Sunday, 23 March 2014

Berried Pleasure

Fritelle Dolce con Ribes Rossi, Menta e Cardamome
Red Currant, Mint & Cardamom Pancakes

It was Sunday Morning again- and we all know what that means... that crazy Sicilian guy has enough time to make something weird and wonderful for breakfast again :-) Thankfully, I am delighted to say that my experiment worked out and that the result was yummy indeed- good enough to share with all of you, Dear Readers!

I am sure that many of you make pancakes for breakfast- they are quick and easy to make, versatile and delicious with any number of fruit fillings- but with a little herb and spice I managed to come up with a flavor combination that was unusual and delicious today... Yep- you have already seen it in the pictures- red currant, mint and cardamom!

For 6 yummy pancakes (I know you can only see 5 in the pictures- which just goes to show how yummy they were ;-) ), all I needed was 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of yogurt,  1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 good sprig of mint, the zest of half a lemon, a couple of handfuls of red currants, and a couple of cardamom pods.

The first thing to do is to chop up the larger leaves of the mint as finely as possible. You can use a machine if you prefer and if you have one... I don't. And that answer refers to both of the aforementioned options- haha! I like chopping!

Next, pop open 2 pods of green cardamom and grind the seeds finely using a mortar and pestle. Or a machine. And if you have one that can manage such a small amount of spice- let me know what brand it is! Seriously though- for this amount of spice the good old mortar and pestle is the way to go- period.

Next step- get cracking!

Yep- that means the 2 eggs... the whites of course until they become stiff and fluffy, and the yolks together with all of the remaining ingredients- in they go, all at once- no fuss and no hassle!

Pour the smooth and creamy egg yolk and yogurt batter into the egg whites, add the mint and sweeten, either with sugar to taste, honey or similar... or as I did again today, Stevia. 

Gently fold everything carefully but thoroughly together and allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes. In the meantime, turn on the oven to its highest setting to be ready to finish off the pancakes in just a few minutes.

To make the pancakes, I gently spooned 2 tablespoons of the batter onto a lightly buttered non-stick pan and let them set slightly for a minute or so. I waited until little bubbles began to form in the batter and then sprinkled the red currants on top, then popped the frying pan into the oven so that they could finish off without me having to flip them over- which would have been a shame (and a mess!), as they look much prettier this way!

It took just 2-3 minutes for the pancakes too puff up nicely and after 5-6 minutes at the most they were lovely and golden brown on top too. I left the oven at the top heat... this isn't a cake or muffin and the batter is already half-done on the stove top, so what you are looking for is a quick finish and a nice color.

At this point, I must say that they were much higher and fluffier than they appear in the photos when I fetched them out of the oven, but by the time I got around to setting them in front of the camera, they had cooled off somewhat and shrunk down a little too... much in the same way that souffl├ęs do... but all things considered, these still look pretty yummy, no?

Serve yours up straight away and they will be yummier still! Tangy from the berries and wonderfully perfumed from the cardamom, with the freshness of the mint... I am thinking you are going to like them! And as one of my internet friends suggested today... served mid-afternoon or after dinner... a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream would go WONDERFULLY with a couple of these!

But whenever and however you decide to try them out, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

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