Banoffee Crepe Cake

09 Feb 2016

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I am delighted to announce the five recipients of my upcoming book, The Farmette Cookbook, Recipes and Adventures from My Life on an Irish Farm: Debra Dorn, Jen Kohan, Martha Bernie, Emily Grace & Sally Savage. Thank you all for your lovely comfort food comments, I had so much fun reading them all! I may be doing another giveaway in March, so stay tuned.

I have also updated my events page with some upcoming book & workshop dates, so please do have a look, we hope to see you around. I will be adding Ireland and UK book event dates very soon, promise!

Now, allow me to introduce this decadent Banoffee crepe cake. Absolutely overly indulgent, somewhat time consuming to prepare, and yet, oh SO necessary on Pancake Tuesday, an Irish holiday for which I am eternally grateful. A celebration that never fails to warm my heart and tickle my tastebuds. This recipe makes the perfect pan(cake) to be enjoyed with family and friends gathered around our table. I hope you enjoy it too.

Banoffee Crepe Cake
Serves 10
Makes about 20 crepes (depending on thickness and diameter)
1 cup plain all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
6 eggs
3/4 litre/21 fl ozs milk
Butter for frying
350ml/12 ozs caramel, toffee, or milk jam
1 tablespoons rum (optional)
300ml/10 fl ozs. heavy dairy cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, sliced into coins
For the crepes:
Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a large bowl with a spout whisk the eggs and milk together until combined. Make a well in the center of the flour and salt mixture and gradually whisk the egg and milk mixture into the flour until thoroughly mixed.
Heat a frying pan on low to medium heat and add a little butter to the pan. Pour a ladle full of batter to cover the bottom of the pan. Don’t get anxious if there are holes or your crepes aren’t perfect-they stack on top of each other. When one crepe side is cooked, gently flip it over. Stack the crepes on top of each other. Cover and cool completely.
Whip the cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form and set aside.
Loosen the caramel with the rum or with a little of the cream if it is too stiff until it is a spreadable consistency.
Assembly:
Spread one crepe with the caramel and then place another on top and place banana slices on top, place another crepe on top and spread that with the whipped cream, and keep alternating until you are on your last crepe.
Scullery notes: you can make the crepes up to two days in advance, or you can buy pre-made crepes if you are short on time.

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Slan Abhaile,
Imen

Photos and styling by Imen McDonnell 2016. 

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carrotpancakes

There once was a little boy named Fionn who lived on a farm

on a green, green island

in the blue, blue sea.

On Fionn’s farm there were a handful of happy cows, a few clucky chickens,

and a gigantic garden filled with the most tremendously tasty vegetables.

But little Fionn did not like vegetables.

He would not eat them.

Never.

Ever.

Since it is “Pancake Tuesday” in Ireland, I am sharing with you a lovely recipe for sweet carrot pancakes which our little boy fashioned after he pulled his very first round of carrots from the garden. It is now virtually the only way to get him to eat these yummy vegetables.

I thought it would be fun to share an excerpt from a children’s picture story I wrote a few years ago and brought all the way to the Bologna Book Fair , hoping we could meet with a publisher to very politely persuade to publish it.  Little did I know, the book fair was focused on books that were already sold and shopping rights to other parts of the world and/or television and film. Didn’t sell the book, but definitely learned a lot and got to enjoy at least one brilliant bowl of Bolognese!

The story, which is about a small Irish boy named Fionn who lives on a farm and won’t eat his vegetables (sound familiar?) includes Geoffrey’s clever recipe for carrot pancakes at the end of the book.

His carrot pancakes go a little like this….

First, you’ll need to find the freshest, most brightly-coloured organic carrots {preferably pulled from your very own garden} and with mommy’s help, grate one or two along with a little bit of sweet orange zest…

Mix it into your pancake batter, making sure you can see all the fun orange bits, of course

Pour em’ onto your griddle and wait until they bubble up and turn golden on both sides. We like to garnish with home-made cinnamon + vanilla butter and icing sugar, but you can use pure maple syrup or golden syrup or anything your heart desires….

Happy Pancake Tuesday!

Slan Abhaile,

Imen

Photos & Styling by Imen McDonnell.

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Paddy Cake Paddy Cake

16 Feb 2010

Today is “Pancake Tuesday” in Ireland.  And while I love pancakes, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that this day always conjures up hilarious thoughts and images of pancake feeds and chicken booyah in church basements across small town America. This is just the way my mind works. I must always have one identifying American memory matched up to one Irish living reality. Forgive me…it helps with homesickness.

Pancake Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday is a not a national bank holiday, but it is widely recognized throughout the State. And it has an extremely large following in farmhouses across the country.  Ok, maybe just our farmhouse.  But seriously, everyone seems to jump on the bandwagon. The tradition is that pancakes and doughnuts were associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foodstuffs such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. The liturgical fasting emphasized eating plainer food and refraining from food that would give pleasure. In many cultures, this means no meat, dairy, or eggs. So, as you know, anything to do with Christianity here must be absolutely obeyed. (or you could very possibly go here) And even though I’m not really a religious person, give me an excuse to eat pancakes or doughnuts all day and I promise I will take you up on it, no questions asked.

Irish pancakes are a little different than the gigantic fluffy buttermilk variety in the USA. You can actually eat more than one because they are dainty. More like crepes which can be filled with loads of yummy surprises: lightly sweetened with a drizzle of lemon and a pinch of sugar; richly slathered with chocolate or toffee sauce and fresh cream; spread with raspberry or strawberry preserves and sprinkled with icing sugar; generously lined with smooth Nutella butter, savoury and filled with soft cheese and boiled ham; potato-y with a bit of sour cream and stewed apple….the list goes on and on and they are all oh..so… divine.

Here is a gorgeous recipe for Irish Pancakes from Donal Skehan’s The Good Mood Food blog:

Makes 12-14 pancakes

110g of plain flour.
A pinch of salt.
2 large eggs.
200ml of milk.
75ml of water.
2 tablespoons of melted butter.

Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and with a spoon make a well in the center.  Break the eggs into the well and using a whisk slowly incorporate them with the flour.  Don’t worry too much about lumps as they should disappear when you add the rest of the liquid.  Gradually add the milk and water until you have a light batter.  Heat a little butter in your frying pan over a hot heat, and add 2 tablespoons of melted butter to the batter, stir through to combine.  Add a ladle full of the batter to the hot pan and move from side to side until it evenly covers the surface of the pan.  Reduce the heat and cook for about a minute each side or until the batter begins to take a nice golden colour.  Feel free to try your hand at flipping half way through!

Serve straight away with your filling of choice, or try the classic filling of lemon juice and sugar.  You can cook all the batter off and save the pancakes for later.  Simply layer the crepes on top each other, cover with some cling film and store in the fridge.  They should heat up well in a microwave.

Make some for dinner tonite!

Happy Pancake Tuesday,

Slan Abhaile,

Imen

photo courtesy of Donal Skehan of The Good Mood Food blog

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