Ricotta Chocolate Chip Pillow Pancakes

I keep finding heaven on pancake mornings. I also keep finding heaven when I realise that certain ingredients are about to expire and whatever I expect to be slipshod turns out marvellous and beyond (you could’ve guessed it was ricotta in this case). From now on, I think every Monday shall be pancake Monday. There will be no regrets.

I didn’t want to stray far from these I wrote about quite a while ago, because they’re still my absolute favourite pancakes. I remember squandering my days trying to perfect them. But with university on my heels, there’s simply no time to faff around with proportions and measurements and whatnot. Yet, I needed a bloody good pancake, and a fluffy, well-risen, tender-stomached one at that. Monday would’ve gone quite badly otherwise. I suspect.

That’s where the ricotta comes in. And the chocolate, because 99% of my recipes are incomplete without chocolate. Chocolate crisping up at the edges, chocolate running down your bottom lip when you take a bite and the pocket bursts slowly, lovingly. The pairing of the mild cheese and dark chocolate chunks is not advanced, but necessary. Ricotta makes the batter creamy and mildly sweet, whilst the chocolate (dark, if I may) adds another lush dimension to the whole thing.

‘Twas a funny story, trying to get these right. My first time using the hob to cook pancakes was almost an ordeal. Burnt the first couple and had to chuck those, but the silver lining came when I found the perfect heating level (3) to allow for a nice golden-brown on both sides, without burning them and being left with uncooked centres. These pancakes seem to be more undercooked after the second sides are done, but that’s mostly because of the ricotta, which makes it denser without having to fully compromise on fluff and the slightest chew in the middle.

You deserve it.

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Pillow Pancakes (serves 2-4, makes 8 medium pancakes)

Ingredients

125g (1/2 cup) whole-milk ricotta (strain if watery)

135g (around 1 cup) all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

pinch of coarse salt

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

20g (slightly less than 2 tbsp) melted butter

240ml (1 cup) milk

60g (1/2 cup) chopped dark chocolate

Directions

Preheat your pan or griddle on medium heat, and ready some butter. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients– flour, sugar, baking powder, chopped chocolate and salt. In a smaller bowl, mix together the ricotta, melted butter, egg, milk and vanilla. Pour the wet into the dry mix and stir until just combined. The batter should be quite thick.

Butter your pan (it should sizzle, but not too strongly), then heap batter onto a tablespoon before laying on 2 or 3 in your pan (you can do more with a griddle of course). Flatten a little with the back of your spatula, then wait 2 minutes before flipping to cook the second side, which will take almost less than half the time it takes to cook the first side. Place cooked pancakes on a paper towel to absorb moisture from the bottom.

Serve with yoghurt, fruit or nuts, and honey or maple syrup.

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