Blood Orange and Ricotta Pancakes with Minted Strawberries

Blood Orange and Ricotta Pancakes

 

On the weekends, my tummy and daughter begs me to make pancakes.  It’s something I have done for, let’s see, 15 years.  That is a lot of pancakes my friends.  Needless to say, I need to vary the ingredients because regular pancakes, as good as they are, get a little boring.  Now, I’ve seen multiple recipes for Lemon Ricotta pancakes, but I have a stash of blood oranges, and decided to switch it up and see what came out.

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I didn’t use this many for the recipe, the juice from one was enough.  The rest were just juiced to go with our breakfast.  I was pleasantly surprised, the times I have made the lemon ricotta, I really didn’t taste that much lemon.  The blood orange juice gave it a sweeter, and slightly tart flavor.  Adding ricotta made them super creamy and just a little bit denser.  We all loved them, and as soon as blood orange season rolls around again, I know that I’ll be making this on Saturday morning!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

Juice from one Blood Orange

1/2 cup ricotta

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 tbsp mint, in chiffonade

1 tsp sugar

Butter

Maple Syrup

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In another bowl, mix the egg, milk, orange juice and ricotta until combined.  Add to the flour mixture, and whisk just until combined.  Do not overmix, it’s ok if there are still some lumps.

In a small bowl, mix the strawberries, mint and sugar well.  Let them sit until you are ready to serve.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.  Add a tsp of oil or butter, and wipe the pan with a paper towel so there is just a film of the oil or butter.

Using a 1/4 cup measurement, or a small ladle, place the batter and cook until it bubbles, then flip over.  Repeat with remaining batter.  You should be able to make 6-7 pancakes.

Top the pancakes with the strawberries, butter and syrup.  Serve immediately.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

Layered Crepe “Cake” with Nutella, Pastry Cream and Summer Berries

Again, my inspiration was from Girl in a Food Frenzy’s post on Crepes.  But this time, I decided to make them without the buckwheat flour.  I wanted them more sweet, less savoury, and have more of a cakey quality.  So I decided to look through my The Beautiful Cookbook: France, which had a recipe for Crepes Suzette.

I think someone somewhere has done the same thing that I’ve done, but I totally wanted a tasty, easy and ridiculously yummy cake to serve on Olympics Opening night…which just happened to be an impromptu celebration of another friends’ birthday.

So, I knew I wanted berries, I knew I wanted Nutella, and I knew I wanted Pastry Cream.  So, all three were combined.  And it was to die for my friends.  Truly, to die for.

Fairly easy to make, even better to eat, here’s the recipe for this simply exquisite “cake”:

For the crepes:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

2 eggs

1 tsp sugar

3 drops vanilla extract

1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the pastry cream:

1 1/4 cups whole milk (or 2%)

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tbsp flour

2 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tbsp liqueur (grand marnier, kirsch etc)

1 cup Nutella or melted milk chocolate

3 cups mixed berries, such as strawberries (sliced), raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and currants

Powdered Sugar, for dusting

To make the crepes:

Mix all the ingredients and whisk vigorously, let rest for 30 minutes to an hour.

In the meantime, make the pastry cream.  In a medium, thick bottomed sauce pan, heat the milk and vanilla bean until just boiling.  In a large heat proof bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, flour and cornstarch.  When the milk is hot and just about to boil, pour into your egg mix and whisk continuously so that the eggs don’t curdle.  Pour all the milk in a slow stream and keep whisking until done.  Then pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat until it boils, always mixing, until it thickens.  When it has thickened, take off heat and keep whisking for another minute or so.  Add the liqueur.  Take out the vanilla pod and reserve covered with plastic wrap until using.

If you are using milk chocolate, melt in a double boiler.

Separate about 1/3 cup of pastry cream.

Mix the Nutella (or melted chocolate) into the large bowl of  pastry cream.

In a large sauté pan, heat a good knob of butter until it melts, then wipe away with some kitchen paper.  Add a ladle of crêpe batter, and swirl it around so it covers the whole pan.  Cook for about 40 seconds, and with a spatula lift off and cook the underside, 30 seconds more.  Continue to do this with all the batter.

To make the cake:

Layer nutella pastry cream and strawberries on a crêpe, top with another crêpe, and continue to do so until you don’t have any crepes left.  On the last crêpe, top with the 1/3 cup of pastry cream (without chocolate) top with the mixed berries and currants.  Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, and just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

 

 

 

 

Coconut French Toast with Strawberry Mint Syrup

I love french toast.  Unfortunately, I don’t make enough of it here, and it is almost impossible to find in restaurants, since in Barcelona breakfast usually consists of baguette with a measly slice of ham or cheese, or a croissant.

My daughter loves pancakes, and I am an egg fiend, so weekend breakfasts usually consist of that.  But this Saturday, pre-Ikea, my friend came over for brunch and I felt like something different.  But, I also wanted one of those syrups that I used to get at IHOP, you know the ridiculously good but fake versions of fruit syrups they have?  So I decided to make my own, and add a bit of mint since my little plant is overflowing.  And then I saw I had some grated coconut in my pantry….so voila!  The idea of Coconut French Toast sprung into my mind, with a strawberry mint syrup, and of course some fresh strawberries scattered on top.  The whole shebang is really easy to make, and your tummy will be all the happier for it!

So here is what you’ll need for 2 people:

Butter, for spreading and for the pan

8 slices plain white bread, if you have a thicker brioche you will only need 4

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup grated sweetened coconut

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the syrup:

1/2 cup sugar

16 strawberries, 8 hulled and cut in half, 8 hulled and sliced and reserved for topping

4 leaves of mint, cut in chiffonade

1.5 cups of water

Topping:

Maple syrup

Powdered sugar

Butter one side of all of your bread.  Then make a sandwich so you’ll have four thick slices.  Beat your eggs with the milk, coconut, cinnamon and vanilla extract.

In the meantime, in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, place your 8 halved strawberries, sugar, mint and water and boil.  Lower the heat and let reduce for about 15 minutes.  Mash your strawberries, and reduce another 5, you want it to be a syrup consistency, not a jam.  Keep warm.

In a large non-stick skillet, melt a tbsp of butter over medium high heat, and wipe off with a paper towel.  Dip your bread in the coconut egg mixture, and fry for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown, flip and do the same on the other side.

Place on a plate, pour some of your strawberry mint syrup over the bread, place your fresh sliced strawberries on top, drizzle with maple syrup and top with some powdered sugar.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla