Monday, 8 February 2016

Boozy Pancake Day: Ricotta Pancakes with Cherry Cassis Sauce

Although we're all probably panicking, because somehow we've got to February, and somehow we haven't managed to stick to our 2016 resolutions... FEAR NOT. It's Pancake Day tomorrow! 

I know we can technically have pancakes any time throughout the year - trust me, they're a staple weekend brunch in my house - but there is just something a little special about having them actually on Shrove Tuesday. There's a national-insert-your-food-name-here-day practically every day at the moment (who makes these up?), but Pancake day is a tradition that is never ignored. And rightly so. 

We've had rum butter crepes and savoury galettes on Vinspire in previous years - both equally delicious - but this year we're doing something a little more decadent; Ricotta Pancakes with Cherry Cassis Sauce... *drool*

If you've not had them before, you might think that using ricotta would make a heavier pancake, but it's quite the opposite. A step up from the fat American ones, they're light, cheesecake-y, and would work just as well for dessert as they would for breakfast. 

Of course, you could add whatever topping you flippin' well like, but as we love cooking with booze, it had to be something alcoholic didn't it? Juicy cherries cooked in crème de cassis, sweetened with date syrup and given a bit of zing from a squeeze of lemon juice. 

Cassis is such a strong flavoured liqueur, so in order for it to not taste like you've doused your pancakes in Ribena, you really need to jazz it up. Cherries aren't quite enough on their own, so date syrup, which is used a lot in Middle Eastern cookery, adds a wonderful depth. If you don't have it, any sort of syrup will do - maple/honey/agave/golden - it's personal preference.

I'll definitely be whipping up another batch of these tomorrow, so let me know if you're going to join me! Pancake parties all round...

Ricotta Pancakes with Cherry Cassis Sauce(serves 2)

For the pancakes:
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp oil, for frying
For the cherry sauce:
  • 1 punnet of cherries (approx 15), pitted and halved 
  • 75ml crème de cassis 
  • 1 tbsp date syrup
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
Method:
  1. To make the sauce, heat the cassis, syrup and lemon juice in a small pan, then add in the cherries. Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the cherries are tender. Put to one side whilst you make the pancakes and reheat just before serving. 
  2. To make the pancakes, beat the ricotta in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, then beat in the flour, sugar, baking powder and vanilla extract to form a batter. 
  3. Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat, drizzle in a bit of oil, and smear across the pan using a piece of kitchen paper. Drop generous tablespoons of the batter into the pan. 
  4. Cook for a couple of minutes, flip them over and cook for another minute or so, until lightly browned and cooked through. 
  5. Keep the cooked pancakes warm in the oven, and repeat until all the batter is used up. 
  6. Serve hot with the warm cherry cassis sauce poured on top. 

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