Chocolate Tiramisu Pancakes with Mascarpone Lemon Curd Cream

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There is a special eating method for this one, but you’re gonna have to scroll right down to the bottom to find out!

Well. This morning. A coffee cup, orange juice glass and water glass. All empty. My father gulps it all down every morning, a robotic ritual. Like me, he’s a man of routine (yes I’m female but you get the point). I love how we both wake up early. I also love how I can ask him absolutely anything and he’ll probably know the answer, like what paraesthesia is or the difference between arthritis and gout. Anyways, it feels good to have settled into a workable routine, each day glistening with fun and possibility. It all sounds very childish but the good thing is that it’s all very true. Routine means allowing yourself time for everything without too much compromise, and I love early mornings when it’s just simple and quiet. Like Sundays with pancakes and the papers, instead of a meaningless spray of pixels on my phone or laptop. Just being, just living. All the Instagram posting, as much as I love this social media platform in all its filtered wonder, usually comes much later.

But. I hate that part of the morning when my cup of coffee is done, is no longer young, and I want another, but ultimately I give up embarking on another 1-metre trek to the espresso machine because I know the jitters will come on just a tad too strong later on. I’m no weakling, but I am pretty sensitive (will usually wait till after lunch before I have another)! A while ago, I thought of making pancakes which incorporated just a little bit of coffee, because I still wanted my sisters to try them and wholeheartedly believe in their wondrousness. I thought of doing the whole coffee and chocolate thing because a little coffee always brings out the flavour of cocoa. These chocolate tiramisu pancakes with the most perfect complementary cream were born.

If my honey and vanilla buttermilk pancakes are the fluffiest, then these are the most tender. After a little more flavour experimentation, and the proportions seemed just about right, I could sit down one Sunday morning and indulge in a mini stack. Indeed, that morning was made all the more fine. I would think the highlight of everything is the tenderness of the baby pancakes studded with chopped chocolate, with the most divine mascarpone lemon curd cream stuffed between each little pancake. I love those moments when you cut in with your fork and the prongs are smothered in gooey bits of chocolate. You’ll get the subtle hint of coffee. Ok, I know lemon curd isn’t really on the tiramisu ingredient checklist, but trust me on this one. You will adore this delightful amalgamation of sweet and tangy and creamy.

These need your attention.

Chocolate Tiramisu Pancakes with Mascarpone Lemon Curd Cream (makes 16 small pancakes)

Ingredients

For the pancakes:

190g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

generous pinch salt

1 tbsp white sugar

60g chocolate, chopped into small pieces (you can do the same with chocolate chips if you don’t have a bar; just be sure to use the dark sort for optimal flavour)

1 egg

35g unsalted butter

180ml (3/4 cup) buttermilk, or make your own by placing a tablespoonful of vinegar (any sort; I usually use apple cider vinegar) in the bottom of your measuring jug or cup, then fill to the required volume mark with whole milk

2 tbsp strong espresso

1 tbsp honey

For the mascarpone lemon curd cream:

115g mascarpone

generous pinch of salt

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp lemon curd

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients– flour, sugar, salt, chopped chocolate and leavening agents. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in a microwave and set it aside, letting it cool. In another medium bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, espresso and honey. Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and mix briefly with a wooden spoon. Before it’s all combined, pour in the melted butter. Continue to mix until everything is justt combined, which means there will still be a few lumps, but no more streaks of flour. The batter should be of medium-thick consistency.

Preheat your pan or griddle on medium heat and ready some butter. You know the pan is hot enough when you flick a little water onto its surface and there’s a clear sizzle. At that point, generously butter the pan and ladle tablespoonfuls of batter into the pan. Once you see a few bubbles, take a spatula and give every pancake a flip. The next side always takes much shorter; less than a minute or so. Once the second sides are done, let cool on a paper towel or in a warm oven. These freeze well, so you can make a whole batch, have one or a couple and stash the rest in a ziploc bag in the freezer.

The cream!! In other words, the super moreish bit. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients needed for the cream with a fork. This makes enough for half the number of pancakes in total, so adjust proportions accordingly. Leftover cream can be stored in the fridge. To serve, place a small pancake on a plate, dollop on some of the cream, then place another pancake on top. Repeat until you have a mini stack of 2 or 3. Top with more cream or maple syrup if you wish, and more chopped chocolate.

OK. Now for the fun bit. When eating, try dunking your pancake in iced coffee for the full tiramisu effect. This is the way to eat your tiramisu pancakes. The pancakes are the lady fingers, and they need that little soak. So get to work. Dessert for breakfast. You will feel so proud.

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