Monday, February 28, 2011

Sweet Souffled Ricotta Cakes (aka really delicious, fluffy pancakes that will melt your cold, cold heart)

My mom mailed me Vegetarian Suppers by Deborah Madison for my birthday (thanks Mummy!). Ian and I had a friend over for brunch this morning and I cooked some delicious little pancakes for us based on this recipe.

Sweet Souffled Ricotta Cakes
Adapted from Deborah Madison

This recipe could be either savory or sweet. We topped our pancakes with honeyed Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, and with homemade pearsauce, but maple syrup or whipped cream and berried would be delicious as well. You could also omit the sugar and make savory pancakes. Fresh herbs mixed into the batter would be quite nice, or served with a light vegetable puree. 

3 eggs, separated
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup milk (skim, whole, or almond)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon sugar (if sweet, omit if you are making savory pancakes)

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until smooth. Add the ricotta cheese, stirring until well blended. Then add the milk and butter, again stirring until well blended. Sift in the flour, baking soda, and salt, adding the vanilla and sugar once well blended. Set aside.

With a hand beater or standing mixer, beat the egg whites until they reach soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter until no streaks remain.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, with butter or oil if desired. When pan is hot, reduce heat a little and drop 1/4 cup of batter at a time to make smaller pancakes. Flip after 1-2 minutes, when the first sides are nicely browned (be careful, the batter will still be a bit loose and will bubble on top when they are ready to flip like a traditional pancake!). Serve immediately.