This, however, presented us with a new crisis – what to do with the sodding Crunchie bar. Remember, I’m supposed to be on a diet, and mum doesn’t have a particularly sweet tooth. Then I miraculously remembered Bill Granger’s Hotcakes, which had I tried one sunny Friday morning in Sydney!
Bill Granger's Ricotta Hotcakes with Banana and Honeycomb Butter (at his café)
I’d also seen him make them on TV before, and he used a Crunchie in the recipe. I don’t have the recipe book that contains these hotcakes, but I just googled it. Problem solved.
I made these in a similar timeframe to the chicken tikka – came home from work at about midnight and prepared everything I could whilst having tea with my family. Then I stashed it in the fridge, ready to cook it the next day.
Firstly I had to make the honeycomb butter, which is just butter, a Crunchie and some honey, whizzed in the processor and shaped into a log. The batter is ricotta, eggs, milk, flour, baking powder, salt and butter. Even though you have to whip the egg whites until stiff (which I did by hand, yeah, I rock), you can make the batter up to 24 hours in advance.
Bill says to use the honeycomb butter to fry the hotcakes, but I only managed to fry one before the honeycomb in the butter started to burn in the pan. So, I cleaned the pan, and cooked the rest butter-free (it’s non-stick). This is why the rest of my hotcakes were uniform in colour, as opposed to speckly.
You stack the cooked hotcakes with banana and the honeycomb butter, dust with icing sugar, and off you go. As you can see from the photos, I was a lot more judicious with the portioning out of the butter – I didn’t want to give out heart attacks on plates, you see. The hotcakes themselves are quite bland, in fact, my brother announced, “These are boring, I need syrup!”, before he realized what the butter was all about, and spread it meltingly over the hotcakes. The butter tastes GOOD. If my dad hadn’t seen what goes into the butter, I’m sure he would have added more to his as well. My dad liked the addition of banana (although you could use strawberries as well) because he said it was refreshing, and counterbalanced the richness of the hotcakes.
Of course, I didn’t eat any (but considering the turn for the worse that my “diet” has taken recently, I may as well have), but having tried them before, I can categorically say that they’re brilliant. I’m considering whipping up the batter again this Saturday to cook on Sunday morning as a hangover breakfast. I remember Nigella writing that pancakes with bananas are good for a hangover, because of the potassium in the bananas, or something like that. For my purposes, though, it’s all about the alcohol-absorbing carbs. We’ve got lots of the honeycomb butter leftover, and Saturday night is my 21st birthday!