Lovely traditional pancake recipe with a little cocoa added to replace some of the flour and vanilla bean paste to add a little extra flavour; the chocolate sauce uses a combination of dark and milk chocolate (vary this ratio, if preferred, to suit your own palette). Serve with the flavoured whipped cream, well chilled and decorate with crystallised orange zest.
100 grams plain white flour
25 grams Dutch process cocoa
1 tbsp. unrefined icing sugar
1/4 tsp. sea salt flakes – crushed
2 large fresh eggs – lightly beaten
1 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
300 ml whole milk
75 grams dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids – chopped
25 grams milk chocolate – chopped
15 grams unsalted butter – softened
1 to 2 tbsp. clear organic honey
70 ml crème fraîche
250 ml chilled double cream
2 tbsp. unrefined icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
4 tbsp. almond or hazelnut slivers – lightly toasted
Crystallised orange zest – recipe at end of post
1. Sift the flour, cocoa, sugar and salt into a large baking bowl, make a well in the centre.
2. Add the eggs, melted butter, vanilla and about 50 ml of milk then stir – from the centre – gradually drawing the dry ingredients into the eggs and milk.
3. Pour in more milk – little by little – while continuing to stir using a wooden spoon or wire balloon whisk until a smooth liquid forms – the batter should be the consistency of single cream.
4. Cover and allow to stand, in the fridge, for about an hour to enable the starch grains to absorb the liquid and swell. The batter will thicken while in the fridge so you may need to add a little more milk.
5. While the batter is in the fridge make the chocolate sauce and crème chantilly.
6. Brush the frying pan with a little oil (or melted butter, if preferred) and place over a medium heat, when the pan is hot pour a ladle of batter into the pan and swirl the batter over the base creating a thin even covering.
7. If necessary, discard excess batter.
8. Cook for about one and a half minutes, check to ensure it is ready by holding up one side of the pancake and a palette knife – it should be a light golden colour – turn or flip.
9. Cook the other side for about one minutes then slide onto a warmed plate and cover with a clean cotton tea towel.
10. Stack the pancakes on the plate, interleaved with rounds of greaseproof paper as they are cooked – this is to stop the pancakes sticking together.
11. Interleave each pancake with greaseproof paper to stop them sticking together.
12. Melt both types of chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water ensuring the bowl does not come in contact with the water.
13. Add the softened butter and honey then allow to melt – stirring occasionally – then take off the heat and gradually whisk in the crème fraîche until the sauce is smooth.
14. If necessary, warm before serving with the pancakes.
15. Whip the chilled cream with the sifted icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
16. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and chill until ready to serve.
17. Spread a layer of Crème Chantilly over half of each pancake, scatter with a few lightly toasted nuts then fold the pancakes in half, fold again into triangles and place one pancake on each warmed serving plate.
18. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the pancakes, add a little Crème Chantilly and decorate with crystallised orange zest.
Crystallised Citrus Zest
2 large oranges
100 grams golden caster sugar
100 ml cold water
1. Pare the peel from both oranges, cut into thin strips.
2. Pour the water into a saucepan and bring to the boil, while stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.
3. Add one third of the peel, cook for approximately four minutes then remove using a slotted spoon, roll in caster sugar and put onto greaseproof paper in a single layer.
4. Repeat step 3 twice then leave to dry overnight.