Dark Chocolate Pancakes w/ Dark Cherry Rum Compote & Toasted Walnuts

My daughter Amanda’s favorite breakfast on the weekends is pancakes.  She loves their simple flavor.  She eats them topped with powdered sugar and strawberries, no syrup needed.  When we have friends over for brunch, making them simple pancakes is just not something I would do.  So, I decided to make dark chocolate pancakes topped with a dark cherry rum compote and toasted walnuts.  I know it is a gamble, as I have never made these elaborate pancakes before, but I thought they would taste very much like a forêt noire or a black forest cake.  What gave me this idea was delicious black forest cake I made for my husband Kevin’s birthday a few weeks before.  Well, as you might have guessed, I made the pancakes, and they were a hit!

Dark Chocolate Pancakes with Dark Cherry Rum Compote and Toasted Walnuts

2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Baking Powder
pinch of Salt
1 1/2 cups organic Whole Milk
2 large organic Eggs
2 tablespoons of Pure Vanilla Extract2 tablespoons of organic unsalted Butter – melted
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate – your choice
1 cup Walnuts – toasted
1/4 cup powdered Sugar

Dark Cherry & Rum Compote

12 ounces dark cherries – pitted
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Rum

In a small sauce pan, place the pitted cherries over medium heat for about 20-30 minutes, or heat them and let them simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add the sugar and allow them to break down further.   If you choose to use the canned variety of dark cherries, use their liquid as well and omit the sugar, as they will already be sweet enough.  After about 10 minutes, add the rum and let reduce to a syrup like consistency.  Basically, the resulting cherry compote should easily coat the back of a spoon.

Place a small sauce pan filled with about 2 to 3 inches of water on the stove and over medium low heat.  Take the chocolate and place it in a bowl on top of the sauce pan to create a double boiler.  Make sure the bowl is not touching the water.  As the water simmers, the resulting steam will gently heat the bowl and slowly melt the chocolate.

In a much larger bowl, add the flour, salt, and baking powder and stir.  In baking, you must mix the wet ingredients separately from the dry, then you combine.  Even for silly pancakes, we will follow the rules.  In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together.  After which whisk in the milk.  Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold them together to mix well.  Try not to over mix the batter.  Let the pancake batter sit for a few minutes.  Your pancakes will be very fluffy as a result.

In the meantime, toast the walnuts in a wide and shallow pan over medium low heat.  Be careful not to burn them.  Now that everything is practically ready, heat up a non-stick skillet on medium heat.  Melt a small amount of butter (or use non-stick spray), and add a ladle full of pancake batter to the pan.  When you see bubbles all over the top, flip the pancake and let cook for another minute or two.  Once you have made your pancakes, stack the desired amount on a plate.  Spoon the dark cherry compote over the pancakes.  Roughly chop the toasted walnuts, and sprinkle on top.  Finish off with some powdered sugar … et voilà, my ode to the forêt noire gâteau.

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