how to summon Spring? cacao crepes with banana and blackberry jelly

I’m officially sick and tired of this Spring-called weather. Whoever pulls the strings up there is either mentally unstable or simply mean. This so-called Spring is an error, something is broken in matrix, it’s beginning of May and I’m still wearing my high top sheep wool slippers. And I had to switch on the heating (although having a look on my energy bill should heat me up). 9 degrees Celsius (feels like 6°C) doesn’t call for short sleeves and ditsy floral dresses that are abandoned in my wardrobe for months. Spring – you’re urgently called to be present! I understand that North Scotland is not the hottest place on Earth (either in Spring or Summer), but it’s not Alaska for God’s sake.

That’s why, against all odds lets make a very Summery recipe today. Maybe it will cheer me up while I rest my feet on the radiator.

These fruity crepes are just in time for a weekend breakfast or afternoon tea. We have three flavours here – slightly dry cacao pancakes, sweet banana and slightly sour blackberry jelly. This combination makes the dish not overly sweet. Adults should like it, and kids will surely be delighted with this combination. Especially since we have quite a lot of goodness here – cacao is a source of magnesium and gives happiness, bananas are full of vitamins, minerals and natural fiber, blackberries are full of goodness, all without artificial additives. So basically if you don’t mind carbs – just yummy. It’s a great Spring and Summer meal (if your Spring and Summer is warm) when your body calls for something lighter, juicy and fun.

I give approximate amounts of ingredients for crepes – I always guesstimate the amounts and if I want thinner crepes, I make slightly more liquid batter – it’s easier to spread it on the pan. About 10 pancakes came out of this amount of ingredients. But it all depends on your personal preferences and own way of frying crepes and, of course, the size of the pan.

For making blackberry jelly, apart from fruits, you can either use water or blackberry juice (or other fruit juice). You can also swap blackberries with cherries, blueberries or blackcurrants. Choose the one you like the most or the one that are available for you. You can also use frozen fruits if you don’t have fresh on hand.


cacao crepes with banana and blackberry jelly


NOTE: my cup is 250ml regular glass

INGREDIENTS for crepes batter:

  • about 1½ cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp sugar (or sugar replacement)
  • milk of your choice
  • 3 tsp raw organic cacao
  • clarified butter for frying (or coconut oil)

INGREDIENTS for blackberry jelly:

  • 2 handfuls of blackberries
  • some water (or blackberry juice)
  • about 2 tsp potato starch or corn starch
  • sugar to taste (or sugar replacement)

ADDITIONALLY:

  • couple bananas
  • clarified butter for frying (or coconut oil)

DIRECTIONS

Prepare a traditional pancake batter: whisk together flour, baking powder, egg and milk add enough milk to be able to pour batter and spread it over the pan. Additionally add a little sugar (so that the pancakes are not bitter) and cacao. Mix everything thoroughly so there’s no cocoa lumps in it. I also always add a tablespoon of coconut oil or clarified butter to the batter (it helps crepes not getting sticky to the pan).

Heat the pan adding a tablespoon of clarified butter or coconut oil and pour your first crepe. Usually the firs crepe is always imperfect, so don’t you worry an keep frying. When the crepe pan heat up properly you should be able to get beautiful crepes, without even using any fat. Make rather thin crepes so that when the banana is wrapped in them it’s not going to be too thick. When you make a batch of crepes put them aside and cover with a pan or a plate to keep them warm and soften the edges.

Now it’s time for jelly. Place blackberries in a small saucepan and add a little water – just enough that the fruits are in water but not covered with it. Add sugar to taste and heat it up, let it simmer for a minute. In a small cup, combine potato starch or corn starch and 2-3 tsp of cold water. Pour in the starch and stir quickly, but as gently as possible, so as not to crush the fruits. Simmer until you get jelly-like texture and clear colour. If you feel like it’s not thick enough add a little bit more starch (but always combine it first with a little bit of water, never add straight to the fruits because you’ll get lumps). When you get consistency that you like switch off the heat and let it cool down slightly.

Peel bananas and cut them lengthwise in half. Wrap each half with a crepe. Heat the frying pan adding butter or coconut oil, and fry crepes for a few minutes on both sides, over low heat, so that the banana has time to warm up and soften.

Serve warm, right after frying – crepes are then crispy, and banana is sweet and soft – it melts in your mouth. Decorate crepes with warm or cold blackberry jelly and enjoy 🙂

apricot pancakes

That’s a really old recipe and really old photos, but I have a fondness for these apricot pancakes. Recipe comes from a recipe book from the 80’s. I’ve made them years ago, but still when I look at these photos it reminds me of hot Summer days when life was a bit more gentle. Not that I feel like life would be more harsh than ever, it’s just different than it used to be. But you know that feeling when you come back to some of your old memories – they always look happier and more colourful in your head (than they’ve really been, most probably). I guess everyone has these kind of memories, and mine are often somehow connected with food. Photos are not the best ones, but I still like looking at them, and they always make me smile inside.

That was the days when I was exploring recipe world, there was no one day with the same meal. It’s a really great recipe – 80’s were masters of making something out of nothing. The pancakes came out plump, delicate and I think that even without the addition of apricots (because there are no apricots in the original recipe) they would be delicious. I love apricots. I like all nutty flavours of fruit, and apricot has such a slightly nutty flavour for me. In addition, they have a beautiful colour – probably even peaches are not so pretty.

Pancakes are not the meal I would make often. First of all because I’m not a fan of frying (oil splashing everywhere, smell of frying, lots of cleaning after), second of all I try to avoid high carb foods. Although this recipe requires only couple spoons of flour, so it’s not a crime. These pancakes are going to be amazing as a treat yourself weekend breakfast or Summer dessert.

Being able to cook from scratch and make for yourself (and your loved ones) something you really enjoy eating is a great value. On the other hand eating something you don’t even like or enjoy makes me feel a bit sad. Eating good things it’s such a simple thing that can add value to your life, just try to spend some time and little bit of effort and you can make your life more pleasurable.

That’s why I want to encourage you to start cooking from scratch if you didn’t tried it yet. There’s a whole word of flavours, and I’m sure you’ll find the ones that will bring you instant joy and make your gut happy.


apricot pancakes


INGREDIENTS for about 10 pancakes:

  • 250 g curd cheese
  • 3-4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp powder sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • few apricots
  • vegetable oil for frying

DIRECTIONS

Separate egg whites and whip them with a pinch of salt. Add sugar and curd cheese to egg yolks and mix it until smooth. Next add flour and baking powder, and combine (it will be very thick) at the end add whipped egg whites. Mix it gently using a spatula or spoon with folding motion. If it’s still to thick add a little bit of water or milk.

Now it’s time for apricots: wash them, separate seeds and chop them. Add them to pancake mix. Heat the pan with some vegetable oil. Using a spoon make small pancakes. Fry on a small heat until golden-brown on both sides. They are pretty gentle and might be tricky to flip, so better wait until one side gets nicely golden brown then flip it.

I made about 10 pancakes from that amount of ingredients – it’s definitely to little, because they were delicious!

🙂 Enjoy!