When my family and I were in Bali my Mum and my brother went off by themselves to this really trendy cafe that I really wanted to go to. To rub salt in the wound of exclusion they then went on for days about how amazing the ricotta pancakes there were. Much darkness.
I was so desperate to get amongst this ricotta pancake action that I somehow convinced Dylan into filling his fridge with ricotta for the next weekend I was down. Seriously, with the price of ricotta at the moment, he almost needed to take out a second mortgage for the two tubs he got. I felt kind of bad for being so insistent but seriously he is lucky if my happiness can be bought with just two small tubs of dairy products.
If you're feeling a little povo then using just one tub of ricotta is just finebut try not to mix it in very much so that you get nice big chunks of ricotta in the final pancake. Hey and if you don't have maple syrup or even maple flavoured syrup (which is what we used) for the butter I have a feeling replacing it with golden syrup would be an equally delicious alternative.
I think this used to be a Bill Granger that then got morphed into this recipe over on Top with Cinnamon. I of course then came along and did my own tweaking which then brought us my rendition below!
Top tip: eat them as they come out. The delicate nature of their fluffiness means that if you pile them all onto a plate in the oven to keep warm you will end up with sad deflated pancakes. We found this out the hard way when Mum and I tried replicating them the following weekend. It is a good excuse to not serve them up to masses of people and instead gobble them all up between two people!
Ricotta Pancakes with Whipped Maple Butter
Loosely adapted from here
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
I cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Butter to fry
For the maple butter:
75g butter, softened (I use salted because it is delicious)
3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
Freeze dried raspberries
Take the egg whites and put them in a very clean mixing bowl or cake mixer and beat on high until stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks are when you can tip the bowl upside down over your head and not get covered in egg. Put to one side.
In a jug whisk together the egg yolks, milk, vanilla essence and the maple syrup. Put to one side.
Sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt. Make a small well in the centre then pour in the milk mixture and whisk until smooth.
Tip in the ricotta and gently try and break it up into smaller chunks, try not to over mix because you want to stumble across pockets of ricotta when you bite into these.
To fold in the egg whites start by tipping about a quarter of the whites onto the batter. Roughly mix this through, don't worry out folding. This loosens up the batter making the folding the rest of it in easier. Tip the rest of the whites into the bowl and gently start to fold. Newbies to folding, here is a terrible attempt at me describing how to do it. Take a large spoon and plunge it into the centre of the batter, scoop it up towards you against the edge of the bowl. When you reach the surface of the batter return the spoon to the centre of the bowl again. This 'folds' the batter in on itself. Rotate the bowl by a quarter turn and repeat about seven more times until the batter is fluffy but you can still see clumps of egg white here and there. Those clumps will sort themselves out in the pan.
Take your best non stick frying pan on a medium heat and chuck a good nob of butter in it and spread it around. Once the butter starts sizzling, use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to spoon out the batter into the pan. Unless your pan is crazy big I don't imagine cooking anymore than three safely at a time. Wait until the bottom of the pancakes is golden brown with those really attractive dark line patterns (I hope that makes sense). The top surface will also look a little set. Give them a flip and cook the other side until it too is that lovely golden brown colour. When you give the pancakes a wee press they will bring back rather than feel like they are oozing on the inside.
Whilst the pancakes are cooking you can make the maple butter. This bit is really hard....
Beat together the butter and the maple syrup until pale and fluffy. Add more or less maple depending on your taste. Transfer to a small serving bowl.
Serve up your pancakes with a good dollop of maple butter, maple syrup, chopped banana, freeze dried raspberries and sliced almonds.
You could also make a wee raspberry coulis up by heating about 3/4 cup frozen raspberries with a couple of teaspoons of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice and boiling away for a couple of minutes. Mash the raspberries up and add a dash more lemon to taste. Et voila!