A few more days until winter solstice, a moment I've been unconsciously longing for since a few weeks. I am very prone to seasonal depressions. It's nothing serious, it's just that I need a bit of extra vitamin D, a bit of warmth and sunshine, more hours of it to be specific. We had our first snow of the season last week though, and that was fun, but here in my country snow never lasts long. So now we're back to grey days and rain. Therefore, it's time for my last resort: chocolate. After all, the cocoa plant is a fruit right? Nothing wrong with that. Especially not when it's Fairtrade certified.
You guys know by now that I am an advocate of Fairtrade Netherlands. It's important to me that people who work hard to get these exotic products like bananas, chocolate, coffee, coconut milk, and tea to our countries, get a fair pay. Like I mentioned, the holidays, the dark days, they are often a time when we consume quite a bit of chocolate. So if we do indulge, let's make it a fair indulgment right? This way, we help improve the lives of hard-working cocoa farmers.
A bit of background info before I jump to the recipe. Millions of cocoa farmers have to live of less than a dollar a day. Fairtrade helps these farmers so that they have enough money to invest in their own business and can maintain their families. In order to help them, it's important that more and more chocolate becomes Fairtrade certified. That's what this years campaign is about. Fairtrade Netherlands has put together a box chockfull of holiday chocolate for you to enjoy during the holidays. And the fun thing is: I get to give away one of these boxes to you! All you have to do is check my instagram post and leave a comment to be in the mix and I will pick a winner tomorrow! Open to Dutchies only, but I am absolutely sure that wherever you live, you'll be able to find Fairtrade chocolate!
About the pancakes, this is currently my favorite recipe. It's from Simple Fare Fall/Winter publishedhed by Abrams Books. It's a book I use often these days. The recipes are straightforward yet original in flavors and I love the fact that the ingredients can be easily substituted. For instance, I didn't have hazelnuts, creme fraiche or maple syrup at hand, but the suggestions offered inspired my own alterations which worked out well, I believe. I also love the fact that author Karen Mordechai who you might also know from Sunday Suppers, has chosen to include grated chocolate in the batter. It makes these pancakes rich, but not too sweet. Perfect for a cold & dark winter morning.
Dark chocolate buttermilk pancakes with almonds & skyr
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 ounces (115 g) shaved bittersweet chocolate
3 tbsp unsalted butter
A mix of whipped cream & skyr, to taste
Roasted & chopped almonds
A light drizzle of honey
How to make it:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the shaved chocolate.
Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Once the butter has melted, spoon 1/4 cup portions of the batter onto the hot griddle. Cook until bubbles start to form on the top of the pancakes, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more butter as necessary in between batches.
Stack the pancakes onto a large serving platter or separate plates. Top with the cream & skyr, add the almonds and drizzle honey over the top to finish.
This post is a collaboration between myself and Fairtrade Netherlands. I thank them for supporting my business. As always, my opinions are my own.