Pancake Day #3 – Chocolate on Chocolate Pancake Cake!

This is THE perfect pudding for Shrove Tuesday…(in two days in case you had forgotten!) Our children have the day planned…

American Pancakes for breakfast, a crepe with ham and cheese in the lunch box and then spinach layers for dinner with this recipe here for dessert!! It will be death by pancakes but fun!! I will be making pancakes all day it looks like! ūüôā

This one is inspired by a food buzz article I read by a lady called Angie Tee РI have adapted her recipe slightly as I do not like to put butter and too much sugar in my pancakes Рbut the idea and composition are all hers!

It is like making a layer cake – chocolate crepes, then nutella, then banana….until there is no more and you have a tower to feast on!¬†Time consuming yes, worth it? Oh yes! Enjoy!

This makes a large portion!!!!! The pictures show the cake I made – and I still had about 12 pancakes left over.

300g flour
7 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups of milk (equivalent to about 750ml) 
3 eggs
4 tbsp veg oil
8 tbsp beer – this not only adds a bit of yeast to the batter but also crispness – can be omitted though
1 jar of Nutella – warmed
3-4 bananas
 
  • Combine flour, cocoa, sugar and salt in a bowl
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, beer and vegetable oil
  • Pour the liquids into the dry ingedients and whisk until well combined
  • Pour the batter into a jug (easier for making the pancakes) and leave to set for 15ish minutes – you can prepare the batter the day before and leave, cling filmed, in the fridge over night
  • When ready to make your pancakes, gently whisk the batter – it should pour easily and have a cream like consistency (add a bit of milk if too thick)
  • Heat and rub a non stick pan with a tiny bit of vegetable oil
  • Pour the batter onto the pan and swirl it around to coat evenly. Once the sides start to turn upwards, flip your pancake and cook the other side
  • Lay pancakes on a plate and keep warm in an oven while you finish flipping the rest of the pancakes
  • Heat the nutella in a bowl of hot water – or microwave quickly if you have one (it is easier to spread when warm)
  • Slice your bananas thinly…
  • Layer….and enjoy…

How to enjoy!

Some layers with your, blue?!, cake…

This kind of cake is what you get when¬†it is your birthday in Denmark (except for the colour which is what you get when you have a slightly mad 4 year old boy)! There is rarely a shop bought cake in sight, no fondant icing, no silly shapes and figurines…just good, old cake! Lots of layers, lots of whipped or vanilla cream and usually lots of fruit. It is very simple but I can tell you; it takes your breath away (mine at least). I will never get too old for this kind of cake and my husband, a die-hard chocolate cake fan, has even been converted! There are lots of reasons why –¬†it is light, sweet, fresh, soft…just gorgeous!

The recipe, passed on to me by my sister-in-law (who, by the way, makes it to perfection!) is used to create the three layers for the cake. Once the basic dough is made and cooked you can fill and decorate as you wish Рas you can see from the pictures my children often pick the colour of their icing as well as what fruit goes into it!

Make the layers and cake the day before you want to serve/eat it and refrigerate, but do not ice/chocolate coat it. This allows the flavours to develop and more importantly the sponge layers to get the moisture from the fruit and cream. On the day of serving, ice or chocolate coat it.

5 eggs – separated
210g caster sugar
150g¬†flour –¬†sieved
1 tsp baking powder
 
  • Preheat¬†your oven to¬†180C
  • Separate your egg whites and egg yolks

  • Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff – turn bowl upside down to make sure they are ready!!!! The best test…really. Promise.

  • Add the sugar to the¬†stiff egg whites, a little at a time. Watch the¬†white colour change from matt to silky smooth – so beautiful. Wish I could jump into it….velvet!

  • Once completely mixed, add the egg yolks to the white mix – another beautiful change of colour as you slowly add the yellow…

  • Put flour and baking powder in a separate bowl and combine well.¬†Sieve this mixture into the egg batter and carefully fold into the mix with a spatula.
  • You should now have a creamy, thick (and incredibly tasty!) dough.
  • Pour the dough into a lined round cake tin.

  • Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes – it will be light brown¬†in colour and spongy to the touch. With this I mean that if you gently press the top of the cake, your finger should feel a spring back rather than a sinking in feeling….Hope that makes sense!
  • Once cooked, let cool in the tin on a wire rack.

  • When completely cold, with a sharp and long knife, cut three layers. This can be a bit tricky but if you do it slowly you should be OK. It is fine if there is a small hole here or there – believe me, once filled, no one will know (or care)!

Now for the filling! You can, literally, combine any fruit, jam, whipped cream and berry you like…It just works…Here are my favourites:

  • Whip whipping cream with vanilla essence and a tbsp sugar until creamy. Add raspberries (or strawberries)¬†and whip a bit more to make pink cream! Like you would lasagne, place a layer of cake on the bottom, then a layer of raspberry cream, then another layer of cake, then the raspberry cream and then, on top, melted dark chocolate… (place pieces of chocolate in heatproof bowl with a few tbsp of whipped cream,¬†over simmering water, slowly stir till melted. Scoop onto cake’s top layer and gently spread to cover…let ooze over the sides! Let chocolate set and then refrigerate until ready to serve (I have decorated with candied lemon peel here).

  • Spread strawberry jam onto the bottom layer and top with crushed macaroons. Put whipped cream (whipped¬†with vanilla essence and a tbsp sugar until creamy) on top and place a second cake layer onto this. Add whipped¬†cream and fresh strawberries onto this layer and place final cake on top. Thinly coat the top with the whipped cream and cover in fresh berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries…you name it! Beautiful and so tasty! (Don’t forget to lick the spoons!)

  • A very delicate version is to add a bit of instant coffee powder to the whipped cream mixture and spread this onto every layer. For the topping, add instant coffee powder to icing sugar and a little water and make a thin coffee paste that you then spread on the surface. Absolutely divine!
  • A layer of pineapple and whipped cream followed by a layer of strawberries and whipped cream – with the topping being icing sugar, water and food colouring of your choice! Banana also works well as a layer.

If you are not a whipped cream fan you can make this gorgeous vanilla cream – also often used in Denmark – and use instead. Simply layer it with the fruit as above.

Vanilla Cream

1 egg
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp flour
200 ml milk
1 tsp vanilla sugar (can be bought in Waitrose or make your own by adding the inside of a vanilla pod to some caster sugar)
 
  • Whip egg and sugar until fluffy and light
  • Pour into a sauce pan and whisk in the flour
  • Add the milk to the saucepan and heat it all slowly. Stir constantly while it is heating – and low heat – we don’t want scrambled eggs!
  • Bring it to the boil and once boiling add the vanilla sugar
  • It is now ready! Let it cool and use as mentioned above. It is also very tasty to put a combination of this cream¬†and whipped cream into the layers.

Sweet Pumpkin Loaf

Moist and absolutely gorgeous! This recipe can be used to make a loaf as above, a round cake (just use different shaped tin) or muffins (use cup cake cases) Really lovely as an afternoon treat Рor an anytime treat!! Without the icing it is also a potential breakfast bite or midmorning snack. Just save and use the pumpkin flesh you dug out when you were carving pumpkins Рno waste!

400g pumpkin (I carved and used the meat of 1 medium-sized pumpkin)
300g flour
300g sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp ground cardamom (if you can find!)
100ml vegetable oil
100ml water
2 eggs
Handful of pecans (can be left out)
  • Pre heat oven to 190C
  • Carve out your pumpkin and finely chop all meat (save seeds and pumpkin – see other¬† recipes!)
  • Combine the dry ingredients(except the sugar) together in a bowl
  • Beat sugar and oil in a separate bowl – it will seem dry which is fine
  • Add eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly mixed
  • Add the chopped pumpkin and mix well
  • Add the dry ingredients a little at a time, alternating with the water
  • Pour into greased tin or loaf or spoon into cup cake cases

If making loaf as depicted above – bake for 55-60 minutes

If making a round cake (it will not be as tall) – bake for 40-45 minutes

If making cup cakes – bake for 15-20 minutes

As with any baking, a skewer inserted into the middle should come out dry and clean to ensure recipe is ready!

Let cool completely on a wire rack and then decorate! I have used icing sugar combined with a bit of red and yellow food colouring and water above!

 

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Decadent, moist and surprisingly light as it is flourless….Great with raspberries or strawberries and a cup of coffee! I recently found this recipe scribbled down on a piece of paper in the back of my recipe book and do not even remember where I got it from. Well, after making and eating it, it will never be at the back of the book again!!

200g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa content or more)
200g sugar
200g butter
7 eggs
  • Pre-heat oven to 160C ‚Äď grease tin with butter and dust with sugar
  • Place the chocolate (in pieces), the butter and half the sugar in a heatproof bowl and melt over simmering water.
  • While the chocolate is melting, divide the eggs into yolks and whites. Be careful not to get any yolk into the egg white bowl as this will make it impossible for the whites to become stiff.
  • Once melted, give the chocolate mixture a good stir and leave it to one side to cool. You want it luke warm.
  • Whisk the egg white with the remaining sugar until so stiff that you can turn the bowl upside down without it all falling down! Take your time‚Ķ.it‚Äôs a mess to clean up if you turn too early!
  • Transfer your luke warm chocolate to a bigger bowl and whisk in the egg yolks.¬† You will see and feel the chocolate becoming more set.
  • A third at a time, gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate. Take care not to over stir as you will lose the fluffiness.
  • Put 2/3 of the dough into the tin, place the rest in the fridge. Bake the cake for 20-30 minutes. When ready it will be a lovely brown colour and the middle will be soft but spongy to the touch.

  • Cool the cake right down ‚Äď this can be done in the fridge or outdoors in the winter!¬† Once cool, place the remaining chocolate mousse dough on top of the cake and spread out gently so it covers it all.
  • Place the cake back in the fridge for about 20 minutes and serve cold!