I never shop at Trader Joe’s but every once in a while they create a product that I’m very curious about. Most recently, they started selling an ube mochi pancake and waffle mix that I very much wanted to try. However, given the quarantine, I wasn’t going to line up just for one item. And so, here we are, slaving away in the kitchen, trying to recreate my own version. I can’t say how closely my ube mochi pancakes resemble Trader Joe’s since I never tried their product but these are still delicious pancakes! Top them with candied macadamia nuts and coconut whipped cream to take them to the next level.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Here’s the thing about making mochi pancakes: all you have to do is add one ingredient to a basic pancake ingredient and you’re set. What’s that secret ingredient? Rice flour! Just by adding rice flour, you turn basic ordinary pancakes into tender pancakes with just a slight chew. If you don’t want the ube version, I highly recommend plain mochi pancakes and seeing the difference. However, being a huge fan of ube, I had to make this specific version.
Okay, let’s step back a minute. What exactly is ube? It’s a purple sweet potato that’s not as sweet as your typical sweet potato. I obsess over these potatoes when they are in season because they are so, so delicious. Just roast the potatoes in the oven, peel back the layer and take a bite out of that sweet purple flesh. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
To make these ube mochi pancakes, first we have to prepare the potato. Roast the sweet potatoes until a fork can easily pierce through. Let them cool slightly so that it’s easier to handle, and remove the peel. Mash the potato and blend it with milk to make a puree. Mix this puree with the wet ingredients for the pancakes including milk, egg, and butter. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. The batter will look a bit gray but the color will change when the pancakes are cooked.
You may have noticed that this pancake recipe does not call for baking soda or baking powder. That’s because these leavening agents will react with the potato and turn the batter blue. Yup, I learned this the hard way. After making my first trial batch, I turned away for a second only to come back to a turquoise colored batter!
Cook the pancakes on a griddle as you would normal pancakes. They won’t rise as high because there is no leavening agent but don’t fret. It’ll still taste good.
Stack the ube mochi pancakes onto a plate and top with a dollop of coconut whipped cream and candied macadamia nuts. The toppings aren’t necessary but they make the pancakes ten times better. I did notice that Trader Joe’s version is gluten-free and I used all-purpose flour in my recipe; however, I am very satisfied with this version. My ube cravings are satisfied!
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