Today it was pancake day and it was my birthday so I was left with the dilemma of deciding whether to cook pancakes or make a birthday cake. Or was it possible to combine the two?
I first contemplated this a couple of weeks ago and asked around a bit to see if anyone had ever tried to make a "cake" from pancakes. I was quickly presented with a few links to recipes on the internet and it was obvious that this in fact was not a new idea. It seemed quite common to stack pancakes up, interlayed with creamy stuff, often including chocolate.
I mulled these recipes over for a few days but wasn't sure. After all, what I (and the rest of my family) particularly like about pancake day are the crepe-type pancakes as opposed to American or Scotch-type pancakes, and, of course, the combination of lemon and sugar. I thought my family would be extremely disappointed if I deprived them of their annual pancake experience, so what to do...?
In the end, I found a Jamie Oliver recipe for pancake cake which used what seems to be a slightly thicker than normal crepe recipe, stacked up with chocolate, cream and hazelnuts. From this I took the pancake part of the recipe and then substituted in my dead easy lemon cheesecake filling. So I managed to maintain the traditional pancake texture and flavour.
After blowing out my birthday candles, I sliced the stack as you would any other cake and served them to my eager audience with a splash of single cream. My daughter commented that the crunchy texture of granulated sugar was missing so maybe a sprinkling of this when serving could be added but other than that it was the perfect fusion of birthday- and pan- cake.
Lemon Pancake Cake
375g self-raising flour
A pinch of salt
3 large eggs
A little oil for frying
500g mascarpone cheese
75g icing sugar
Orange & Lemon segment jelly decorations
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Whisk the eggs and combine with the milk. Gradually mix the liquid into the flour until a batter forms. Heat the oil in a suitable frying pan - the pancakes should be 15-20cm in diameter. Add a ladle-full of batter to the pan and swirl around. Fry on one side for a couple of minutes then flip over the cook the other side. Cool on a wire rack and repeat until all the batter is used (should yield 12 pancakes). Next, put the cheese in bowl then add the grated zest and juice from the lemons and then the icing sugar and beat well until smooth. Now stack 8 of the pancakes up, spreading each one with lemon cheese mixture as you go. Finish with a coating the cheese mixture and decorate with the jellies. Cut into wedges to serve.