Last week I bought my first-ever tub of ricotta cheese. Although I can’t say I’m a die-hard fan of cheese, I do always have various selections of cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, and a shredded cheese mix) stocked in my fridge. I’m not too familiar with ricotta but I’ve browsed through countless recipes for sweets and desserts that use this famous Italian cheese.
So why did I suddenly decide to purchase ricotta? Well, to make the fluffiest pancakes ever. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of pancakes but it’s about time I take a break from my favorite Greek yogurt pancakes and try something new. Greek yogurt pancakes are thick and chewy, but ricotta pancakes are quite different. They’re melt-in-your-mouth pillows of brunch-y happiness that make you wonder why you don’t have pancakes every day. Seriously, they’re SO fluffy.
Since I wanted to incorporate some fruit, I made my own strawberry compote by heating up strawberries in a small pot until they broke down into the consistency of a chunky sauce. The tanginess of the strawberries was undeniably satisfying and paired beautifully with the ricotta pancakes. It was my first time making a fruit compote and mine was probably one of the most simplified versions: just fruit and water. The best part was…not having to add extra sugar
RICOTTA PANCAKES WITH STRAWBERRY COMPOTE
3 cups fresh strawberries, de-stemmed and chopped in halves
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
3 large eggs, separated into whites and yolk
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
Heat up chopped strawberries in a small pot on medium-low. Add water. Stir occasionally as they begin to sizzle and add more water for a thinner sauce.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
In a separate large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, milk, and ricotta.
Slowly mix in the dry ingredients into the bowl with wet ingredients.
Beat egg whites using a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into the pancake batter.
Heat a pan to medium-high. Spoon 1/4 cup batter at a time onto the pan. When the pancake starts bubbling, flip and cook until both sides are golden brown.
Serve with warm strawberry compote and/or maple syrup.
adapted from Food and Wine
My suitemates and I have a tradition of making each other Pillsbury dough boy cinnamon rolls from the can for our birthdays or other special occasions. They are so easy to make, already pre-cut into perfect circles. All you have to do is pop them in the oven and spread the prepackaged icing over them. So gooey and fluffy.
I’ve always wanted to make them on my own but thought it would be too time-consuming. Well I finally got to it and it does take a bit of time, but it is worth it!!! And these are way healthier so that’s an extra plus. Believe it or not, I didn’t make them healthy on purpose. It happened because our house ran out of all-purpose flour, so I had to use whole wheat flour instead. I was scared the buns would be rock hard when I baked them but they turned out fine. They could definitely have been fluffier, which is why I would recommend using half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour.
The best part is that you don’t have to wake up really early to make them. You can just prepare the rolls the day before, leave them in the fridge overnight, and then all you have to do is put them in the oven the following morning. Easy peasy 😀
WHOLE WHEAT CHOCOLATE CINNAMON ROLLS
1 cup milk, warmed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour (half all-purpose, half whole wheat mixed together)
Filling and Icing
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
6 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
Combine warm milk, butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle yeast on top and let stand 2 min until yeast softens. With the bread hook attachment stir in the egg, salt and 3 cups of the flour mixture. Mix well, then add remaining flour and mix until dough pulls away from the bowl edges, about 5 minutes.
Form dough into a ball and place in a buttered bowl, turning to coat all sides of ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a very warm place until doubled in size, about 3 hr. (I put the dough in a microwave with a large bowl of hot water).
Make filling by combining the sugars, cinnamon and chocolate. Butter two 8-by-8-inch pans and set aside.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 14-by-24-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Spread with the melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture. Starting with one long end, roll dough tightly to form a long spiral. Pinch the seam together. Cut into 18 slices, about 1¼ inch thick each, and place 9 in each prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning remove rolls from refrigerator and bring to room temperature in a warm place, 1 hr.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F and bake until rolls are golden and cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes.
Let rolls cool slightly and then frost them with icing.
Vanilla icing: Whisk confectioners’ sugar with 1 melted butter, vanilla extract and milk until smooth. (Makes 1 cup).
NOTE: If you make and bake them on the same day, don’t refrigerate after rolling; just let the rolls rise a second time before baking.
adapted from Bakerella
Once again I have magically returned from a long absence into the blogging world. Although I’ll miss eating out at exquisite restaurants in Copenhagen and other parts of Europe, I couldn’t be happier back at home. Now back in the comfort of my own kitchen I can cook at ease with plenty of time to take photos. This Christmas I had to make my Greek yogurt pancakes again because it’s been about half a year since the last time I made them for my family.
For a simple “holiday twist” I used dried cranberries. They’re a great way to make the fluffy pancakes even more textured and also add a subtle sweet, tart flavor. I had actually never heard of using dried cranberries in pancakes so I was a bit unsure at first, but they ended up being very tasty and perfect for the holidays.
If you’re already familiar with this blog, you’ll notice this is not exactly a new recipe. It’s a variation of these original Greek Yogurt Pancakes. I still can’t get over how simple, delicious, and healthy they are so I keep revisiting them. If you haven’t tried Greek yogurt pancakes, try them now! With cranberries, blueberries, apples, or pumpkin!!!
GREEK YOGURT CRANBERRY PANCAKES
(makes 4 pancakes)
3/4 cup 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup dried cranberries
In a small bowl, stir yogurt until smooth. Crack an egg over the yogurt and stir to combine roughly.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda.
Pour yogurt and egg mixture into the bowl with the flour and baking soda. Stir to combine. (The batter will be very thick.)
Stir in dried cranberries.
Spoon 1/4 cup batter onto a non-stick pan heated to low-medium. Use spoon to gently spread out batter into an even circle on pan. (The thinner it is, the quicker it takes to cook).
Flip the pancakes when they start to bubble a bit on the surface. They should be done when both sides are golden brown.