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March

Your Pancake Day menu sorted with Executive Chef Leon's delicious recipes!

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 Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday!

Savoury ricotta, spinach and pine nut crêpes  

Ingredients

For the pancakes:

• 85g/3oz plain flour

• 1 free-range egg

• milk, to make a batter

For the filling:

• 150g spinach, cooked, water squeezed out

• 150g ricotta

• Pinch grated nutmeg

• 30g grated parmesan

• 30g toasted pine nuts

For the sauce:

• 400g good quality tinned tomatoes

• 1 small onion

• 3 cloves garlic

• Olive oil

• 1 bunch basil

Method

1. To make the pancakes, place the flour in a bowl and whisk in the egg and enough milk to make a batter. The batter should be the consistency of double cream.

2. Heat a little oil in a pancake pan and ladle in the batter, swirling the pan to coat. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, then remove. Repeat to make three pancakes.

3. Meanwhile, mix the spinach, ricotta, parmesan, pine nuts and nutmeg in a bowl.

4. Lay the pancakes on a clean flat surface. Divide the filling between the pancakes and roll up in clingfilm to secure. Twist the ends and tie to seal the pancakes in the clingfilm.

5. Steam the pancake for 10 minutes to heat through.

6. Make the sauce by sweating the chopped onion and garlic with the olive oil and adding the chopped tomatoes. Cook on a low heat for 30 minutes, then add the basil and seasoning. Blitz in a food processor until smooth.

Serving

Slice the pancakes on an angle and serve on top of the tomato and basil sauce. A bitter leaf salad is an ideal accompaniment to your savoury choice!

And on to the sweet...

Chocolate pancakes with chestnut cream

Ingredients

For the pancakes:

• 175g self-raising flour

• 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

• 50g sugar

• 25g cocoa powder

• 1 egg

• 50g butter, melted

• 250ml milk

• oil, for frying

For the chestnut cream:

• 200g vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts

• 15g icing sugar

• 175ml whipping cream, whipped

• 1 vanilla pod:

For the chocolate sauce:

• 150ml water

• 200g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids

• 50ml dark rum

• 25g sugar

• 25g butter

• chocolate shavings, to decorate

Method

1. To make the pancakes, mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and cocoa together in a bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg, melted butter and milk.

3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and beat until smooth.

4. Lightly oil a frying pan and place over a moderate heat. Spoon a ladleful of the batter into the pan - enough to cover the base in a thin layer. Cook for one minute on each side.

5. Repeat to make 8 pancakes in total.

6. Meanwhile, make the chestnut cream. Put the chestnuts and sugar into a blender and whiz until smooth.

7. Cut the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Add to the chestnut mixture and stir well.

8. For the chocolate sauce, bring the water, chocolate, rum and sugar to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

9. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.

Serving

Serve the pancakes with the chestnut cream and chocolate sauce. Decorate with chocolate shavings and enjoy!