Black Forest Pancakes with Cinnamony Cherries, Chocolate and Cream
by eat in my kitchen
Are you too lazy to make a sumptuously layered black forest cake but in the mood for spongy chocolate, whipped cream, cherry compote and a shot of Kirsch schnaps? That’s how I felt! I thought about muffins for a second but I had just made them with figs (delish!) last week so they were out of the question, but pancakes seemed like the right choice:
I felt inspired by a basket full of sweet cherries – the last of the season – and I desperately wanted to make use of them. Very ripe, very soft and dark, my fruits from Turkey were practically at the perfect point to become a juicy compote refined with cinnamon and Kirsch, the famous southern German cherry schnaps. A black forest cake needs a luscious layer of thick, whipped cream, beaten until it stands in firm peaks, just slightly sweetened to give enough space to the chocolate – the next and last addition to make this sweet classic complete. Unsweetened cocoa powder turned my pancake recipe into subtle bittersweetness, fluffy as usual but with chocolaty depth. They burn quicker than their fair relatives so you better watch them well while they are puffing up in the hot pan. When they were done, just before they turned dark, I stacked them on a plate and topped them voluptuously with the rich cream and syrupy fruits. You could also sandwich them like the traditional black forest cake if you prefer, but this makes the project a little more stressful. You’ll have to work quick and let both the pancakes and cherries cool before you stack them. Or forget about the presentation and serve it all warm on plates, generously sprinkled with grated bittersweet chocolate. Sometimes, easy is the best.
Black Forest Pancakes
Makes about 15 pancakes
For the fruit compote
dark cherries (fresh or preserved), pitted, 350g / 12 1/2 ounces
(about 280g / 10 ounces without the kernels)
granulated sugar 2 tablespoons
cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon
Kirsch (cherry schnaps) 1 tablespoon
water 3 tablespoons
cornstarch 1 teaspoon
For the pancakes
plain flour 170g / 1 1/3 cups
unsweetened cocoa powder, sieved, 30g / 6 tablespoons
granulated sugar 6 tablespoons
baking powder 2 leveled teaspoons
organic eggs, separated, 4
a pinch of salt
milk 240ml / 1 cup
butter, for cooking the pancakes
For the topping
heavy cream, whipped and sweetened to taste, 180ml / 3/4 cup
bittersweet chocolate, grated, 25g / 3-4 tablespoons
In a sauce pan, bring the ingredients for the cherry compote to the boil, stir, close with a lid and cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until the fruits start to soften. Take the pan off the heat, adjust to taste and pour the compote into a bowl. Let it cool a bit.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar and baking powder. In a second bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks and milk into the dry mixture and mix until well combined. Gently fold in the stiff egg whites.
Heat about 1/2 teaspoon of butter in a heavy pan and pour in a ladle of the batter for each pancake. They need about 1-2 minutes on medium heat on each side. Flip them before they turn dark, they should be golden brown. Cook them in batches of 2-3, always add 1/2 teaspoon of butter before you start the next round. Stack the cooked pancakes on a plate, serve with whipped cream, cherry compote and grated chocolate, either sandwiched or separately arranged on plates.