There was a period there, about 10 (or more) years ago, where I spent entire weekends cooking ricotta hotcakes. I guess that’s to be expected when you’re working in a cafe, but there’s a limit to how many hotcakes one can make and still think of them as a food one might want to eat. I could possibly blame Bill Granger for introducing Sydney siders to hotcakes. His tiny Darlinghurst cafe, Bills popularised this weekend breakfast dish so every other cafe, including the one I worked in, followed suit and had a version on their menu. Mind you, he was obviously on to something, as 20 years on, hotcakes still feature on Bill’s menus across his now SEVEN cafes! Cafe work certainly offered a more social life style, even if we did cook hundreds upon hundreds of hotcakes each week. The bonus was obvious, the work hours were during the day (nights off) and we only worked 9 hours as opposed to the 16 i’d been doing in restaurants.
It’s been six or seven years since I’ve made ricotta hotcakes. Seriously! You think I’m joking? I’m not!
Last weekend, I suddenly and whole heartedly knew I was ready to cook them again. Making a small batch of ricotta hotcakes at home was enjoyable. It was not stressful, sweaty, or tiring as it had been in the past. They deserved a second chance and they have redeemed themselves. Ricotta hotcakes have returned to my repertoire – yippee! I hope they find a place in yours too.
Adding fruit to a hotcake mix adds a level of sophistication that is amiss from the plain variety.
The cafe I worked at had several ways of serving hotcakes depending on the season. There was caramalised banana – every bodies favourite, sour cherries made an appearance, poached rhubarb was popular, and when in season raspberries always made a show.
But blueberries work a treat with ricotta. And that’s how I made them last weekend. I’ve tweaked my old recipe and replaced the white flour with wholemeal, and added almond meal to the mix too. This makes them a little healthier and these days that’s preferred.
These blueberry and ricotta buttermilk hotcakes will have weekend brunch taken care of. Smother them in pure maple syrup, and serve them with double cream or yoghurt.
Blueberry and ricotta buttermilk hotcakes
150g (1 cup) wholemeal self raising flour
25g (3 tbsp) almond meal
1 tsp bi carb soda
2 tbsp brown sugar
25g melted butter, plus extra for cooking
2 eggs, yolks and whites separated
190ml (3/4 cup) buttermilk – see note
150g fresh ricotta
1 punnet blueberries
Olive oil for cooking
Place the flour and almond meal in a medium bowl, sift in the bi carb, add brown sugar and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre of the flour.
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, egg yolks and buttermilk, whisk till combined and pour this in the middle of the flour. Stir lightly, add the ricotta and fold and stir till well combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Add to the hotcake mix and fold gently till combined. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
Heat a non stick fry pan with oil and butter (about 1 tbsp of each), when the butter sizzles spoon 4 or 5 hotcakes into the pan, immediately scatter each hotcake with 4-5 blueberries, cook on a medium to low heat till golden on both sides. Continue to cook hotcakes using more oil and more butter till the mix is used up.
Serve blueberry hotcakes with maple syrup, and double cream or yoghurt.
Note – you can make buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp lemon juice to regular milk.