It is Shrove Tuesday here and I imagine everywhere in the civilised world because it means one thing (well to a philistine like me, anyway) – pancakes. Shrove, deriving from Shrive – meaning confess – Tuesday is one of those festivals that makes a bundle of sense wherever on the spectrum of loons and ne’er -do-wells you sit. It is about celebration and specifically food. So, I thought I would share with you this recipe from Jamie Oliver’s stable of a Pancake Cake.
If you haven’t tried a Jamie recipe then do; his 30 minute cookbook is excellent (if you accept that none of the meals can be made in 30 minutes without considerable staff – the chicken pie is to die for).
Anyway, Pancake Cake – this serves 12
3 cups of self raising flour
3 cups of milk
3 large eggs
180g hazelnuts and brazil nuts
150 g dark chocolate plus extra to serve
50 g unsalted butter
600ml double cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1½ tbsp. golden caster sugar
Those are his ingredients. I made the following changes. I mixed up the nuts – almonds and brazils and walnuts. I cut the cream in half and added 0% Greek yoghurt to make up the balance. I increased the vanilla essence by at least a half. I used white caster sugar. I chopped in a banana with the nut mix. The thing with the fillings is to do your own thing. Like cherries or red fruits? Stick some in.
Put the flour, milk, eggs and pinch of salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly with a beater .
Put a little olive oil in your frying pan – non stick – over a medium heat and wipe with a kitchen towel. When the pan is hot ladle in batter and tip to spread. Think about the size of cake you want. Mine were around about 9 inch circles. The smaller the taller.
Cook on each side for about 2-3 mins depending how brown you like your pancakes. Repeat until all the batter is used and stack the pancakes. Jamie stacks them on one another; I separated with greaseproof paper to ensure they didn’t sweat.
Toast the nuts in a dry pan on the hob until golden – you need to keep them moving – and then crush. I have a pestle and mortar but if not, stick in a polythene bag and crush with something hard like a rolling pin. After crushing this is where I added the chopped banana.
Smash up the chocolate and cube the butter and melt in a heat proof bowl over boiling water. He added a pinch of salt. I didn’t; I’m not big on loads of salt. Stir occasionally.
Remove from heat, stir in 200ml of cream (I used 150/50 cream yoghurt ratio and it worked fine). Mix with some of the nuts, about half to two thirds. I guess if you prefer your chocolate filling to taste sweeter you could use good quality milk chocolate. That is a guess though.
Whip the rest of the cream (and in my case then mix with the yoghurt) and add the sugar and vanilla. You want it thick so it doesn’t run.
To build your cake put a blob of the cream mix on a serving plate, press down the first pancake and spread with chocolate. If you have any other filling ideas you can start with that if you like. Add another pancake, spread with cream and alternate until you reach the top. Jamie tops out with cream and wants it to run over the sides. He presses the remaining nuts into the sides. As you can see I went for a blob on the top.
It has little sweeting – the sugar in the cream, to some extent the vanilla essence and in my case the banana. So it might not be sweet enough as a pudding for some palates. If so I suggest you serve with maple syrup, maybe drizzle over the top. It was perfect for me. Jamie also grated the spare chocolate over the top to finish.
My plan was to make it yesterday and save for today. Some voracious Rellies turned up – I’m not sure if they have appeared in my blog before – they are from the Textiliste’s side of the blanket. The Accountant, the A&E Nurse and the Diplomat all went wide eyed when they saw it so – well it seem rude not to start it…