February 17, 2012 10:14 pm
Alain Ducasse’s chestnut crêpes with pan-fried raspberries and Brocciu
Prepare the crêpe batter. Combine 200g of chestnut flour, 100g of wheat flour and 4 pinches of salt in a bowl and stir together. Make a well in the centre and break 2 eggs into it. Mix well then pour in 150ml of water and 150ml of milk, stirring continuously.
When the batter is nice and smooth, cover the bowl with a cloth and leave to swell in a warm place for 1 hour.
Cook the crêpes. Melt 10g of butter (20g required in total for the recipe) in the microwave and brush a frying pan with it.
Pour in a small ladleful of crêpe batter and spread over the whole of the frying pan. Cook until the edges of the crêpe begin to colour then toss or turn with a spatula and cook for about 1 minute on the other side.
Lay the crêpe on a plate and keep warm. Cook the other crêpes similarly.
Prepare the pan-fried raspberries. Melt 10g of butter with 20g of caster sugar in a frying pan, add the contents of 2 punnets of raspberries (3 punnets required in total for the recipe) and cook, shaking the pan, for 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon of Crème de Framboise raspberry liqueur, stir delicately and take the pan off the heat.
To finish your dessert. Place a small quenelle of very fresh Brocciu and a spoonful of stir-fried raspberries in the centre of each, fold them and arrange on the serving dish. (Brocciu is a Corsican fresh cheese, made not from milk but from the whey of goat’s or ewe’s milk. It has a very distinctive texture and flavour. If you can’t get hold of this, substitute Brousse de Brebis ewe’s milk cheese or simply fromage blanc.) Sprinkle the contents of another punnet of raspberries on top.
Recipe taken from ‘Nature’ by Alain Ducasse, published by Hardie Grant, £25, Hardback.
Simon Hopkinson’s Délices d’Argenteuil
These utterly delicious pancakes hark back to my initial apprenticeship during the school holidays, aged sixteen, in a French restaurant called La Normandie, a few miles away from where I grew up, in Bury, Greater Manchester (then Lancashire). Although this is not their first outing from me, it is seventeen years since I first referred to them in Roast Chicken and Other Stories (Ebury Press, 1994), so do please make some if they are new to you or when you feel in the mood to make pancakes, together with the accompanying hollandaise sauce.
16 asparagus spears, trimmed and peeled
8 very thin slices Parma ham for the pancake batter
large pinch of salt
50g butter, melted, plus extra for cooking the pancakes
For the hollandaise sauce
3 egg yolks
250g unsalted butter, melted
a little salt and freshly ground pepper
juice of ½ a lemon
To make the pancake batter, whisk the flour, eggs, salt and half the milk together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add the butter and enough of the remaining milk to achieve a thin, pouring cream consistency. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. To make the pancakes, use a 20cm, preferably non-stick frying pan (or a favourite pancake pan if you have a nicely ‘seasoned’ one) and in it melt a small amount of butter. Allow it to become hot and sizzling, then pour in enough batter to thinly cover the base of the pan. This first pancake is usually a bit of a mess, so chuck it out and start afresh.
Now, without greasing the pan again, make 8 thin pancakes and put to one side. To make the hollandaise sauce, whisk together the egg yolks with a tiny splash of water in a stainless-steel pan over a very low heat, until thick and smooth. Now, off the heat, continue to whisk while pouring in the melted butter in a thin stream, leaving behind the milky residue that has settled in the bottom of the butter pan. Season the sauce and sharpen with lemon juice, to taste. Keep warm.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4, and a grill to hot.
Boil the asparagus in well-salted water for about 5 minutes or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Once done, lift them out with a slotted spoon and drain on a tea-towel.
To assemble the délices, take a pancake, lay upon it a slice of ham, then arrange 3 asparagus spears on top. Roll up and place in a lightly buttered baking dish. Bake in the oven for about 15–20 minutes, or until just beginning to crisp at the edges.
To make absolutely sure that they are heated through, pierce one with a thin skewer, leave for 5 seconds and lightly press against your bottom lip. If only warm, give them a few more minutes.
Remove the délices to a warmed serving dish and coat each one carefully with a spoonful of hollandaise sauce, running it along their length. Very briefly flash the délices under the grill until only just gilded by the heat. Serve at once.
Extracted from ‘The Good Cook’ by Simon Hopkinson (BBC Books, £25).
Tom Aikens’ blueberry and buttermilk American pancakes
300g self-raising flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond essence
60g unsalted butter, melted
1 Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas 3. Sift all the dry ingredients together in one bowl. Whisk the eggs, milk, buttermilk, vanilla extract and almond essence together in another bowl, then add them to the dry ingredients. Whisk until smooth, then add the melted butter and continue to whisk until thoroughly mixed in. Carefully fold in the blueberries.
2 Grease a non-stick pan with non-stick spray or brush with vegetable oil. Drop in large spoonfuls of the batter and cook in the oven for about 8 minutes until golden in colour. You can also cook these pancakes on top of the stove but they cook more evenly in the oven.
Extracted from ‘Easy’ by Tom Aikens (Ebury, £25)
Paul A Young’s Venezuelan chocolate pancakes with chocolate maple syrup
This recipe is my homage to Sunday-morning brunch, which is one of those occasions when anything goes; in other words, be as indulgent and naughty as you like because it is certainly not the time to count calories or grams of fat. Feel free to add blueberries, nuts and sultanas if the fancy takes you. The syrup can be made days or even weeks in advance and stored in the fridge.
For the pancakes
25g Venezuelan 100% dark chocolate, grated
200g buckwheat flour, or spelt
1 free-range egg
45g light muscovado sugar
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
25g unsalted butter, for frying
For the syrup
Pinch of sea salt
250ml dark maple syrup
100g 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
Place all the pancake ingredients (except the butter) in a blender or food processor and whizz until a smooth, thick batter is formed. Leave the batter to rest while you make the syrup.
To make the syrup, dissolve the salt in 50ml water in a saucepan over a gentle heat, then add the maple syrup and bring to a simmer. Pour on to the chocolate in a bowl and whisk well until smooth.
Heat a crêpe pan or non-stick frying pan until quite hot and melt a generous wedge of butter until it sizzles. Spoon a small or large amount of the batter into the pan, depending on whether you want to make American pancakes or crêpes.
Leave to cook on a medium heat until you see bubbles on the surface of the pancake, then carefully turn over and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Place the pancakes on a plate and cover with foil until you have cooked the entire batch.
Serve the pancakes laced with the warm syrup – be generous as the pancakes soak up a lot!
Recipe from ‘Adventures with Chocolate’ by Paul A. Young (Kyle Books, £14.99).
Anna and Fanny Bergenström’s coconut crêpes
These pancakes or crêpes are slightly thicker than usual. Serve them with diced fresh mango and a drizzle of maple syrup or with a nice little tropical fruit salad and a scoop of ice cream. Or perhaps with warm bananas, quickly fried in a knob of butter and some muscovado sugar.
For about 10 crêpes
2 medium eggs
400ml tin coconut milk
2 tablespoons sifted icing sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
100g plain flour
25g desiccated coconut
30g butter, melted + extra butter for frying
icing sugar for dusting
the topping of your choice
Crack the eggs into a round-bottomed bowl (the round base makes it easier to whisk the mixture smooth). Pour in the coconut milk, stir in the icing sugar, salt and flour, then whisk until smooth and lump-free. Add the coconut and melted butter and whisk again.
Use about 75ml mixture for each crêpe, and fry the crêpes in a bit of butter in a warm crêpe pan or regular frying pan. Cook until light golden, flipping them once.
Serve the crêpes dusted with icing sugar and heaps of fresh fruit, berries or with your choice of topping.
Recipe taken from ‘Under the Walnut Tree’ by Anna and Fanny Bergenström, to be published in May 2012 by Hardie Grant, £20, Hardback.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012.