Sydney does a lot of things exceptionally well – sunsets, waterfront cocktails and of course brunch. One of our most internationally well-known chefs Bill Granger is most famous for his decadent scrambled eggs! Weekend brunch is serious stuff here, and you better not forget to Instagram it!
There seems to be a trend in cafés across Australia towards serving one large pancake instead of a towering stack, and I must say that I actually really love it. They are almost too pretty to eat, scattered with berries, edible flowers and microherbs. Because I don’t like eggs, my brunch options are more limited, so I will often go for the pancakes. Trust me when I say I’ve had some huge disappointments, but even when they’re good, I can’t usually finish a serving.
I wanted to re-create this fancy café-style pancake at home, but with a twist. I’ve had the idea in my head for months to make a carrot cake ricotta pancake. I wasn’t totally sure that it would work but I can happily say that they are delicious! I used my usual trusty recipe that I knew would produce a light and fluffy pancake, but added some warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and a coarsely grated carrot.
When I tried a nibble of it – you know you must always sacrifice the first pancake – at first I thought that perhaps it wasn’t quite sweet enough, but once loaded with lots of berries, passionfruit, coconut chips and whipped ricotta, it tasted absolutely perfect. I liked the extra textural element that the grated carrot brought to the pancake, while still being light and fluffy. And hey, it never hurts to get in a sneaky extra serving of vegetables!
I usually hate bringing out the hand mixer to whisk egg whites for pancakes because it seems a little complicated pre-coffee, but I’m always glad when I do because this one little step really does create the lightest pancake. I also served my pancakes with a dollop of maple-sweetened whipped ricotta, which literally takes 1 minute and can be done with the same bowl and mixer as the egg whites.
I think these pancakes turned out so pretty and I’m super happy with them. It’s easier than you think to make a café-style breakfast at home. So maybe next weekend change up your brunch routine and invite your friends over instead! You can use any fruit you like – bananas, raspberries and mango would all be fabulous here. You might even like to make it interactive and set out all the pancake topping ingredients in small bowls and let your friends customise their own pancake!
Carrot Cake Ricotta Pancake
Makes 3-4 large pancakes
- 110g self raising flour
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100g ricotta
- 1 carrot, grated
- Butter, for frying
- 100g ricotta
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or rice malt syrup
- Stawberries, sliced
- 2 passionfruits, halved
- Edible flowers, optional
- Coconut chips or flaked coconut
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, egg yolks, buttermilk and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the ricotta and carrot and fold mixture together to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Add to the pancake mix and fold gently until the mixture is combined.
Heat a small non-stick frypan over medium-low heat (I used 23cm pan.) Melt a little butter in the bottom and place 1/3-1/4 of the pancake mixture into the pan and spread to cover the entire base. You’ll know it’s time to flip them over when bubbles appear in the surface. I inverted it onto a plate to flip it over, as it’s larger than your normal pancake. Cook for a few more minutes until golden on both sides. Place onto a serving plate and repeat with the remaining batter to produce 3-4 large pancakes.
To make the whipped ricotta, place ricotta and maple syrup into the same bowl as the egg whites and whip with the hand mixer for about 1 minute until smooth.
To serve, scatter the surface of the pancake with half a passionfruit, sliced strawberries, blueberries, edible flowers and coconut chips or flaked coconut. Place the ricotta in the middle and let you friends dollop as much as they’d like!