hazelnut meringue pancake cake

Recipe: Hazelnut pancake cake with toasted meringue

Celebrate Shrove Tuesday in style with this booze-infused pancake cake topped with toasted meringue

Pancake day is one of my favourite foodie occasions of the year. It never fails to amaze me how something that requires so few ingredients can be so versatile. And everyone has their own special memory associated with them; my own involves annual childhood summer holidays to France and looking forward to wolfing down the first ham and cheese galette.
There’s nothing quite as appealing, however, as a generous stack of pancakes, overloaded with your sweet topping of choice. This recipe isn’t quite what I’d consider a mille crêpe – though delicious, I prefer a slightly higher cream to pancake ratio. It makes for a treat that feels more like a dessert than a cake, and would be divine plated up with a generous drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce on top.

Recipe

Makes 6

Pancakes:

4 eggs

200g plain flour

300ml whole milk

100ml single cream

Pinch of salt

Unsalted butter

Frangelico Chantilly cream:

250ml double cream

1 tablespoon icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tablespoon Frangelico

Meringue:

90g egg whites (about 3 eggs)

180g caster sugar

Method:

To make the pancakes, whisk all the ingredients together in a jug until well incorporated. Leave to rest for 2 hours (or preferably overnight). Whisk to remove any lumps.

Heat a flat pan and add a knob of unsalted butter. Pour the batter in the centre of the pan and swirl the mixture until the entire surface of the pan is covered. Cook for one minute, and then flip the pancake and cook for a further 30 seconds. Repeat until all batter is used.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the cream until a semi-stiff consistency. Line six three-inch cake rings with acetate (or alternatively use baking parchment). Using one of the rings, cut as many circles out of the pancakes as possible (I normally get four per pancake).

Starting with a pancake, alternately layer a circle of pancake with a large teaspoon of the cream until reaching the top of the mould. End with a pancake layer. Put in the fridge while making the meringue.

In a stand mixer whisk the egg whites until soft peaks. Gradually add all the sugar and continue whisking at a medium-high speed for five minutes. The mix should be in soft peaks and not grainy to the touch.

Remove the pancake cakes from the moulds. Put the meringue in a piping bag and pipe small peaks on top of each cake. Using a blowtorch, lightly brown the meringue. Serve immediately.

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