Chocolate Dutch baby with vanilla roasted strawberries

A Dutch baby, a puffy oven pancake, can be either savory or sweet. Serve this all-chocolate version warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The Runaway Spoon
This chocolate Dutch baby is easy to make and rich in chocolate flavors without being too sweet.

It is hard not to want to eat something called a Dutch baby. It's such a sweet and inviting name. The puffy oven pancakes have experienced something of a renaissance in the last few years, with lots of recipes showing up on the internet for sweet and savory versions with all sorts of flavorings and toppings. I, however, sometimes find a plain Dutch baby a little too plain, so I've amped it up with chocolate here, and paired it with chocolate’s natural spring partner, strawberries.

There are a lot of things I love about this recipe. The baby is rich and chocolate-y without being cloyingly sweet. Roasting the strawberries heightens their sweetness, and vanilla adds such an aromatic note. Roasting is particularly helpful if your berries are not super-sweet to begin with, or just a little past their prime.

Each component of this recipe is delicious on its own, or paired with other things. Most of all, this could not be easier to make. The berries can be roasted a day ahead, and making the baby in the blender literally takes minutes. If you like things a little sweeter, you can serve this with vanilla ice cream, or a cloud of sweetened whipped cream. Most recipes I have read say serve the Dutch baby immediately out of the oven, but I can tell you I've had it at room temperature and it was fine.

Chocolate Dutch baby with vanilla roasted strawberries

For the Strawberries:
1 pound strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla bean

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cut the berries in half and spread them in a single layer in an 8- by 8-inch baking dish. Put the sugar in a small bowl. Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds with the back of a knife. Drop the seeds into the sugar and toss it all around to blend. I like to toss the bowl a few times, then use my good clean fingers to get the vanilla distributed through the sugar.

3. Sprinkle the sugar over the strawberries, then cut the vanilla bean into three pieces and tuck them into the berries. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the berries are soft and lots of juice has run out. Don’t overcook or the berries will break down and become mushy.You can serve the berries immediately or cool, cover and refrigerate them for up to a day.

For the Dutch Baby:
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup whole milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugarFor the Strawberries

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Melt the butter in in a deep oven-safe skillet, about 9 to 10-inches, over medium heat. Do not let it brown.

2. Place all the ingredients in the order listed in a blender and blend until combined and foamy, about 1 minute. Pour the batter into the hot skillet, then transfer it to the oven and bake until the Dutch baby until puffed and set, about 20 minutes.

3. Spoon the strawberries over the Dutch baby immediately and serve.

Related post on The Runaway Spoon: Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies

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