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Chocolate Pancakes with Spiced Maple Syrup


Well Hello from Amsterdam!

This is my first visit to Holland, and I'm travelling with the Sop from JoSOPhans - my 18 year old daughter Sophie.

Whilst the city has the vibe of most European cities I've visited, the canals make it so enchanting it's ridiculous. We're staying in the canal belt, so every corner we turn, it seems there is a more beautiful picture postcard view. The charm turns on even more at night when the lights reflect on the water, and it's starting to feel a little like we may be living in a gingerbread village. Even the red light district is picture postcard worthy, from a distance. Thanks to new technology, mobile phones seem to be keeping the ladies entertained whilst patiently waiting in their window.

Amsterdam seems like a very easy city to live in. Push bikes are the preferred mode of transport, perfect with the flat terrain, and whilst hop on/hop off light rail trams zip through the town, given the centre is compact, walking is a great way of soaking it all in a little more slowly. The locals couldn't be more friendly, they seem happy and the general vibe as an outsider is that it all appears super easy going. Maybe it's the coffee shops. The museums are top notch, loads of cultural events are taking place, and classical musicians were belting out Bach in the glorious tunnel outside the Rijksmuseum today, whilst through the giant glass window a huge sparkly hologram Christmas tree floated above the foyer ... Amsterdam is pretty great.

The food has also been fantastic, and when thinking of a recipe inspired by Amsterdam, I just couldn't walk by pancakes and not give them a nod. Whilst the puffy little dutch pancakes 'poffertjes' are the flavour of the day here, and are certainly delicious ... this blog is about luxurious chocolate recipes ... so I decided to mix it up a little .... who says pancakes can't be chocolate?

Man, these pancakes are tasty. I'm very happy with the result. Whilst I wasn't sure how they'd taste, I've pretty much declared myself a pancake genious after putting this together. The infusion of the spices in the maple syrup give it a sprinkle of Christmas ... and if someone made these for me on Christmas morning, I'd be very happy! I've used powdered ginger in the maple syrup, as I feel it gives it more of a 'gingerbread' flavour, which feels more like Christmas, rather then the intensity of fresh ginger ... but cinnamon quills are preferred over the powdered in this recipe if you can get them.

(PS I've forgotten the egg in the ingredients photo! ... don't forget to include it!!)


For a print friendly recipe, CLICK HERE!



145g (1 cup) SR flour (sifted)

pinch salt

20g (1 tbls) caster sugar

30g (2 tblsp) cocoa powder

250g (1 cup) buttermilk

1 free range egg

40g melted butter

25g finely grated chocolate dark chocolate

(optional - but I like to add another 100g of chocolate of chocolate button!)


250ml maple syrup

½ tsp ginger (powdered)

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 vanilla bean

tiny grating of nutmeg



Bring maple syrup to gentle simmer, remove from heat and add ginger, cinnamon, vanilla bean seeds scraped plus pod and a tiny grating of nutmeg.

Cover and refrigerate over night for more intense flavour, or leave at room temperature and let infuse for 1 hr.

Pass syrup through sieve and discard infusion ingredients.


Combine flour, salt, caster sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl.

Combine Buttermilk, egg and melted butter together, whisk until combined.

Pour wet ingredients into the centre of the dry ingredients and whisk gently to combine, being careful not to overbeat or you’ll toughen the batter. When combined, stir in grated chocolate, and if you like, the extra chocolate buttons!)

Pour desired amount (I use about 1/3 of a cup) into no stick frying pan and cook until bubbles appear, then flip and briefly cook the other side.

Serve drowned in spiced syrup!

Here's a snapshot of Amsterdam in December 2016!



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