Recipe: Origin chef Claudio Aprile’s tropical “bangcakes”

Recipe: Origin chef Claudio Aprile’s tropical “bangcakes”

Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe 2013: Bangcakes

By Claudio Aprile
By Claudio Aprile

PREP TIME: 33 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes
Serves 6 (3 pancakes each).

1 400-mL can coconut milk


¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
¼ tsp salt
1 cup maple syrup
½ cup whipping cream


½ pineapple, diced
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups water
½ vanilla bean


3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 ⅓ cup milk


6 ripe bananas
2 tbsp granulated sugar
Handful of baby Thai basil shoots

1. Refrigerate coconut milk for at least 2 hours. When chilled, scoop solid coconut cream, separating it from coconut liquid, and place it in a bowl. Whip cream using an electric mixer until soft and fluffy.

2. To prepare caramel, bring sugar, water and salt to a boil and cook over high heat. Boil for 8 to 12 minutes, lightly brushing the edges of the mixture with water to prevent crystals from forming. When a candy thermometer reads 365°F, remove from heat. Slowly whisk in maple syrup, then cream. Cool completely.

3. Place diced pineapple in a large resealable container. Place sugar and water in a saucepan. Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds into the sugar mixture. Add the vanilla bean shell. Bring to a boil. When sugar dissolves, remove from heat. Pour vanilla syrup over diced pineapple. Cover and let cool.

4. Stir dry pancake ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, vanilla and butter. Slowly stir wet ingredients into dry mixture. Small lumps are okay.

5. Oil a non-stick pan and set over medium heat. Ladle ¼ cup of batter for each pancake. Cook until small bubbles form. Flip and continue cooking until golden.

6. Just before serving, slice banana in half lengthwise. Place halves on a rack set on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Torch until golden using low heat. Cool.

7. Plate the dish by layering 1 pancake, 1 heaping tbsp of pineapple and a brûléed banana half. Repeat twice. Add a dollop of whipped coconut cream. Drizzle with maple caramel. Sprinkle with Thai basil shoots.

Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe 2013: Bangcakes
Instead of torching bananas, you can broil them. Slice bananas in half lengthwise and set them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Broil on the top rack of the oven until caramelized and golden.

Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe 2013: BangcakesCLAUDIO APRILE
The inspiration for Claudio Aprile’s bangcakes came on a trip to Thailand in 1998. It was an order of traditional banana-chunked crêpes stretched as thin and wide as a 12-inch LP. These griddle cakes are made in the Canadian style—fat, spongy and sweet—but everything else tastes like the tropics, with pineapple sauce, caramelized bananas, a puff of coconut cream and a sprinkle of peppery Thai basil. It’s all piled in a stack of gooey, girth-expanding goodness.

Recipes developed by Victoria Walsh. Recipe photography by Raina and Wilson. Illustrations by Aleksandar Janicijevic. Interviews by Meaghan Binstock, Chantal Braganza, Matthew Hague, Peter Saltsman, Courtney Shea and Caroline Youdan.