Happy Shrove Tuesday! I love any holiday that centres around food, but pancake day is a particular favourite. Sweet cakes-in-disguise with syrup for breakfast? Yes please. I'm afraid this version doesn't strictly adhere to the tradition of using up what's left over in the cupboards, but they are heavenly.
I based these on a fail safe recipe by Jamie Oliver for thick fluffy American style pancakes, then upped the fluffy-factor by adding ricotta and reducing the flour, to create an almost souffléd mouthful. The raspberries are essential for giving the impression of healthiness. Just close your eyes and don't think about the syrup...
RASPBERRY & RICOTTA PANCAKES WITH HONEYCOMB SYRUP
~for the pancakes
the zest of a clementine
a pinch of salt
3 tbsp milk
80g (1 tightly packed cup) plain flour
3 large eggs
~for the syrup
6 tbsp caster sugar
1) First make the syrup by allowing the sugar to melt over a low heat. Don't stir the sugar, but you can swirl the pan gently to bring in any bits left at the edges. Continue to heat until the sugar has turned a rich brown colour, then turn off the heat and stand well back before adding the water to the pan. It will spit and bubble for 30 seconds. When the bubbling has died down, bring the heat back up and let the syrup warm through whilst stirring, until it is smooth.
2) Separate the eggs into two bowls, then add the clementine zest, salt, milk, and flour to the egg yolks and blend until smooth with a whisk. Whisk the eggs whites with a clean whisk, then fold gently into the flour mixture.
3) Heat a large heavy bottomed frying pan over a low heat, then spoon the mixture into thick, 10cm blobs. Press a few raspberries into the top of pancake, then leave for about 3 minutes, until small bubbles have started to appear around the edges. Use a palette knife or spatula to carefully turn each pancake - the bottom of each should be golden at this point. Allow to cook for another 2 minutes then set aside while you continue to cook the rest of the batter in batches. You may need to wipe any raspberry juice that has leaked from the fruit off the bottom of the pan occasionally, or it will catch on the bottom of the pan and spoil the other pancakes. Serve with the warm honeycomb syrup.