Sunday, 13 March 2011

Pancake Day = Pancake Cake

Ok, so I'm a good week late in getting this on the blog but we had so much fun last Tuesday that I really feel the need to share. My sisters, Emily and Alice and their partners came to join us for supper and we all enjoyed a family favorite: Pancake Cake!

Traditionally served by our parents at dinner parties to vegetarian guests, pancake cake has since become a staple celebratory meal requested by my sisters and I, particularly by my younger sister Alice.
Tuesday's pancake cake was a real joint creation between Alice and myself as it does take a little while to prepare. On the Monday evening I made 20 or so pancakes from a traditional crepe recipe and on the Tuesday Alice made the two sauces that make up the filling.

The crepes:
450ml mix of cold water and milk. 1:1
4 eggs
250g plain flour
4 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt

Put the liquid, eggs, milk and salt into a mixing bowl or liquidiser. Whisk in the flour followed by the butter. Beat to a very light cream. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or so.
Use a good flat, non stick frying pan and cook the crepes. If after making your first crepe it seams a bit heavy beat in a little more water.

Set the pancakes aside until you need them, they will last a good day or two covered in the fridge.

Sauce 1 - Tomato and Basil.
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 onion chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1`bunch fresh basil leaves

Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and sweat the onions and garlic. When the onions are soft add the cans of tomatoes and bubble away for 30min until the sauce has reduced a little.Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and tear in some fresh basil.

Sauce 2 - White sauce with mushrooms and spinach.
75g Butter
3 tbsp plan four
1 pint milk, warmed in a pan with 1 bay leaf
1 tub of button or chestnut mushrooms, chopped and fried in a little oil or butter
1 bag of frozen spinach cubes. Defrosted
100g grated cheddar.

Make a standard white sauce by heating the butter in a sauce pan. Add 3 tablespoons of plain flour and mix into the butter. Then a little at a time add the milk stirring all the time to make sure you don't get any lumps, until your sauce is the consistency of thick custard. Season with a little salt and pepper. Remove 1/3 of the sauce and set aside. To the other 2/3 stir in the spinach and the mushrooms.

In the bottom of a large shallow baking dish lay one pancake. Spoon a little of the tomato mixture on top and spread evenly over the pancake. Lay over another pancake and spread with a spoonful of the spinach and mushroom mixture. Continue to layer the cake using alternate sauces until you run out of sauce or pancakes, making sure you have one plain pancake for the top layer. Spread the remaining 1/3 of white sauce over the top and down the sides of the cake. Cover with grated cheddar and bake in a hot oven at 180 degrees for 40mins until the top in brown and crispy.

Slice as you would a cake and serve with a green salad.

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