Soft Ricotta Pancakes with Honeycomb Butter

 

 Ricotta Pancakes New  Cropped

 Pancakes as soft as pillows- really?  Yep, it’s the Ricotta cheese in this recipe that makes them so soft and delicious. And the Honeycomb Butter adds a ‘gold-flecked crunch sensation’ to this breakfast (lunch or dinner) meal.

I adapted this recipe from Bill Granger’s Bills Sydney Food cookbook- but hey, pancakes don’t only belong to Australian ‘Sydney-siders’, do they? (I thought they were invented by the Americans).!

Don’t swallow these pancakes too fast- you’ll want to savor the combined flavors of the pancakes, bananas, honeycomb and strawberries. And if there is any honeycomb butter left over, you can freeze it and later use it on your toast.

 Ricotta Pancakes New second photo

Method for making the Honeycomb butter

Ingredients

  • 50 g (2 tbsp.) honeycomb
  • 125 g (4 ounces) butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp. honey

Step 1 – Prepare the Honeycomb

For the honeycomb, I used the chocolate-covered honeycomb candy that you buy at the supermarket. First, remove the chocolate coating from the honeycomb  (but you could leave this on, if you want some extra ‘decadence’).

Honey Combe cropped

 

Step 2 – Crush the Honeycomb using a rolling pin

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Step 3 – Place the softened butter, crushed honeycomb and honey in a blender and combine until smooth

Then shape into a ball or log shape and place in fridge until hardened.

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Soft Ricotta Pancakes with Honeycomb Butter
Yields 8
Soft Ricotta pancakes that will roll off your tongue - crowned with a dab of golden crunch honeycomb butter
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For the Honeycomb Butter
  1. 125 g (4 oz) softened butter
  2. 50 g (2 heaping tablespoons) crushed honeycomb candy
  3. 1 tbsp. honey
For the Pancake Batter
  1. 1 1/3 cups ricotta
  2. 3/4 cup (180 ml) milk
  3. 4 egg yolks
  4. 4 egg whites
  5. 1 cup plain flour
  6. 1 tsp baking powder
  7. pinch of salt
To serve
  1. 1 sliced banana
  2. Several strawberries
  3. Honeycomb butter
  4. Maple Syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Prepare the Honeycomb Butter (see instructions above). Form into ball or log, wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 1 hour to chill.
For the Pancakes
  1. Combine the ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a bowl and mix with electric beaters or large wooden spoon.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the ingredients and mix until smooth.
  3. In separate clean bowl, beat the egg whites with electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold the egg whites into the batter, using a large spoon or spatula.
  4. Lightly grease a non-stick fry pan or griddle with butter. Drop 3 - 4 tablespoons of batter for each pancake onto the pan, cook on medium heat for several minutes until the underside turns golden brown and small bubbles appear on the top of the pancake. Flip the pancake over and cook the other side until golden brown.
  5. To serve, slice a banana in half length-wise. Arrange the slices on a plate, along with 3 - 4 pancakes. Place several dabs of the Honeycomb butter on top of the pancakes. Garnish with several strawberries and some maple syrup (optional).
Adapted from Bill Granger's 'Bills Sydney Food' cookbook
Adapted from Bill Granger's 'Bills Sydney Food' cookbook
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/
 Ricotta Pancakes New Yes LR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Mint Leaves and Mint-Infused Ganache

 

Mint Ice Cream LR (2) Cropped

My inspiration for this post came from my recent visit to the Hillside Herb Nursery in McLaren Vale, South Australia. I had heard that this nursery is located on 4 acres of land and specialises in herbs and succulents. I was curious to learn more about herbs that I could cook with- plus I was getting a little bored with just the standard herbs sold in supermarkets. Certainly there must be more than one kind of mint I could cook with!

Yes, this visit to the herb nursery should be well-worth the 40-minute drive from my home in Brighton, South Australia.

I initially missed the turn-off to the nursery, then backtracked and drove up the small hill where I was welcomed by their sign:

Hillside Sign (2)

This nursery has been going for 30 years so it offers just about every herb under the sun (or under the shade cloth)!

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Which herb should I look at first? The French Lavender plant struck my eye with its colourful flowers:

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But it was the mint section where I spent most of my time. Did you know there are at least 20 kinds of mint herbs? The Hillside Nursery has 8 different kinds, but my favourite one was the Chocolate Mint. I tore off one of the leaves, had a taste and immediately fell in love! There is the refreshing taste of mint with a subdued undercurrent of chocolate flavour – I felt like I wanted to eat the entire bush (but decided not to)!

There are so many uses for Chocolate Mint (and other kinds of mint, as well). The simplest way to enjoy the fresh flavour of chocolate mint is to crush it and steep it in a cup of hot water – no need to add sugar. Or, you can dry the leaves and add them to cakes, brownies, ice cream and even cocktails.

But for me, I decided to make Chocolate Mint Leaves using the imprint from a ‘standard’ mint leaf to decorate some vanilla ice cream. I also used mint to make some Mint-infused Chocolate Ganache, which added a delicious undertone to the chocolate sauce. This is a very easy recipe, but your guests will think you spent hours preparing it in the kitchen!

 Mint Ice Cream Vertical LR Cropped

 The Method

First, melt some dark chocolate, then use a small brush to ‘paint’ a layer of chocolate on the underside of the mint leaf. Then place the leaves over the handle of a wooden spoon with chocolate side facing up (this helps to retain the shape of the leaves) and place in the fridge for several minutes to harden. Finally, gently peel the mint leaf away from the chocolate – I found it easiest to start from the ‘pointy’ part of the leaf and peel toward the stem.

 

Step 2: Make the Mint-infused Chocolate Ganache

Heat 100 ml of thickened cream with 1 tbsp. butter in a saucepan until the butter melts. Add 10 – 12 fresh mint leaves (not dried) and several stems to the mixture. Simmer for about 10 minutes then remove from heat and let stand for another 10 – 15 minutes until the mint flavour infuses into the ingredients. Strain the mint leaves and stems from the cream.

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Step 3: Combine the cream with the melted chocolate

Next, melt 200 grams of dark chocolate and combine with the cream mixture, stirring until smooth. Spoon the ganache over the ice cream and decorate with several chocolate mint leaves interspersed with real mint leaves.

 

Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Mint Leaves and Mint-Infused Canache
Vanilla ice cream decorated with lovely chocolate mint leaves and covered with a delicious chocolate mint sauce
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Ingredients
  1. Vanilla Ice Cream to serve 4
For the Chocolate Mint Leaves
  1. Dark chocolate, melted (handful)
For the Chocolate Ganache
  1. 100 ml thickened cream
  2. 1 tbsp. butter
  3. 10 - 12 fresh mint leaves and several stems
  4. 200 grams (1.5 cups) dark chocolate
For the chocolate mint leaves
  1. Melt the chocolate by placing a handful of it in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or microwave on medium setting for 1 minute).
  2. Spread some melted chocolate on the underside of a mint leaf, using a small paint brush. Make sure the leaf is thoroughly covered with chocolate. Place a wooden spoon on a parchment lined baking tray. Place each chocolate-covered leaf over the handle of the wooden spoon (chocolate side facing up) to help hold its shape. Cool in fridge for 5 minutes to harden.
  3. Remove tray from fridge and gently peel the mint leaf away from the chocolate layer, starting from the 'pointy side' of the leaf. Be careful not to handle the chocolate too much or it will start to melt. Place the chocolate leaves in the fridge while preparing the ganache.
For the mint-infused ganache
  1. Combine the thickened cream with the butter; heat over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the mint leaves and several stems to the ingredients and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and let stand for another 10 - 15 minutes until the mint flavour fully infuses into the cream. Strain the mint leaves and stems from the cream.
  2. Melt the 200 grams chocolate, then stir into the cream mixture until smooth.
  3. To serve, add vanilla ice cream to individual serving bowls. Spread some chocolate sauce on top and decorate with several chocolate mint leaves, interspersed with several fresh mint leaves.
Notes
  1. For this recipe, I used 'standard' mint leaves that you can purchase from a supermarket. However, you could use other types of mint as well, i.e. peppermint or chocolate mint.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

 

Braided Bread with Blueberry and Cream Cheese Filling

 

Blueberry Bread  (1 of 2) (1 of 1)

I’ve recently been reading a lot of food blogs from the northern hemisphere, welcoming in the new Spring weather with fresh new recipes. However, in Australia, we’re now moving into Autumn weather, and wouldn’t it be nice to wake up in the morning to a warm slice of Braided Bread with Blueberry and Cream Cheese Filling?

This recipe is not too difficult: rolling out a yeast dough into a rectangle shape, placing the filling in the middle, and then ‘braiding’ the side tabs into the middle of the dough.

But wait! Does this sound too complicated? Not at all! I’ve never braided bread before, and if a klutz like me can do it, so you can you!

The Method

First, make the yeast dough and then let it rise double in size. Roll the dough out into a rectangle shape and then place the cream cheese and blueberry fillings in the center of the dough.

Blueberry Bread  (1 of 3) (1 of 1)

 

Next, on a diagonal, cut the sides of the dough into tabs about one inch wide.

Blueberry Bread  (1 of 4) (1 of 1)

Now, fold one tab at a time into the center of the dough, alternating sides and making sure the tabs overlap. Press the end of each tab gently into the dough after folding.

 Blueberry Bread  (1 of 5 (1 of 1)

 Braided Bread finished - cropped

 Let the dough rise again, brush with egg wash and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. And it doesn’t matter weather you live in the northern or southern hemisphere, this bread tastes good wherever you live!

 P.S. If you enjoyed this post, please do ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page!

Blueberry Bread JPG

Braided Bread with Blueberry Cream Cheese Filling
Yields 2
Easy to make bread filled with a warm, gooey blueberry and cream cheese filling
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
For the Sponge Yeast Mixture
  1. 1 tbsp. instant yeast
  2. 1 tbsp. sugar
  3. 1/2 cup warm milk
For the Dough
  1. 1/3 cup sugar
  2. 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
  3. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 4 - 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  6. 1 cup milk
For the Blueberry Filling
  1. 2 cups fresh blueberries
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1/4 cup corn flour
  4. 2 tbsp. lemon juice
For the Cream Cheese Filling
  1. 3/4 cup cream cheese
  2. 2 tbsp. sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Egg Wash
  1. 1 egg mixed with about 1 tsp water.
Instructions
  1. Add the yeast and sugar to the warm milk- lightly stir and let rest for 10 minutes while the yeast dissolves.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together the softened butter and sugar until smooth (either by hand or use electric beaters). Add the eggs, salt and yeast mixture and stir until smooth.
  3. Add the milk and 1 cup of the flour and mix. Gradually add the remaining flour, beating until you have a soft, but kneadable dough (beat either using wooden spoon or using dough attachment with electric mixer). If your dough is still too moist, add a little more flour.
  4. Remove dough from bowl and knead by hand for about 3 - 4 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until double in size (1 - 2 hours).
  5. While the dough is rising, prepare the blueberry and cream cheese fillings. In a saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, corn flour and lemon juice. Heat the mixture over medium heat for several minutes until it thickens and the fruit softens.
  6. In a separate bowl, soften the cream cheese in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Set the fillings aside while you finish preparing the dough.
  7. After the dough has risen, punch it down and place on a lightly floured surface.
  8. Cut the dough in half and roll out one section at a time into a thin rectangle about 1/8 inch thick (my rectangle wound up being 13 " wide and 9" long).
  9. Place the cream cheese and blueberry fillings in the center of the dough. On an angle, slice the sides of the dough into tabs about 1 inch wide.
  10. Alternating from side to side, fold the tabs one at a time over the filling, over-lapping the tabs. Gently press on the tabs to seal the folds. When finished 'braiding' the tabs, cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rise again for about 45 minutes. While dough is rising, pre-heat oven at 350 F.
  11. After rising, brush the dough with egg wash and bake in the oven at 350 F for about 25 - 30 minutes until the dough is golden in color.
Notes
  1. Halve the recipe if you only wish to make 1 loaf of the braided bread. You can substitute other fruit fillings for the blueberries, such as apples and cinnamon.
Adapted from The Fresh Loaf
Adapted from The Fresh Loaf
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/