Tag Archives: eggs

Do: Pancake Cannelloni

Probably the most memorable pancake day I have ever had was as a student, when my housemate P and I prepared a three course pancake based feast. Goats cheese and pancetta pancakes to start followed by pancake cannelloni, then pancakes with vanilla ice-cream and mars bar sauce to finish. Wow. I caught up with P just last week and we were fondly reminiscing on this now fabled ‘death by pancake’ feast, and although our tastes have changed since our student days, we both agreed that this recipe might be acceptable now as sensible adults…..

The following recipe makes 5-6 pancakes, we used Bolognese sauce to fill our cannelloni but vegetable chilli or beans would work just as well, it’s a really good dish for using up leftovers, and of course perfect for pancake day!

ingredients

making the pancake batter

frying the pancakes

filling the pancake cannelloni

pancake cannelloni ready to serve

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Make: Easter eggs

This makes a pretty impressive Easter gift and it’s not as tricky as you’d imagine, although to achieve a beautiful glossy finish to your easter eggs you do need to temper your chocolate. Yes, this is essential and  quite messy! Another important element to this is choosing a chocolate you like the taste of, cheap chocolate will result in a substandard product. Do your research first, taste testing is essential!

You can buy easter egg moulds here and here

Tempering chocolate can seem a little scary and complicated, different chocolates have different melting temperatures, but the following method works for all three, dark, white and milk. You don’t need a thermometer just a palette knife and a little patience. You can read more about the exact science here but if you follow a few simple steps you will find its not as complicated as it first appears.

Melt your chocolate over a baine marie until smooth and glossy, take your chocolate off the heat and pour roughly a third of your chocolate onto a cool, clean work surface. A marble slab is ideal if you are lucky enough to have one, my kitchen work surface had to suffice on this occasion! Work the chocolate with a palette knife, as you do this you will feel the texture of the chocolate changing as it cools and starts to solidify.

When the chocolate is almost set, and you can easily scrape and gather all of it onto your pallet knife it is ready to re-join the rest of your chocolate, pop it back in the bowl and gently stir until well combined and you have a bowl full of soft silky chocolate.

Next step is to fill your moulds with the mix.

Spoon in the chocolate and move it around the mould, either with the back of a spoon or just by tilting the mould itself in your hands. Don’t rush it. Let the chocolate find it’s own level. The moulds come in two halves which you join together at the end so attention to detail is key. Once you have a nice even coating put your moulds into the fridge to harden for 5 minutes or so, until the chocolate starts to dull, then you are ready to add your second coat.

Three coats should do the trick.

Your third coat is the most important as you need to seal the two halves of your eggs together to make a complete egg. You need to make sure the joining surface of your eggs are flat and that you have plenty of tempered chocolate to paint over the edges to be fused together. If you’re eggs don’t fuse together first time you can trim down the edges of your egg halves, so you have a nice flat surface then apply some of your tempered chocolate around the seam of your egg with a pastry brush.

A fifteen minute wait while the egg sets up in the fridge, this should be long enough for the chocolate to seal together. Chocolate doesn’t like to hang out in the fridge for too long. It will attract moisture and sweat, undoing all the hard work of your tempering. Keep an eye on it and once its set remove from the fridge and store at room temperature.

If you’re eggs have sealed properly they should pop out quite easily, and tempering your chocolate should ensure a shiny gloss finish. You could even store little gifts inside to be revealed when the egg is cracked open, or hide clues and riddles inside to create the ultimate easter egg hunt!

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