Sunday, November 15, 2020

Crêpes with Roasted Bananas and Barbados Cream from Ottolenghi Flavor

This recipe was one of the options for the pancake party and recipe challenge today from Ottolenghi Flavor for the Rainy Day Bites Cookbook Club in Instagram (and the reason I'm sometimes posting on Sundays instead of Mondays.) The savory option was a pancake with two ingredients hard to find in these remote shopping times - asparagus (out of season) and gochujang (not at my regular grocery stores) so I went with the sweet version. I was pleased to find it wasn't overly sweet, actually. The cream itself is not sweetened, but the bananas are, and the combination of all the ingredients is a very balanced and delicious bite. I should have known, considering the source.

Overhead shot of two crepes with barbados cream, a brown sugar drizzle, and almonds.

I hadn't heard of Barbados cream, but it is a mixture of mascarpone and yogurt, tangy and smooth. I didn't exactly follow the recipe for the bananas and cut a few too many corners so they weren't as carmelized as those shown in the cookbook photo, but they were fine. Next time I'd probably just carmelize them on the top of the stove. I didn't have rum so I used amaretto with the brown sugar, tasty of course. This is more of a dessert crepe but I ate it for lunch one day when I had time to make all the parts. They come together quickly. I think the best order of things is to preheat the oven, mix up the crepes, prep the bananas and get them in the oven, mix up the cream, and then you're about ready to start cooking the crepes after the wait time. I think I'd prefer the brown sugar drizzle blended with the cream so I didn't have to try as hard for a sweet bite, but I can see why it's designed that way.

Crêpes with Roasted Banana and Barbados Cream

Barbados Cream
1/2 cup/100g mascarpone
1/2 cup/150g extra-thick Greek-style yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste

Roasted Bananas
2 tbsp unsalted butter
7 1/2 tsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
4 ripe bananas, peeled, halved crosswise, and then lengthwise

6 tbsp/50g all-purpose flour
1 tsp light brown sugar
1/8 tsp table salt
1 egg
2/3 cup/160ml whole milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tbsp spiced dark rum
3 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 cup/20g sliced almonds, lightly toasted

  1.  Preheat the oven to 475 F / 230 C fan. 
  2. For the cream: In a medium bowl, mix together the mascarpone, yogurt, and vanilla until smooth and set aside.
  3. For the bananas: Place a medium, ovenproof frying pan on medium-high heat and add the butter. Once melted, add the brown sugar and ginger and stir until melted and combined, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the bananas, and mix gently so they are coated, then arrange so they are cut-side up. Transfer to the oven for 12 minutes, or until softened and browned. Sprinkle with a little salt. Set aside.
  4. For the crêpes: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the brown sugar and salt. Add the egg and whisk together, then add the milk gradually, whisking until you have a smooth, thin batter. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  5. Put 1 tsp of the butter into a medium into a medium frying pan and place on medium high heat. Once melted and bubbling, add about 3 tbsp batter, swirling the pan to form a thin crêpe about 6 1/2 inches/ 16 cm in diameter. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then, using a spatula, flip over. Cook for another 30-60 seconds, until nicely browned on both sides, and then set aside. You may need to decrease the heat to medium if the pan gets too hot. Continue with the remaining butter and batter until you have four good crêpes (the first few may not be perfect). Cover and keep warm.
  6. Just before serving, in a small bowl, stir together the rum and brown sugar.
  7. Divide the crêpes among four plates, then top each with one-fourth of the bananas. Fold the crêpe over and spoon some of the Barbados cream alongside. Drizzle with the rum sugar, finish with the almonds, and serve.

Speaking of pancakes...

Like pancakes? I seem to make them from around the world! Check out the Khobz Al-jbab from the Arabian peninsula,  Finnish pannukakku, Icelandic pönnukökur, Papua New Guinean banana pancakeskauk moto from Myanmar, the Danish ebleskiver, the Hungarian palacsintas, the Kaiserschmarrn or "Emperor's Mess" from Austria, the Swedish pancakes from Alaska, and what we call the German oven apple pancake. I also made ratio pancakes from Michael Ruhlman's book, which we can call American. I've made several more American pancakes, like the recipe from Rosa Parks held by the National Archives, another variation on lemon ricotta pancakes. Pancakes can also be savory, like scallion pancakes from China (also called cong you bing.)

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