This week my food adventure is taking a little detour into the land of doughy treats as I try my hand at making cranberry and soft cheese pancakes.
The day to celebrate pancakes may be upon us but I am one of those people who believe that these wonders should be eaten and enjoyed at every given opportunity.
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Their versatility means that they are perfect for breakfast, a quick snack, dessert or even, depending on whether you’ve gone for sweet or savoury, as a meal with heaping piles of cheese, vegetables and, if you’re of the carnivorous persuasion, meat.
However, I have to be honest, despite my love of them, I tend to play it safe and fall back on my tried and tested sweet pancake recipe every time I make them.
Well not anymore, for today I am going to throw caution to the wind and try making pancakes that combine both sweet and savoury elements: I want to make cheese and fruit pancakes!
I know this might sound slightly crazy but fruit and cheese is a combination that works very well on crackers and it is even served as a savoury after-dinner course in some restaurants. I think it could work!
I take to the internet to see if I can find a recipe that I can use or adapt to turn my cheese and fruit idea into a reality and it’s not long before I come across one for cranberry and soft cheese pancakes. It sounds perfect so, without any hesitation, I get baking.
I start by mixing together flour, sugar, egg yolks, milk, vanilla essence, cinnamon, dried cranberries and some soft cheese (I’ve gone for ricotta) in a bowl. I then whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until they are stiff, add them to the other ingredients and mix together thoroughly.
The mixture does resemble pancake batter but I am a bit concerned about what horrors it might produce and with good reason, you see there is a reason that I always use the same tried and tested recipe: I am rubbish at making pancakes! I just can’t seem to get the hang of it and, as I look down at the gloopy mixture before me, my previous pancake disasters come flooding back. However, it is too late to back out now, so I decide to persevere and heat up a little butter in a frying pan. I add a spoonful of my mixture and wait.
After a few minutes the pancake does not look even vaguely cooked but the very distinct burning smell emanating from its underside tells me that something is most definitely wrong. One flip and a splatter of raw batter later and I discover that the bottom of the pancake is completely burnt while the middle is still very raw.
Undeterred, I reduce the heat under the pan and start again. This time things are looking promising, at least until I try to flip the pancake and accidentally stick it to the kitchen wall.
A quick clean-up later and I decide, with heavy heart, to try again. Things do look good this time, honest, both sides are golden brown, it’s not burnt, which in my book is a bonus, and it smells edible. I start to think that at last I’ve finally managed to make one of these work but no such luck as, when I cut into it, the middle is still completely raw.
Despite my continued efforts, all of the other pancakes suffer the same fate: burnt or raw or, occasionally both. Guessing what culinary abomination is going to rear its ugly head from the pan next actually helps pass the time! No matter what I do, none of the pancakes actually work so, after producing a few that look vaguely presentable, I decide to try tasting them and they are horrible: slightly raw, poor texture and not really sweet or savoury.
So if you love pancakes and want to try something different then my advice is to avoid this recipe at all costs unless you’re a fantastic cook or a big fan of unmitigated disasters!
If you would like to try making cranberry and soft cheese pancakes follow the recipe below.
450g of soft cheese (I used ricotta)
225g of dried cranberries
450g of self-raising flour
60g of sugar
360ml of milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
An eighth of a teaspoon of cinnamon
6 eggs, separated
1 Separated the eggs.
2 Mix together the soft cheese, dried cranberries, self-raising flour, sugar, milk, vanilla essence, cinnamon and egg yolks in a large bowl
3 In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they become stiff
4 Add the egg whites to the other ingredients and mix everything together
5 Add some butter to a small frying pan under a medium heat and melt
6 Add some of the pancake batter and cook until tiny air bubbles appear on top of the batter
7 Flip the pancake and cook the other side until it is golden brown
8 Repeat until you’ve used all of the pancake batter
If you have got a weird recipe that you would like me to try email me. Alternatively, if you have tried making this recipe, why not let me know how you got on by leaving a comment in the box below.