Gluten Free Buckwheat & Rice Flour Pancakes

I have become a bit of a pancake fiend…

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I certainly would not have said no to a homemade maple smothered, ice cream covered Mother’s Day morning pancake growing up, but they have never been top of my list of anything.

Especially not the flat rubbery kind… Honestly, just eat the damn Nutella off the spoon! That’s what you really want, isn’t it?

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In fact, save for a random pancake parlour trip, or when the crêpe man came to visit us during French class, I don’t think I had ever ordered a pancake before – be it for breakfast or dessert!

Je vourdrais une crêpe au chocolat, sans la crêpe, s’il vous plaît.

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Until M1LK, that is…

And since that first mid-morning love affair, I’ve been totally, utterly, and pretty much all consumingly, hooked. As you may have noticed from my serious overuse of the word incredible in my post about M1LK.

My post about M1LK, another Inspiring Eatery restoring my faith in the cafe industry… or rather, the food industry in general, was the inspiration behind these little beauties.

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I trialled a few different pancake recipes and settled on the two below as my favourites. Both gluten free, using rice flour or buckwheat flour, the recipes are much the same. My feeling is the ricotta is key – I tested a few recipes without the ricotta and they just didn’t come close to the light, fluffy texture I desired.

In terms of toppings, your choices are endless. I’ve included recipes for three of my favourites, but you certainly don’t have to do exactly as I have done. Mix and match, add your own twist – be creative!

And share with me when you do! I’d love to see what you come up with…

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Rice Flour Pancakes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

165g rice flour
30g sugar
3g baking soda
100g ricotta
240ml whole milk
2 eggs, separated
10g cornstarch

Method

Sift together rice flour, cornstarch and baking soda. Set aside.

Combine milk, ricotta and egg yolks, whisk together, then stir into the flour mixture.

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Beat the egg whites until they begin to foam, then gradually add in the sugar and continue to beat until you have stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the pancake batter.

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Place a non-stick pan over a medium heat, then drop a knob of butter onto the pan and swipe it across the surface as it melts. Once the butter has melted, pour a ladle full of pancake batter onto the butter and spread the batter gently by tilting the pan. Leave to cook for a minute or so, flipping the pancake when the surface begins to bubble. Cook for a further minute, then remove from the pan and serve.

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Tip: Cook the pancake batter immediately for best results.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

165g buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
90g ricotta
240ml whole milk
2 eggs, separated
20g caster sugar

Method

Sift together the buckwheat flour and baking soda, then set aside.

Combine milk, ricotta and egg yolks, whisk together, then stir into the flour mixture.

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Beat the egg whites until they begin to foam, then gradually add in the sugar and continue to beat until you have stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the pancake batter.

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Cook the pancakes as above.

Pancakes with berry sauce & whipped orange blossom ricotta,
topped with pistachios and crumbled honeycomb

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For the honeycomb

150g caster sugar
50ml honey
2 Tbsp liquid glucose
15ml water
8g bicarb soda

Line a baking tin with baking paper and set aside.

Place the sugar, honey, liquid glucose and water into a deep saucepan and stir to combine, then place over the heat and leave to melt without stirring. Once mixture starts bubbling, leave to cook for a further three minutes or so.

They colour will change to pale gold when it is ready. If you have a candy thermometer, the syrup temperature should reach 300° F.

Remove from the heat and add the bicarb soda – the honeycomb will bubble up to a large cloud – pour into the prepared baking tin immediately and leave to set.

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For the berry sauce

130g raspberries (100g chopped, 30g whole)
300g strawberries (150g chopped, 150g whole)
75g caster sugar
1/2 orange (juice only)
60ml water

Place the chopped berries, sugar, orange juice and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the berries begin to break down. Remove from the heat and press through a sieve so that you are left with a smooth sauce.

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Put the sauce back into the saucepan and add the whole berries. Bring to a boil again, then reduce the heat and simmer until the berries are soft.

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For the whipped orange blossom ricotta

150g ricotta
135g cream cheese
75g icing sugar
1 tsp orange blossom water

Whisk together the cream cheese and ricotta, then beat in the icing sugar. Whisk in the orange blossom water.

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Pour the berry sauce over the pancakes, and top with a spoon of whipped ricotta. Sprinkle with crumbled honeycomb and chopped pistachios.

Pancakes with poached peaches, raspberry  peach sauce & vanilla bean whipped ricotta
topped with crispy meringue pieces

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For the meringue

75g egg whites
100g caster sugar

Preheat oven to 130°C/250° F/Gas Mark 1/2.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks start to form, then gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the eggs are stiff.

Spread the meringue onto a baking sheet and bake for an hour.

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For the poached peaches

2 peaches, halved and stones removed
85g honey
20g sugar
1 orange, juice only
500ml water

Place the honey, sugar, orange juice and water in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until dissolved.

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Add the peach halves, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes (or until tender). Remove the peaches and set aside.

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For the raspberry peach sauce

Poaching sauce from above
1 tsp cornflour (optional, to thicken the sauce)
80g fresh raspberries

Simmer the poaching sauce until reduced and thickened. If using cornflour, dissolve this in two teaspoons of cold water then add to the sauce and stir over the heat until thick. Place the peach halves back into the sauce, then add the fresh raspberries and remove from the heat.

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For the vanilla bean whipped ricotta

150g ricotta
1 vanilla bean
2 Tbsp raspberry peach sauce

Whisk together the ricotta and vanilla bean. Water content in ricotta can vary, so it is best to add the raspberry sauce a little at a time until you have your desired taste and consistency.

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Place two peach halves and a couple of raspberries on top of the pancakes and drizzle with some of the sauce. Top with a spoonful of whipped ricotta and a scattering of crushed meringue.

Apple Crumble Pancakes
Poached apple slices, raspberry apple sauce, vanilla custard and crumble topping

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For the vanilla custard

4 egg yolks
270ml milk
20g plain flour
5g cornflour
55g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean

Place the milk and vanilla bean in a saucepan and simmer. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy, then add the flour and cornstarch and beat again.

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Remove the vanilla pod from the milk, then pour the milk onto the egg yolk mixture while it is still hot.

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Place the custard mixture into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring consistently until thickened. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate until ready to use.

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For the crumble topping

40g plain flour
30g brown sugar
15g flaked almonds
10g golden syrup
20g butter

Preheat oven to 180°C/350° F/Gas Mark 4.

Stir together the flour, brown sugar and almonds and set aside. Melt the golden syrup and butter together, then stir into the dry mixture. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until crispy.

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For the poached apple slices

2 apples
2-3 cloves (optional)
1 fruit tea bag (optional)
60g honey

Place the apple slices, honey, tea bag and cloves in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer for around 15 minutes, or until apples are tender. Remove the apples and set aside.

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For the sauce

Apple poaching sauce from above
75g raspberries

Add the raspberries to the apple poaching sauce and simmer until raspberries have broken down and sauce has thickened.

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Arrange the apple slices on top of the pancakes, then drizzle with some of the raspberry sauce. Spoon the vanilla custard on top (the pancakes should be hot, so don’t worry if it melts!), then top with the crumble.

A few more to try…

Banoffee Pancakes: caramelised bananas with caramel sauce, whipped chocolate cream, topped with pecan biscuit crumble

Pear Tatin Pancakes: poached pears, caramel sauce, spiced mascarpone, topped with flaked almonds

Baked Alaska Pancakes: poached cherries, cherry sauce, vanilla ice cream and swiss meringue brûlée

Enjoy… x

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