One of Runner’s World‘s most popular food features in recent memory was ‘Stacked’, published last November.
And whenever we share a story about the health and performance benefits of drinking coffee on social media, the response from our audience is even more enthusiastic than when we post about the health and performance benefits of drinking beer.
So when we saw the new cookbook from Richard Blais, runner and Top Chef: All-Stars winner, one recipe in particular stood out as ultimate runner-food: Pancakes with Warm Maple Syrup and Coffee Butter.
Yes, coffee butter.
In Try This at Home, Blais outlines his pancake-making technique: add a few extra ingredients to store-bought mix and allow it to sit in the refrigerator overnight. This creates fluffier pancakes than a less-patient person could make.
Didn’t have the foresight to make the batter that far in advance? Prepare it, cover it, stick it in the fridge, and head out for a run. The longer it sits, he explains in the book, the more time the batter has to absorb the moisture of the wet ingredients.
And whether you’re making these pancakes or just heating up frozen waffles, the coffee butter is a must-try. It adds that lovely bitter flavor devotees of black coffee can’t resist, and it pairs nicely with warmed maple syrup.
Blais, who ran his first marathon in New York City in 2011, thinks the breakfast chapter of Try This at Home might appeal most to runners, but anything in the book should be doable and delicious. “It’s a cookbook for the home cook,” he stresses. “It’s simple stuff.”
Throughout the two-year process of getting the book ready to go, Blais says he relied on running to keep him balanced. “People who’ve seen me compete on TV know I’m high stress, high anxiety, all the time,” he says. “The cookbook was a lot more work than I thought it would be, but running helped me relax.”
What you’ll need:
2 cups high-quality store-bought pancake mix
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Pure maple syrup, warmed, for serving
Sliced fresh strawberries or blueberries, sprinkled with sugar, for serving
Coffee butter (see below), for serving
How to make it:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk the pancake mix, flour, milk, eggs, and melted butter together until smooth. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and as long as overnight.
2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the softened butter on a pancake griddle or heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the batter by ¼-cup amounts to make 10- to 12-centimetre pancakes and cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the bottoms are browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the pancakes and continue cooking until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate in a low oven to keep warm until ready to serve. Continue with the remaining batter, adding the remaining butter as needed.
3. To serve, put 3 warm pancakes on each plate. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon of the coffee butter and some warm syrup, garnish with the fruit, and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Recipe also from Blais’s Try This at Home
What you’ll need:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1⁄2 cup brewed coffee
How to make it:
1. Put the coffee in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook until reduced by about half. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
2. Put the softened butter in a small bowl and whisk in the cooled reduced coffee until completely incorporated. Set aside until ready to serve. (Note: We were unable to completely incorporate all our coffee, but it still had a definite coffee flavor. Add in as much as you can.)