Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Bill's Ricotta Hotcakes with Leatherwood Honeycomb

Bill Granger's Ricotta Hotcakes with Leatherwood Honeycomb

I am no longer mad. The chaotic mess that I did call work for the past few weeks has diminished back into the reclusive and relaxed contentment that it is today. I usually don’t mind coming to work, although the past few weeks were unbearable. Thankfully, the annoyance felt before has diminished along with the stress. And although the disdain I still possess towards this channel that we have just launched still exists, I have chosen to just let its noise disappear into the backdrop of my work. I shall only give it my attention when it is absolutely required, and that is the only way we can coexist peacefully.

After that taxing week at work, I set off of on a relaxing four day weekend. Even though I only set off en route for my kitchen, it provided me with the adequate respite. To start off my relaxation crusade, I decided to make
Bill Granger’s famed Ricotta Hotcakes, and although the recipe was accompanied by instructions on how to make honeycomb butter, I decided to use the fresh honeycomb I purchased at the recent Pyrmont Grower’s Market instead.

These hotcakes almost never happened and it all began at the aforementioned markets. I was at the
Formaggi Ocello stand waiting to buy a tub of their beautiful ricotta; but there was a lovely yet vexingly talkative woman that was occupying all of this poor shopkeeper’s attention. I waited patiently, and waited some more, but still this woman kept complaining about the state of olives in this country or something of the like. While I lingered, impatiently tapping my foot on the rain-soaked grass, I thought- this is a woman who desperately needs a blog of her own. Instead of airing her complaints to stallholders at markets and holding up unsuspecting clientele, she should redirect her whingeing elsewhere, like on a blog!

In any case, I ummed and ahhed about whether I should stay and tolerate these irritating complaints, or whether I should just leave and make a go of the hotcakes another time. Suffice to say, I did stay and it was worth all the standing around and enduring the whining.

The hotcakes proved ethereally fluffy and the ricotta added a slight tanginess similar to what you would get with buttermilk pancakes, without all the density. I cut a few chunks of Leatherwood Honeycomb and placed them atop a stack of hotcakes and drizzled some honey over. This was a great variation on the customary maple syrup that I usually drench all my pan/hot cakes in. I cannot imagine having these hotcakes with anything else, and although I have never tried these hotcakes with any other condiments I will be hesitant to in the future as the taste of Leatherwood Honey is matchless.

Bill Granger's Ricotta Hotcakes with Leatherwood Honeycomb

Unique to Tasmania, Leatherwood honey is made from the flowering blossoms of the Leatherwood tree. With slight floral notes and spicy tinges, the honey is an acquired taste, and it is not to everyone’s likings. Oddly enough most Australians do not abide by its taste. I however was willing to give this seemingly difficult-tasting honey a go, and the result was a favourable one. Unlike many others I enjoyed the taste; sure it smelt a bit unusual, and it did taste of nectar at first. But different shouldn’t instinctively mean “bad”. The man who sold me the honeycomb mentioned that Australians are apparently too used to the taste of gum honeys, so therefore Leatherwoods honeys have become the eccentric, second-best cousin to these familiar honey varieties. Nonetheless, I am partial when it comes to this honey, and I think it is partly because of the fact that it is unique to Australia. Don’t get me wrong I still love the typical gum honeys, but Leatherwood is definitely a special treat.

Below is Bill’s recipe for Ricotta Hotcakes, including the recipe for Honeycomb Butter. I did not know where to source sugar honeycomb so that is why I opted to use fresh honeycomb. Whether or not you have the honeycomb, be sure to give these hotcakes a bash. I am thinking of making them with some mashed bananas next time; possibly when the exorbitant price for bananas in Australia drop.

Ricotta Hotcakes
(serves 6-8)
The recipe can be found in here and a PDF version can be found here.

1 1/3 cups ricotta
¾ cup milk
4 eggs, separated
1 cup plain all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
50g butter

Place ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a bowl and mix to combine.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the ricotta mixture and mix until incorporated.
Place egg whites in a dry clean bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.
Fold egg whites into the batter using a wide metal spoon. Do this in two batches.
Over a low to medium heat, lightly grease a large non-stick frypan with a small portion of butter.
Drop a ladleful of batter into the pan and cook for two minutes or until the edges have turned golden brown.
Flip the hotcakes over and fry until it is cooked through.
Transfer to a plate. Top with appropriate condiments and dust with icing sugar.

NOTE: Hotcake batter can be stored up to 24 hours covered, in the refrigerator.

Honeycomb Butter

250g unsalted butter, softened,
100g sugar honeycomb, crushed with a rolling pin
2 tbsp honey

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Shape into a log on a plastic wrap, roll, seal and chill in a refrigerator for 2 hours. Store leftover honeycomb butter in the freezer- it’s great on toast.

Bill Granger's Ricotta Hotcakes with Leatherwood Honeycomb


Anonymous said...

Wow, these look so tempting! I'm a huge fan of ricotta, so I know these would taste amazing, thanks to its inclusion! Beautiful pictures with the honeycomb as well!

Anonymous said...

Not a pancake/hotcakes fan myself but these photos are AMAZING!!!! Great reading too. Thanks, G

Julia said...

ahhh...looks delicious! - Very mouth-watering pictures!
Great to hear about your deserved, relaxed weekend. - I didn't know your blog yet, but it looks amazing! Am still busy reading the archives but will definitely become a regular!
Really hope you'll check as well my blog, tastinglife sometimes...
Waiting for next posts...:)

wheresmymind said...

Oh's lunch time here and all I want are pancakes!!! lol

Anonymous said...

That first photo is stunningly gold!!! Beautiful. Ricotta is so good in pancakes.

Anonymous said...

I could really go for that right now...looks so good.

Rachael Narins said...

Beautiful photos, and I can honestly say, I have never before read the phrase "Unique to Tasmania..." Kinda gave me a thrill (Hey! from this side of the world, Tasmania is crazy-exotic!)

The whole dish sounds supreme...bravo.

Helene said...

I am having trouble not drooling over these. That honey look so luscious!
Ricotta in hotcakes sounds decadent, going to try for breakfast sunday.

tytty said...

great pics!

when i had 'em at bills, i think i paid 16 bucks?

time to make use of this right guys?

Elizabeth said... gorgeous! I really enjoy reading your posts as much as I enjoy collecting your recipes!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Oooohhh, those hotcakes are to die for!!! And the honeycomb looks so delicious...

Great pictures, by the way!

Jen said...

Gilly- Thanks, I have a newfound love for ricotta after these hotcakes. I was always a fan, but now im a fanatic!

Geraldine- Thanks, so much, im glad you enjoyed it even though you aren't a hotcake fan.

Julia- thanks to hear that is very encouraging : )

Wheresmymind- I think pancakes should be a breakfast, lunch and dinner thing. Pancakes all round!

Tanna- thanks! it does look very "golden" doesn't it.

Peabody- I highly recommend it!

Rachael- Greetings from down under!
There are actually a lot of things unique to Tassie, because its so isolated down there, and as you said all very exotic!

Helene- Thank you. It will be the perfect thing to start your Sunday morning!

tytty- thanks. For some reasom I am still curious to try the hotcakes at Bills though. But $16 seems a bit steep.

Elizabeth- thank you so much, I really enjoy cooking and of course eating them as well. I will definitely try my best to make every post interesting for all of you.

Rosa- thank you, the honeycomb was delicious, and not too sweet. I think I am going to do a post of the honeycomb all by itself. It deserves the attention.

Country Trader said...

Is the supplier of this Leatherwood Honeycomb at the Pyrmont Markets every month? It looks so amazing, I have to get my hands on some!

Anonymous said...

Pass the pancakes please...

Anonymous said...

what an unusual and beautiful shot! What could be better than honey on pancakes than the honeycomb itself! Too bad I'm so far from Australia!

nikcreate said...

I'm curious, how do yu eat a honey comb? Do you melt it? or can it me eaten like candy where you can bite a huge chunk of it offf?

Jen said...

Simplepleasures- you can actually just eat the honeycomb, wax and all. The guy said, you can either swallow the wax or spit it out, Its up to you.

Jen said...

Plumpudding- the last few months I have noticed them there, although I am not cetain whether they are there every month. So far they have been popular so I assume they will return.

Hope you can catch them next month : )

Anonymous said...

These hotcakes look so delicious. I dicovered ricotta hotcakes a year ago. Great idea to put honeycomb on top. Have to try that.

May said...

Wow! Those look easily as appetizing as in the cookbook itself. You've inspired me to give the recipe a shot.

Anonymous said...

Hi jenjen, this looks so lovely - I love making pancakes for breakfast and ricotta & honey sounds like the most irresistible combination :) Thank you for such a beautiful post.

Chez Megane said...

These look great! I just made pancakes for the first time in years last week and was contemplating ricotta pancakes. I ended up not going that route, but I'm sure I would have if I'd seen these lovely photos! Wow! Next time...

ilingc said...

hi jenjen,
i made these a few weeks ago too minus the honeycomb butter.. just with maple syrup. they're definitely divine. love the honeycomb shot too.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Bill's divine pancakes with honeycomb butter is availabe in Japan! Yes!! Your pics are so wonderful and vivid.