Impossibly Fluffy Japanese-Style Pancakes
4 large egg whites
2 large egg yolks
1 N cups buttermilk, at room temperature
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus more for serving
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 K cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 K tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
K tsp baking soda
Cooking spray for the moulds and the pan
Maple syrup and fresh berries, for serving
1. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer.) Beat until stiff peaks form. Put the bowl in the refrigerator while preparing the rest of the batter.
2. Whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, butter and vanilla in a large bowl.
3. Add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda, and whisk until just combined (a few lumps are OK).
4. Remove the beaten egg whites from the refrigerator. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold them into the pancake batter in three additions until just combined (a few streaks of egg white are OK).
5. Coat a large, non-stick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-low. Coat the insides of the ring moulds with cooking spray and space them evenly apart in the skillet.
6. Spoon the pancake batter into each of the ring moulds so that it fills them each slightly less than halfway full (use about K cup of batter in each).
7. Carefully cover the skillet with a piece of paper towel (the towel shouldn’t touch the bottom of the pan or hang over the edges) and place the lid over the towel. (If using a gas stove, be careful that the towel is not near the flame.) 8. Cook, covered, until the batter has risen, bubbles have formed, edges appear dry, and the centre just barely jiggles, 13–15 minutes.
9. Working one ring mould at a time, grasp with tongs and quickly flip the mould. Carefully run a small offset spatula or butter knife around the inside of each mould to loosen the pancake, then gently push the pancake down the mould so that the bottom is in contact with the pan. Continue cooking, uncovered, until pancakes are set, about 3–4 minutes more.
10. Remove the skillet from the heat. Carefully run a small offset spatula or butter knife around the inside of each mould to release the pancakes again, then carefully remove the mould. Wipe the moulds clean, coat with cooking spray, and repeat process with remaining batter. 11. Serve pancakes with butter, maple syrup and berries.