Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day as we call it in our house, is quite possibly one of my favourite days in the calendar year. Not because I’m religious, but because I see this day as a legitimate reason to eat pancakes at every meal and every opportunity. So with that in mind, today’s post is for two pancake recipes. And instead of the normal lemon and sugar or Nutella filling suggestions, I’ve created a pancake cake – one savoury and one sweet. And believe it or not, whilst both were tasty, my favourite was the savoury one! The pancakes in this recipe are what the French call crepes – very thin, as opposed to the pancakes Americans have for breakfast.
Pancakes (will make approx 24 to 30 7″ pancakes)
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1050ml milk
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Pinch of salt
- Sift the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the milk and lightly beaten eggs. Unless you’re Popeye, I’d recommend using an electric hand whisk or stand mixer and combine the flour and eggs and milk until you have a super smooth batter. Lumps are not welcome!
- Using a 7″ non-stick frying pan, add a splash of oil and once it’s reached smoking point, pour the oil out.
- Add a ladleful of batter to the pan (about 2 tablespoons), tilting the pan to swirl the batter so it evenly covers the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side. Set aside and repeat the process, putting a sheet of greaseproof paper between each pancake whilst you continue making the others.
- Continue until you’ve used all the batter.
Ham, Cheese & Mushroom Pancake Cake
- Approx 14 to 16 pancakes (depends how high you want your “cake” to be)
- 250g Gruyere cheese, grated
- 250g Emmenthal cheese, grated
- 30g cornflour
- 300ml white wine
- 400ml chicken stock
- 50g unsalted butter
- 200g button mushrooms, sliced
- 360g ham, sliced (I used M&S thin smoked ham slices)
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
- Remove a handful of the cheeses and set aside. Put the remaining grated Gruyere and Emmenthal cheeses into a bowl and mix in the cornflour.
- Pour the wine into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add in the chicken stock and the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses and whisk. It should form a gooey, stringy mixture.
- Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Whilst the cheese sauce is simmering away, put the unsalted butter into a frying pan and melt. Once melted, add in the mushrooms and fry until softened and are starting to colour.
- Put a piece of kitchen towel onto a plate and place the mushrooms on top and dab to remove any excess butter. Then mix the mushrooms into the cheese sauce.
- To build your cake, put a pancake onto a serving plate or board, then spread some of the cheese and mushroom sauce, pop some of your ham slices on top (2 slices seemed about the right amount for mine). Keep doing this until you have a small amount of the sauce left (I used 15 pancakes).
- On the top pancake, spread the rest of the sauce and sprinkle the remaining grated Gruyere and Emmenthal on top and pop in the oven for around 15 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown.
- Serve immediately.
Chocolate Orange Pancake Cake
- Approx 10 pancakes
- 100g dark chocolate, chopped
- 400g milk chocolate, chopped
- 900ml double cream
- 2tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier
- 3 to 5 tsp orange extract (depends how orangey you want it)
- 1 orange, zested
- Put the chopped chocolate all in one bowl and set aside.
- Pour 400ml of the cream into a saucepan over a low heat and bring to the boil.
- Once the cream just about hits boiling point, pour over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Mix in the Grand Marnier or Cointreau and orange extract. Put into the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Just before you’re ready to assemble your cake, whip up the rest of the cream until it forms soft peaks.
- Place one of the pancakes onto your serving plate and spread some of the chocolate orange mixture on top. Then spread a thin layer of cream. Repeat the process until you have a tower of pancakes.
- Use the rest of the chocolate orange ganache to frost the cake. Sprinkle the grated orange zest on top.
- Put in the fridge for at least an hour to set.
Domestic Princess tips
- If the thought of making all these crepes is just too much to think about, then cheat and buy some ready-made ones.
- Your batter should be quite runny, like the consistency of single cream. If it’s not, add a drop more milk to it.
- I know some recipes say to use butter to grease the frying pan ahead of cooking the pancake, but may I suggest you to stick with oil? Butter has a tendency to burn and will give your pancakes a burnt taste.
- Make sure that once you’ve heated the oil up in the pan, you make sure all of it is poured back out, otherwise you’ll be deep frying your pancakes.
- Don’t be surprised if you throw away the first one or two that you make. There’s no science behind this, but every single time, without fail, my first two pancakes are a total disaster!
- Pancake batter can be made two to three days in advance and stored in the fridge.
- Cooked, cooled and snuggly wrapped, you can store pancakes in the fridge for around 5 days or up to two months in the freezer.
I know both of these cakes are quite unusual, but I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed. Not in the slightest.
With much love
The Domestic Princess