As we explore the many reasons why we cook, primary inspirations are treasured memories from our past. And as it turns out, professional chefs are no different.
Chef Cole Dickinson, Michael Voltaggio’s sous chef at the restaurant Ink in Los Angeles, shared with us his recipe for a Dutch Baby modeled after one from his childhood. “My mother was a single mom raising three kids,” he says. “She made Dutch babies because they were affordable—and always made us feel special. Today, they’re something we all associate with special occasions and happy times.”
A Dutch baby is a cross between a soufflé and an omelette. It is oven-baked in a hot fry pan rather than cooked on the stovetop, ensuring a light, fluffy rise with a deliciously crisp edge. Dickinson’s version is topped with a bacon-maple syrup and dollop of whipped cream.
“Cooking lets me create things with my hands that I can see and hear other people enjoying – it’s instant gratification,” he adds.
Cole’s Dutch Baby
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 bacon slices, diced
1/2 cup maple syrup
Put an 11-inch French skillet or ovenproof sauté pan in a cold oven. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the cream and the 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar. Pour the mixture into a cream whipper and charge with the cream charger. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Put the eggs, flour, milk and vanilla in a blender. Blend on high until frothy, about 30 seconds, stopping the blender to scrape down the sides as needed.
When the oven is preheated, put the butter in the hot skillet. Return it to the oven until the butter melts and browns, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully pour the batter into the hot skillet. Bake until the Dutch baby is lightly browned and the sides have risen, 17 to 19 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a 9-inch French skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard the fat in the pan. Return the bacon to the pan, add the maple syrup and simmer over medium heat for 20 seconds. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Remove the skillet from the oven and let the Dutch baby cool for 3 to 4 minutes. Cut the Dutch baby into wedges and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately with the whipped cream and bacon syrup. Serves 4 to 6.