Friday, April 9, 2010

The Real Trick

Ketchup bottles and timing.

Something great happens when you draw a couple of spots and a smile, then wait a minute before you add more batter to make a round pancake. The pancake batter that was first on the griddle browns more. So draw a face and wait a minute. Then add enough batter to create a round pancake right over the top of the face.

When the round pancake has cooked a little flip it over to reveal your artistic creation. Those features you drew first are now a darker color than the rest of your pancake. You’ve created a smiley face pancake and you've learned the biggest secret to great pancake art.

There are more secrets...

Cut the end off your ketchup bottle so that a little extra batter will come out. Not too much. It's really hard to glue that end back on.

Join the pancake rebel alliance...

I'm going to tell you do something in direct defiance of the pancake experts. Beat the batter with an electric mixer. Science tells us that beating pancake batter will make the final pancake tough. The toughest pancake I've ever seen was my FlapJack Bauer. (See December 29th, 2009) It wasn't too tough for a little butter and powdered sugar.

"The following takes place between 8 AM and 9 AM:" I ate FlapJack Bauer.

So beat the batter with a mixer. It should be thick enough that you can turn the bottle over without the batter running out, but it needs to be thin enough to pour slowly and smoothly into and out of your plastic bottle.


Lumps are death. Lumps will block your “instrument.” When I say “instrument” I mean a cheap plastic ketchup bottle. Lumps don’t squirt out the nozzle very well. It can be somewhat frustrating to be one step away from completing the perfect replica of Edvard Munch’s Scream only to have it ruined by a blocked flow of batter or an explosion once the lump releases. If this happens to you a few times in a row you may recognize yourself in Munch’s work. (See November 19, 2009)

There are more tricks to be posted soon, including my secret weapon.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Another Basic Pancake

Once you've got "round" going you'll want to start messing with other shapes. One big pancake and two little pancakes and you're squarely into copyright infringement.

I’ve decorated the ears and head by smearing chocolate syrup with my finger to get this somewhat familiar looking mouse. The eyes are slices off the end of a banana with blueberry pupils. That enigmatic smile is a slice of strawberry. Chocolate syrup can do a lot for your pancake art, both in decoration and in flavor. If you’re feeling crazy and have the supplies you can paint chocolate syrup on with a paintbrush. This could be an entire field of mostly unexplored pancake art for the right person.


That's the first question people ask. The second is, "Why?" The third is "How?" and finally we come to one I can answer. Let's start with basic pancake art.

These are round or mostly round. They’re decorated versions of the “standard” issue pancake you’ve loved all of your life. These are what you'll get if you order the “funny face” pancake at your local pancake establishment. With these I use a little fruit, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, or anything else you wouldn’t mind eating on a pancake to decorate them. If you'll go back to the pancakes on the blog from 2009 you'll see a couple of really simple pancake examples of this. The sun and the worm are both just round pancakes. So is this cat. He's pretty simple: Strawberry ears sound delicious, a blueberry nose doesn’t smell, and you can see the eyes are slices of grapes. Any questions here? This is as basic as a pancake gets at my house.


I was thinking about Log Cabin and well...