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Chocolate Dutch Baby with Caramelized Pears

Chocolate Dutch Baby with Caramelized Pears from @loveandoliveoil

I am a big proponent of the lazy weekend brunch.

Unfortunately, it seems like these days lazy weekends are few and far between. More often than not we’re not playing catch up and cramming our weekends full of errands and photoshoots and work that didn’t get done during the week. Taylor trying to make use of every minute of his time to finish his latest project, me baking huge messes in the kitchen, rushing to finish what I’m doing before the sun goes down and it’s too dark to photograph.

It’s like weekends are full of expectations – things you want to get done that you don’t have time to do during the week. They are days of second chances, first chances, even, for projects and passions for which day-to-day work doesn’t leave time. But more often than not, those projects are left uncompleted, those passions left unfulfilled, and instead you are left feeling disappointed with yourself and your lack of motivation.

Why is it so hard for us to just slow down? To take these two days that have officially designated as non-working days and actually not work? And when we do finally take an entire day just to sit and get caught up on the latest season of that show (you know the one), why can’t we simply enjoy the downtime without feeling like we wasted the day?

Chocolate Dutch Baby with Caramelized Pears from @loveandoliveoil

I think there’s a balance out there somewhere. A weekend that’s part productive and part restorative. Part work and part play. Ok, maybe more play than work, but done in such a way that you don’t feel like it was time wasted.

I’m still struggling to find that balance, but I think the first step in finding it is learning to appreciate the lazy weekend brunch. I mean, we sure talk a lot about breakfast for dinner, and why we love it because it we don’t always have the time to make a big breakfast. But why can’t we slow down enough to have a nice breakfast—for breakfast—once in a while?

A recipe like this one in surely a step in the right direction.

Bosc Pears

This is a chocolate variation of one of my favorite brunch dishes: the dutch baby (also called a German pancake). And in an effort not to waste the beautiful box of Bosc pears that arrived on my doorstep a few weeks ago, warm caramelized pear slices spooned over top.

Chocolate Dutch Baby with Caramelized Pears from @loveandoliveoil

The chocolate does change the character of the pancake just a bit; it’s not quite as puffy as its blonde counterpart, and it falls much quicker once it’s removed from the oven. But the result is just as tempting: crispy puffed edges and a tender eggy center. Somewhere in between an omelet, a flapjack, and a popover, a dutch baby is, for lack of a better term, perfect in its own right. Health food this is not. But in my quest for balance, a bit of self-indulgence is definitely required. Perhaps acknowledging that is indeed my first step towards a more fulfilling weekend.

Chocolate Dutch Baby with Caramelized Pears

Yield: 4 servings

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

For Caramelized Pears:

  • 1 Bosc pear, halved, cored, and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven.
  2. In a blender, combine milk, flour, eggs, cocoa, salt, and vanilla and blend until smooth.
  3. Add butter cubes to hot skillet; return to oven until butter is melted and sizzling. Carefully pour batter into hot skillet, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and darkened on the edges.
  4. While pancake is cooking, prepare caramelized pears. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears and sprinkle with brown sugar. Cook for 2-3 minutes then flip, until softened and golden brown. Sprinkle with lemon juice and toss to coat.
  5. Cut pancake into wedges and top with pears. Drizzle with leftover caramel sauce and dust with powdered sugar. Pancake will fall quite quickly after being removed from the oven, so you want to  be sure to cut and and serve as quickly as possible.

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29 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 4:44 am

    I’ve never had a chocolate Dutch baby. What a great idea! pinned

    And everything you said about weekends are full of expectations…oh yes, they are. Be at this place for your kid’s recital, go to this bday party, answer a zillion emails, photoshoots, etc and it goes on & on. I need a vacation after my weekends :)

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 4:48 am

    I’ve always wanted to try a dutch baby and this is one I must try. I am the same I create huge messesbin the kitchen trying to get everything done before the sun disappears, when it actually comes out because I live in the UK and sunshine is a totally myth on most occasions

    Reply

  3. 3
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 6:45 am

    Absolutely beautiful! I just got some gorgeous pears in our CSA box that would be perfect!

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Your weekends sound way to much like mine! Busier than the work week!
    I’ve actually never had a dutch baby. You may disown me.
    But, if it has chocolate I am more than willing to try it!
    Pinned!

    Reply

  5. 5
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Your weekends sound very much like my own!  I always feel like I have to cram so much (work) into them, luckily that work is something I enjoy, but still, there are definitely times where the weekend has passed and I feel like I didn’t relax at all! 

    Such a great idea to make a chocolate Dutch baby!  And those pears.  Swoon.

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 7:41 am

    I hear you on weekends.  I’m trying to at least take one full day off a week (Sundays), and ideally most of the other day (Saturdays), and oh man — life is so much better when that happens!  But I think that a lazy brunch is the perfect way to begin a weekend.  And all the better, of course, with this beautiful meal.  Sounds wonderful, and gorgeous photos as always!

    Reply

  7. 7
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Oh boy! I’ve never had a chocolate dutch baby before!! Awesome!

    Reply

  8. 8
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Photos are gorgeous.  I’ve never had chocolate dutch baby before but I will try it soon.  And the caramelized pear is a great touch.  pinning!

    Reply

  9. 9
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Thank goodness I picked up a new container of cocoa on Friday, because my girls and I are snowed in today and this is looking like a fun option for lunch!  It’ll be my first chocolate dutch baby and I can’t wait.  :-)  Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 10:54 am

    wow – great photos and recipe!! caramelized fruits are always great and the combination of chocolate and pear sounds mouthwatering.

     

    Reply

  11. 11
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    How perfect of a recipe. I just tried my first dutch baby this weekend during a date night…it was a Banana Fosters. And completely delicious. This chocolate variation will be on my to make lists during our slowed down weekend coming up!  Props to you for bring his topic up….we all could use a lazy weekend. 

    Reply

  12. 12
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I never had  chocolate Dutch baby, looks wonderful loving the touch of caramelised pear…and pictures are just gorgeous!

    Reply

  13. 13
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Seriously, we all need to calm down.  I’ve been treating Saturday like it’s a regular day and just working right through.  I’ve been good lately about resting on Sundays, though.  I hope the habit sticks.
    Yes to lazy brunches with chocolate! :)

    Reply

  14. 14
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Hello from France, to tell you that your recipe is tempting and your photos are a feast for the eyes ;>

    Reply

  15. 15
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Love the idea of an indulgent weekend breakfast, but it happens so rarely! I’ve never tried a Dutch Baby but yours looks so tempting and delicious. 

    Reply

  16. 16
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    This is phenomenal. Definitely one my list to make soon. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  17. 17
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    This looks fantastic!  I love dutch babies but never thought of making one chocolate. 

    Reply

  18. 18
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    So right on with this post! Sometimes I think I almost need to schedule in a day of rest, because they so do refresh me!

    So does chocolate which is why I absolutely adore this dish. I have actually never made a dutch baby before… gasp!  But this looks like the perfect one to start with!

    Reply

  19. 19
    Posted On March 3, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    I make dutch babies all the time, but never a chocolate one. This is gorgeous and my family would love it!

    Reply

  20. 20
    Posted On March 4, 2014 at 12:56 am

    I think it’s an American thing, the inability to slow down. And after awhile, we’re not even that productive anymore, we’re just tired and burned out!

    Reply

  21. 21
    Posted On March 4, 2014 at 6:50 am

    I love lazy… if I didn’t want things my way, I would be more lazy

    Reply

  22. 22
    Posted On March 4, 2014 at 8:22 am

    My daughter LOVES chocolate and dutch babies.  This will knock her socks off!

    Reply

  23. 23
    Posted On March 4, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    totally with everyone else here – never seen a chocolate german pancake, but I sooo need one now!!!  more of a strawberry gal myself, but if I ever saw a pear I wanted to eat, these are it girrrl!

    Reply

  24. 24
    Posted On March 6, 2014 at 11:42 am

    What an absolutely lovely combination: chocolate & caramelized pears! Thank you for the inspiration – I simply cannot wait to try this for breakfast!

    Reply

  25. 25
    Victoria
    Posted On March 8, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I’m assuming you put the granulated sugar into the blender with the rest, but the recipe doesn’t say….

    Reply

  26. 26
    Posted On March 9, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Absolutely amazing! This is the first Dutch baby I’ve made and it was fantastic! I subbed a gluten free flour mix (King Arthur) and used red plums instead of the pears. Thank you!

    Reply

  27. 27
    Posted On March 11, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I have the same problem – I swear I don’t sit down from 8AM to 8PM on weekends, it’s SO HARD to slow down and just…. relax. And be still. And not feel guilty about not doing the 239482342390 things that I know need to be done. 

    I have been compromising lately by not immediately running off to the gym first thing in the mornings and instead enjoying a lazy breakfast with my fiance before I officially start my day… 

    This dutch baby… My goodness. I have had approximately 2,895 dutch babies in my lifetime and NEVER have I had one made of chocolate. I need to make this ASAP. 

    Reply

  28. 28
    Samantha
    Posted On March 17, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Our first Dutch Baby, it was great! I used strawberries as that’s what was in the fridge. Going to try again next weekend I think, the hubby wants it sweeter and chocolatier though. So I think I’ll up the sugar by 1 tablespoon and sub out a little more cocoa for flour. Yummy!

    Reply

  29. 29
    Posted On March 29, 2014 at 2:00 am

    What a beautiful post all around. And I *love* the idea of a chocolate dutch baby! You are an evil genius in the best way possible. :)

    Reply

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