon (that’s bigger than a regular spoon—probably 2–3 Tbsp). Next, stack one more scoop of batter onto the first scoop already in the pan. Repeat for the next two pancakes, giving each pancake two scoops of batter.

2. By the time all three pancakes have two scoops, the surface of the batter is slightly dry already. At this point, you can mound one more scoop on top of each pancake, keeping the batter piled up high. In the bowl, you should still have roughly three scoops left (if you have slightly more, that’s okay).

3. Set the timer for 6–7 minutes and add 1 Tbsp of the 2 Tbsp water in three empty spaces inside the pan. Cover with a lid. The steam from the water keeps the pancakes moist while they cook. Please note: The suggested time is just a guideline; how long you will cook the pancakes is based on the temperature of your frying pan.

4. After 2 minutes have passed, open the lid, and add one final scoop of batter to each pancake (or more scoops if you have more batter). Make sure to stack the batter high, not wide. If the water has evaporated, add a little bit more. Cover with the lid and cook.

5. After 6–7 minutes have passed, lift the pancake VERY GENTLY using an offset spatula. If the pancake is stuck, don’t touch it until it firms up a little. If you force it, the pancake will crack in the middle. When the pancake is ready, you can easily move the pancake. Repeat with the other pancakes.

6. Add another 1 Tbsp water to the empty spaces in the pan and cover. Set the timer for 4–5 minutes to cook the other side on the lowest heat setting.

7. Once they are nicely browned, transfer the pancakes to your serving plates.