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Dutch Baby Pancake with Chocolate Sauce


Courtesy of Stephany Zonis

My mother made a variation of this baked pancake for Sunday morning breakfasts. There really isn’t much to it, but it somehow manages to rise dramatically as it bakes. I have improved the original recipe by adding a little sugar and lemon zest–and, of course, vanilla!

You’ll need a 12 inch diameter frying pan that must be able to withstand an oven temperature of at least 400 degrees (I prefer 425 degrees F, as it browns better but 400 degrees F will work). Like time itself, this pancake waits for no one. Remove it carefully from the oven, using pot holders (the pan will be very hot), then cut and serve it at once. If you prefer, you can skip the chocolate sauce and whipped cream, and simply sprinkle a bit of confectioners sugar over the top of the Dutch Baby, and/or serve it with some good-quality preserves.

Dutch Baby with Chocolate Sauce
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Dutch Baby
  1. 2 large eggs
  2. 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  3. Grated zest of 1 lemon
  4. 2 teaspoons Rain's Choice pure vanilla extract
  5. Dash of salt
  6. 1/2 cup milk
  7. 1/2 cup flour
  8. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
Warm Chocolate Sauce
  1. 4 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  2. few grains of salt
  3. 1/2 cup heavy cream
Dutch Baby
  1. Preheat oven to 400 or 425 degrees F (see recipe introduction). In medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt. With fork, beat just until combined. Gradually beat in milk until mixture is blended.
  2. All at once, add flour. With fork (or using a large whisk), beat until flour is incorporated. The batter will be thin and should contain a number of small lumps. Do not overbeat. Set aside briefly.
  3. Place butter slices in a 12 inch diameter oven-proof frying pan. Place pan over medium heat. Melt butter, swirling pan so melted butter coats entire pan bottom. Allow melted butter to become very hot, swirling pan occasionally. Turn off heat.
  4. All at once, pour batter into hot butter. Batter may not cover entire pan bottom as it will spread by itself during baking. Quickly place frying pan into preheated oven.
  5. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, checking only once or twice. It isn't necessary to turn the pan back-to-front halfway during baking time, as the finished pancake will be uneven in height and browning. The only thing you need to be careful about during baking is serious over-browning, especially along the outer edges of the pancake.
  6. The pancake is done when it is puffy. The edges will rise high and be browner than the top or bottom; browning will likely be uneven on top of the pancake. Using pot holders, carefully remove from oven as the pan will be very hot. Cut and serve immediately, passing warm chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
Chocolate Sauce
  1. If you have all of your ingredients prepared and together, you can prepare the sauce while the pancake bakes.
  2. Combine finely chopped chocolate and salt in a small heat-proof bowl. In a small saucepan over low heat, heat heavy cream until very hot, stirring occasionally; remove from heat. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand for a minute or two, then stir or whisk gently until smooth. (If necessary, place bowl over simmering water on low heat--water should not touch bottom of bowl--and stir frequently just until smooth. Remove from heat and hot water.)
  3. This makes a generous 3/4 cup of sauce.
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Patricia Rain
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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (, a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.
Patricia Rain
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