Hello my fellow foodies…
and welcome to February. This month I would like to share with you a new recipe in my collection combining two of my most favourite desserts…pancakes and chocolate. Whilst this recipe is a little on the time consuming side, it can be completed in stages so you don’t have to find a huge chunk of time in your busy day to make the cake. So let’s begin…
For the Pancakes
300g plain flour
4tbsp caster sugar
3 eggs (from happy free range hens!)
3 egg yolks (as above!)
2 tbsp oil & a little extra for the pan
For the Glaze
75g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
115g double cream
3 tbsp golden syrup
Let’s start by making the ganache. Pour the cream and sugar into saucepan, and slowly heat until the sugar is dissolved. Take care not to boil the cream as this will cause the ganache to split. Now add the chocolate and stir on a very low heat until all the chocolate has melted and you have a lump free molten liquid. Pour into a heat proof bowl, cover and pop into the fridge to cool and set for at least 2 hours.
Now we can make the pancake batter. Into your large mixing bowl put the flour and sugar. Make a well in the centre and pour in the eggs and the egg yolks, then beat in the milk and whisk until you have a smooth, lump free mixture. Add the oil, whisk, then cover and leave this to rest in the fridge too – for half an hour.
Now let’s make the pancakes. I used a small non stick crepe pan about 15cms in diameter. Heat up the pan and wipe a thin layer of oil over the base of the pan. The heat of the pan is correct when a drop of the batter “sizzles” on contact with it. When you are ready, swirl approximately 1/2 a ladle of batter around the pan as you pour taking care to get right to the edges whilst aiming for uniform sides. If you are quick you can scrape down the excess to form a nice tidy edge before it cooks fully. As the batter drys out and forms “blisters” it will no longer be stuck to the base of the pan and it is now ready to be flipped. So, toss, flip or turn over your pancake and cook for a approximately 20 seconds on this side before turning out onto grease proof paper. Repeat until all the batter is gone and you are standing next to a pile of pancakes!
Cover then pop them in the fridge to chill. Ideally you are looking for 30 pancakes to layer up, however the very first pancake made is usually “not quiet right” and gobbled up by the chef in the interests of “quality control”!
Now for the construction! Remove the ganache from the fridge and very gently warm over a pan of hot water until you are able to move the mixture enough to pour it in a mixer. Beat until smooth, creamy in texture, and lighter in colour. You need the mixture to be spreadable but not too loose as this will compromise the structure of the cake. I also find that leaving the ganache in the mixing bowl helped as the mixture seems to firm up whilst you are busy making the layers but a quick minute in the mixer loosens it all up and makes it easy to work with! So, spread a spoon full of the ganache on to the first pancake taking care to go all the way to the edges and the layer is flat and even. Place onto your serving plate, top with another ganache layered pancake and repeat until you have the height you need or have used up all the pancakes. You are aiming for tidy layers with nice straight edged with even layers of ganache in between. The top layer should be a face up naked pancake. Pop the “cake” into the fridge to chill, while you clear down and make the chocolate glaze.
Simply pop all the ingredients into a heat proof bowl and place this above a pan of simmering water (take care not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the water) and let all the ingredients melt together, stir until lump free. Leave to cool off slightly before using. To finish the cake, carefully pour 2/3 of the glaze onto the top and “encourage” it to drip down the sides. You are looking to show the edges and layers so we won’t be covering it completely. Then pour the remaining glaze over the top for a smooth finish. Leave for the glaze to set 20 minutes or so, then slice and serve to your delighted guests! This is not a light dessert and the dark chocolate is very rich so small portions to start may be wise!