Bill’s Ricotta HotcakesSeptember 25, 2008 at 1:55 pm | Posted in breakfast things, pancakes & waffles | 14 Comments
Pancakes, hotcakes, flapjacks, griddlecakes…whatever you’re callin’ ‘em, I’m lovin’ ‘em! Without a doubt, they are my favorite breakfast. In theory, I relish the idea of ordering pancakes in a café: letting someone else do the work for me while I rub my eyes and sip cappuccino. It’s not so much the cooking itself, but the thought of all that washing up afterwards (and in the morning!) that bores me to tears. In practice, though, I make them at home quite often, because the restaurant ones are so often heavy, dense and disappointing.
Of course, if you look around enough, you can find restaurant pancake excellence, and in Sydney my gold star goes to Bill Granger’s ricotta hotcakes. There are three bills restaurants here in the Big Smoke and, although I’m partial to the Woollahra branch, they all serve the same delicious hotcakes. So light, thanks to the creamy ricotta and meringue folded into the batter, they are like little puddingy, syrup-drenched souffles. Luckily, Bill doesn’t keep his recipes secret, and since I have his cookbook bills Sydney Food, I’ll be able to make these myself when I am no longer living such a short drive from pancake bliss.
If you have an Italian or gourmet store that sells fresh ricotta in the deli case, do yourself a favor and buy a little tub of that. I hadn’t tried fresh ricotta myself until a few months ago, and couldn’t believe the taste and texture–so much better than the prepacked, mass produced stuff. And, at least where I normally shop (at Norton St. Grocer, but I see it all over the place), it’s less expensive and I can just buy what I need. Low fat is what I get, and it works great here.
I made half of the recipe below, and it turned out four small-to-medium cakes each (there are two of us). It looked like I had a big plate, but all I was left with was this…
Bill’s Ricotta Hotcakes- serves 4-5
adapted from bills Sydney Food by Bill Granger
Note: Hotcake batter can be stored for up to 24 hours, covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.
1 1/3 c ricotta
3/4 c milk
4 eggs, separated
1 c AP flour
1 t baking powder
a pinch of cinnamon (optional)
a pinch of salt
butter for the pan or griddle
-Place ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a bowl and combine.
-Sift the flour, baking powder and salt (and cinnamon, if using) into a bowl. Add to the ricotta mixture and mix until just combined.
-Place egg whites in a clean dry bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. With a large metal spoon, fold the meringue through batter in two batches.
-Heat a large non-stick frying pan, cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Lightly grease with butter (I like to lightly spray mine first, then butter) and drop two tablespoons of batter per hotcake. Don’t cook more than three per batch. Cook over a low to medium heat for two minutes, or until hotcakes have golden undersides. Turn hotcakes and cook on the other side until golden and cooked through.
-Transfer to a plate. Dust with icing sugar and serve with fresh fruit and maple syrup.