Sunday, 19 February 2012

Banana & Chocolate Pancakes

Ok, so I could have worked harder to make this dish look more like the pristine, polished pancakes you find in food magazines and restaurants. I could have picked the prettiest pancake to photograph, and folded the banana neatly inside. But let me tell you, it took all my self control to stop myself instantly tucking into this, the last banana and chocolate pancake of the afternoon, and to take any photograph at all. The combination is utterly scrumptious. Warm, soft, caramelised bananas in their syrup, spread over a golden pancake and drizzled with melted dark chocolate. Glorious.

Adapted from a recipe given by Riverford Farm, the brilliant local organic veg & fruit box delivery scheme we use. See the recipe on their website here.

Makes about 6 pancakes

for the pancake batter
100g plain flour
1 large egg
300ml whole milk

1. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour.

2. Break the egg into the well, add a spoonful of milk before beating the mixture. Gradually add the milk and continue beating until smooth. The finished batter should be no thicker than single cream. Cover the bowl with a plate and cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, ideally 1 hour.

3. When ready to cook, stir the batter again briefly. Heat a little oil in a large light frying pan over a medium heat, and wait until the oil is just beginning to steam. Stand back as you add a cupful of the batter to the pan, tiping it around the pan to make sure it covers the base in a thin layer.

4. Cook the pancake for about 1 and a half minutes, until the edges are going golden and coming away a little from the pan.

5. Loosen with a spatula, and then flip the pancake over and hold your breath as you catch it! Or if that's too scary an idea, turn it over with a fishslice if you prefer. Cook the pancake for about another minute, until the edges are crisping and both sides are turning golden. The first pancake is normally the most haphazard. Repeat to make as many pancakes as you'd like.

for the banana filling:
3 or 4 ripe bananas, peeled and cut half lengthways
60g unsalted butter
3 tablespoons caster sugar

6. Melt the butter in a low heat in another frying pan, before throwing in the sugar and bananas.

7. Heat until the bananas are starting to caramelise and are soft and golden.

for the melted chocolate:
100g dark chocolate, broken into chunks

8. Gently melt the dark chocolate chunks in a bain maire, a heat proof bowl over a pan of just simmering water.

9. Place a banana with the syrup inside each pancake, before folding the pancake into a half moon. Alternatively do what I do and just lay the bananas and syrup over each pancake. Drizzle each pancake with the melted chocolate. Eat immediately!

These pancakes were idly made while watching the documentary Man On Wire. If you think tossing pancakes is difficult, just you watch Phillippe Petite walking on a wire between the tops of the Twin Towers in 1974.

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