Louis Goral, executive chef of Amada in New York City, believes that tapas-style brunch is generally underdone. He sees serious potential in sharing small plates for breakfast—like these silver dollar pancakes with sangria syrup. “It’s a great opportunity for people to come in enjoy multiple different flavors,” he says. “That way, they’re not committed to one giant plate of food.” Skip that giant stack of pancakes for one and opt for these mini-pancakes, so you and your fellow brunchers can sample a bit of everything. Nobody said you had to give up (or share) the booze, though. That’s where sangria syrup comes into play.
Goral’s homemade sangria syrup is the clear highlight of this short, small stack. He starts the syrup by pouring Tempranillo red wine from Spain into a large sauce pot with brandy and spiced simple syrup made of star anise, clove, allspice, black peppercorns, and chili flakes. Fresh raspberries, strawberries, and orange rinds add fruitiness to the syrup and stacks of canella bark—with a similar flavor to cinnamon—takes it over the top. Goral brings this all to a boil, lowers the heat to a simmer, and reduces the liquid to about one third of its original size, so it’s thick and sweet.
Not sold yet? These sangria pancakes are the fluffiest ever. Goral suggests separating the yolks from the egg whites while preparing the wet ingredients for this pancake batter, or even the one for your favorite pancake recipe. Whip the whites until they’re fluffy and form frothy peaks and when you add the dry ingredients to the wet, just fold them in. Don’t over-mix the batter, or you'll risk popping the air pockets and instantly flatten your pancakes. If your batter is a little bit lumpy, that’s totally OK.
Brûléed orange segments, sangria-poached plums, and canella whipped cream are pretty and perfect for plating. But again, the sangria syrup truly takes the cake—or the stack.