Valentine's Day Pancakes
Blackberry Syrup :
1/2 package frozen blackberries, thawed, with all juices
1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar (approximate)
1/2 tsp. honey (optional)
( Note: This syrup may be made up to a week in advance of using and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Simply reheat before serving.)
If berries are still frozen: Place berries in a bowl with 1/2 of the sugar and stir to coat. Microwave on medium setting for about 3 minutes, in 1 minute increments, until completely thawed. Allow to cool completely, then continue as below.
Place berries and juices in a bowl with all of the sugar. Stir to coat berries evenly and allow to macerate at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.
Mash berries slightly with the back of a fork and stir to ensure that the sugar coats the berries evenly. Pour mixture into a small saucepan with orange juice and honey (optional) and put over medium heat. bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer until mixture reduces by 1/4 (about 12 minutes). Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.
In a medium bowl, beat egg until fluffy. Beat in all remaining ingredients, except chocolate, until just smooth. (for a thinner batter, add 1 or 2 additional tablespoons of milk.) Add chocolate and stir a few times to distribute the chips.
Heat griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat, or if using an electric griddle, to 375° F. (To test heat, sprinkle with a few drops of water. if bubbles jump and skitter around the griddle, the heat is perfect.) Place heart shaped mold on the surface of the pan and spray surface with nonstick cooking spray.
For each pancake, use just a bit less than 1/4 cup batter that is thin enough to flow to the shape of the mold, but not thin enough to run out from under the edges (This may take a bit of experimentation.) Cook until pancake is bubbly on top, puffed and beginning to rise over the top of the mold (if it’s a little guy like mine) at the edges. flip pancake and mold together and cook the other side until it is golden brown.
Store pancakes in a 200 degree oven, directly on the oven rack, while cooking remaining pancakes.