Breakfast/ Dessert/ Vegetarian

Buttermilk Pancakes with Honey Vanilla Marscapone and Seasonal Berries

Fluffy on the inside, crispy in the middle and completely stackable, these pancakes with silky, honey-infused marscapone will add a whole bunch of yum to your weekend.

I used to be really bad at making pancakes.

It’s a fact I don’t like to admit, but a fact nonetheless. My pancake-making skills, if I am to be honest, were akin to burning boiling water. They were always dense and chewy, fairly burned on the outside and more often than not, would fall apart on me the moment it came to the all-important flip.

So what was I doing wrong? Was I adding too many eggs? Was I over-mixing? Was my pan too hot?

Truth be told, hindsight tells me that it was the perfect mixture of all three, together with a generous dash of overthought.

After some research and a few experiments, it became clear that the secret to the perfect pancake is an even ratio of simplicity and common sense. My pancakes were dense because my recipe wasn’t well-balanced. They were unflippable because I was overmixing, and I was almost always overheating my pan, leading to metallic-tasting, possibly-carcinogenic crusts.

So I practised. And I practised some more. My determination to work out the recipe and method that would perfect the pancake came from the deep-seated knowledge that starting any weekend with a stack of fluffy pancakes just feels good. That and, I was doing my young family a disservice by not being able to provide them with what should be one of the easiest things in the world to make.

Anyway, I am pretty sure I now have it worked out, with this recipe for buttermilk pancakes. Whilst not just milk, eggs and flour, the recipe is still super simple, and the addition of silky vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon adds a really gorgeous warmth. When cooked, they are fluffy, but still have substance, thanks to the addition of greek yoghurt. They don’t turn to mush when topped up with hefty amounts of, well, anything and the best part is, they are SO good that they don’t even need topping, because they taste amazing in their own right (hot off the grill, oh-my-gosh).

But if we are going to talk about toppings, this recipe is what dreams are made of.

Raspberries, strawberries and blueberries are in abundance this time of year, so each trip I make to the grocers sees me coming home with more punnets than I know what to do with (actually, that’s not entirely true – I always think of something to do with them). The raspberries I got in this particular batch were, without a doubt, the best I have ever had. They just added so much to this stack and it took everything I had not to polish them off before they even made it through prep. Simply sweetened with just a touch of honey and a sprinkling of icing sugar, this trio of berries made for the perfect sweet topping. If you are ever pushed for time and want to throw a really simple, showstopping sweet dish on to the table, do this with berries. Trust me.

But we need to talk about the marscapone.

Thick, creamy, silky and, (possibly most importantly) Italian, this (loosely categorised) cheese has the mild flavour and consistency of sweet cream. A good marscapone can change your life, and when blended luxuriously with honey, cinnamon and lemon zest, it becomes one of those life-changing desserts with a variety of uses.

So, the search and the practice is over. I have finally found my base recipe for the perfect buttermilk pancakes and I am really excited to share it with you guys. It’s now my go-to recipe and used pretty much every time I make pancakes unless I am really changing things up.

They are so light and feathery and the addition of the marriage of a burst of fresh berries and soothing, silky marscapone in each bite – this dish really is something special. Perfect for your next Sunday (or any day) brunch… enjoy!

Buttermilk Pancakes with Honey Vanilla Marscapone and Seasonal Berries

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By Nosh - An Eater's Manifesto Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Fluffy on the inside, crispy in the middle and completely stackable, these pancakes with silky, honey-infused marscapone will add a whole bunch of yum to your weekend.

Ingredients

  • For the pancakes:
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yoghurt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (extra for frying)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • For the berries:
  • 200g fresh raspberries
  • 200g fresh strawberries
  • 125g fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • For the Marscapone:
  • 1 cup marscapone
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • For garnish (optional):
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Mint sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
  • 1 tablespoon shaved coconut

Instructions

1

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, creating a ‘well’ in the centre.

2

Add the buttermilk, yoghurt, egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla extract to the well and using a wooden spoon, gently mix together with the dry ingredients until just combined – don’t overdo it! (See note).

3

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.

4

Gently fold beaten egg whites into the batter – it is ok if there are slight streaks of egg white visible.

5

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and once hot, smear over some butter.

6

Scoop the batter, using a 1/3 cup measurement, into the centre of the pan. The batter should be firm enough that it holds a round shape without running.

7

Let the batter cook for 3-4 minutes. When bubbles start to form on the top, carefully flip.

8

Continue cooking for a further 3-4 minutes until golden on both sides.

9

Remove cooked pancake to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat process until all batter has been used.

10

Meanwhile, slice the green tops off the strawberries and discard. Place all berries in a bowl with the icing sugar, mint and honey. Combine gently. Allow to rest and flavours to develop.

11

For the marscapone, in a clean bowl, combine the marscapone, honey and vanilla.

12

Carefully slice open the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add to the mixture.

13

Add the heavy cream and stir until combined.

14

Assemble the pancakes by stacking high on a plate and topping liberally with the marscapone mixture and topping with the fresh berries.

15

Garnish with an extra drizzle of honey, sprig of mint, cacao nibs and shaved coconut. Serve while still warm.

Notes

Be careful not to overmix the batter as this is the main cause of tough, chewy pancakes due to an overdevelopment of gluten in the flour. The batter should only just be combined, with no flour lingering on the bottom of the bowl. The odd lump or streak of flour through the mix is okay!

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