Dark Chocolate Pancake & Banana Towers

Pancakes drizzled with maple syrup take me back to my childhood.  For an afternoon snack, my siblings, our playmates and I would have them, noisily eating in the terrace or high up on the guava tree in our backyard with a big plank of wood secured in between the big branches.  It was a balancing act between a glass, a plate and yourself while eating.  Just the sight of it made my mother nervous that she long abandoned scolding us for having acrobatic tendencies to eat.  

Now it's my turn to be a parent and my kids love nature so much.  I love the fact that the plants, insects, soil or anything outside interest them.  It is more intellectually stimulating to observe nature than being stuck in front of the TV or playing with their toys indoors.  The only consequence is that they look and smell like nature too after an afternoon outdoors.  When they go back inside the house, they look like an extension of our garden that it seems impossible to make them look like children again.  Sigh.  I look at the bright side of it. 

Bananas smothered with melted dark chocolate send me to high heavens.  When I am lazy, I just melt some chocolate and pour it on a banana.  I call that dessert in a crude way.  But when I am inclined to having a tad of refinement, I prepare some crepes to go with the bananas & chocolate.  They look more presentable that way.  Today, I thought of making them more ornate.  I was in a frenzied mode in the kitchen whipping up appetizers, pasta, a main course and since I was already at it, why not dessert too?

I made the pancakes and I used a cookie cutter that corresponds closely to the circumference of a banana and made about 16 little round ones with one pancake.  I stacked them alternately with the banana slices & dark chocolate sauce.  I was aiming to impress my kids but they were only interested in dissecting what I had composed.  One zeroed in on the chocolate sauce while the other one targeted the bananas & food sticks.  They both don't like pancakes.  I have strange kids. 

I didn't want to waste the pancakes I riddled with holes so I thought of filling up the gaps with banana slices, just for fun.    

Dark Chocolate Pancake & Banana Towers

Makes 4 - 5 pancakes or about 20 towers
  • 150 grams dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon soft butter + a knob to rub the skillet
  • 1 egg
  • 2 big bananas
  • dark chocolate flakes for decorating 
  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at the defrost position or in a bain marie. You can also use two saucepans, one top of the other, over medium heat. The bottom saucepan should have some water and the top saucepan should contain the chocolates. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, milk, salt, sugar, butter, egg and half of the melted chocolate. Reserve the other half for later. Mix until smooth. Refrigerate for half an hour.
  3. Over low heat, warm up the crepe skillet and rub a knob of butter. Ladle some of the pancake mixture on the skillet.  Make sure the mixture covers the whole skillet.  When it starts to move easily on the skillet, cook the other side.  Repeat until the mixture is finished.
  4. Use a cookie cutter that has almost the same circumference as the bananas to shape the pancakes.  One pancake should yield about 16 small pancakes.  
  5. Cut the bananas horizontally. 
  6. Stack the pancakes & bananas alternately with melted dark chocolate in every layer.  
  7. Secure with a foodstick.  Serve warm.  
  8. If the chocolate sauce hardens & becomes cold, just pop them in the microwave for a few seconds before serving.  Remember that sliced bananas change color so serve as soon as possible.