It is painfully evident that I love to eat breakfast. It’s brilliant to cook it, eat it, and photograph it. Breakfast is one of those meals I can cook easily and enjoy. After all the mixing, measuring, and frying, I really appreciate the ingredients and effort that I put into making the dish. The breakfast menus at restaurants can be very standard. (I’ve seen only one breakfast burrito in London !?).) It takes something really special for me to love brunch at a restaurant to the point that I want to recreate it at home.
Bill Granger’s restaurant chain Granger & Co. offers ricotta-filled hotcakes with honeycomb Butter.
The plan was set: I had invited my friend over for a trial run, and a Friday brunch was scheduled.
We had pancakes and took pictures. We also styled Butter using ice-cream scoops. My friend kept telling me to stop calling these pancakes while I was writing the recipe. I did so because they are nothing like any pancakes I have ever had.
These hotcakes are made with ricotta, whipped egg whites, and less flour than regular pancake batters. This keeps them light and tender but also filling. As I said this morning while digging into a large stack of hotcakes, “They’re so filling!” (it’s the protein!). It’s better to only mix in a small amount of ricotta. This way, you’ll get little nuggets of creamy ricotta now and then.
It turns out that my suspicions about honeycomb butter were correct. It’s actually crushed honeycomb candy mixed in with unsalted Butter. To make it easier, I purchased a Crunchie and cut off the chocolate covering. Then, I used the honeycomb. This Butter may not seem necessary, and I probably would have omitted it if I hadn’t tried it in the restaurant. But I love it because it adds a hint of vanilla to every bite.
Bill Granger’s recipe has been adapted slightly (can be found here).
One 40g Crunchie bar (or 20g/1oz of honeycomb candies)
Unsalted Butter 50g
Honey 1 tsp
To make the hotcake batter, you will need:
Separated four eggs
Milk, 3/4 cup (185ml), any kind
1 cup (125g) plain flour
Baking powder, one heaped tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups (300 g/10.7 oz) ricotta
Use a sharp knife and cut off the outer layer (you want only the middle honeycomb portion) of the Crunchie bar. Place the honeycomb in a sandwich bag and pound it with a rolling pin until the texture is like coarse breadcrumbs. Pour the honeycomb into a bowl with Butter. Mix until well combined, then shape into a log. Wrap in clingfilm. Keep chilled until required.
Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together with a fork in a large jug. Add the ricotta and stir just a bit (really, like three times; you want delicious ricotta chunks). In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg whites to stiffness. Pour the contents of a jug into the large bowl and fold with a rubber spatula. Ricotta should be visible in the bowl.
Pour a hotcake and pour about 1/3 cup of batter into the pan. Pour about 1/3 cup batter in the pan (depending on how big your pan is, you can cook 2 or 3 hotcakes at once). Check the underside with a metal spatula. Flip the hotcake and cook the other side until it is golden. Serve hot with honeycomb butter and maple syrup.