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.