All our chocoholics out there – this one’s for you. These pancakes are rich in complex flavor and get their name from the use of both cocoa powder and chocolate chips. The real surprise is in the dressing – an orange zest- and pistachio-infused cream cheese and an orange zest strawberry compote. There’s also caramel sauce and maple syrup so you can pick your poison or just use them all! Tip: use your biggest non-stick pan to shorten the cooking time.
Thoroughly rinse produce and pat dry. Quarter strawberries (but do not drain.) Chop pistachios into small pieces with a knife or crush with the bottom of a heavy pan. Halve and juice orange.
Make the Strawberry Compote
In a small pot, bring orange juice to a boil over high heat. Reduce to simmer and cook for 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add quartered strawberries and their juices. As they begin to break down and soften, they will release more of their juices. Continue simmering until this liquid is thick and syrupy but strawberries are still whole, 2-5 more minutes.
Make the Pancake Batter
In a mixing bowl, whisk together pancake mix, 1 tsp. powdered sugar, and cocoa powder. Add 1½ cups water and stir to combine, but do not overmix - a few stray lumps of flour are okay. Overmixing batter causes gluten to develop, making pancakes chewy instead of light and fluffy.
Start the Pancakes
Heat a medium non-stick pan over medium heat. A dry non-stick pan is ideal for getting even color on pancakes. Using a ½ cup measure, add batter to pan. While first side is cooking, scatter a small handful of chocolate chips into wet batter.
Finish the Pancakes
After 1-2 minutes, flip and cook second side for another 1-2 minutes. Repeat process, making six pancakes total.
Plate the Dish
Serve a stack of pancakes on a plate. Top with strawberry compote and pistachios. Garnish with maple syrup and remaining powdered sugar.