I don’t think a year has gone past that I haven’t made pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Whilst most of my peers, when I excitedly question what toppings they prefer, shrug and ask ‘oh is that coming up?’ I spend weeks lost in my own world conjuring up which flavours to use this year. They were one of the first things that my parents allowed me to make, once a year whipping up 50+ crepes to feed my huge family two courses of soft, paper-thin pancakes, practising flipping each one with only a few casualties each year.
Nutella is a classic crepe topping, the smooth creamy spread melting slightly in the warm pancake. As soon as a I saw the recipe in Kate Doran’s beautiful book Homemade Memories (read my review here) I knew that it was only a matter of time before I made it myself. The result is intoxicating. Darker and less sugary than its store-bought counterpart, what it lacks in sweetness it gains in rich chocolate flavour.
The method is strangely therapeutic, the process needing less skill than time. I made it standing barefoot in the kitchen whilst the wind and rain of Storm Imogen battered at the windows, absent-mindedly rubbing still warm hazelnuts between my palms to release them from their dark brown skins.
One Year Ago: Fruity Crepes Two Ways
Two Years Ago: Leek, Potato and Gorgonzola Pancakes , Apple Pie Pancakes
Three Years Ago: Lemon and Mascarpone Crepe Cakes, Blueberry Wholewheat Pancakes
Four Years Ago: Crepes, Chocolate Crepes, Unrefined Pancakes
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adapted from Kate Doran’s Homemade Memories makes one 0.25l jar
100g hazelnuts, skin on
100g milk chocolate, chopped
1 tsp flavourless oil
40g icing sugar
1 ½ tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 160C Fan and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Pour the hazelnuts over the tray and bake for 8-10 minutes until the skins look loose and will easily rub off the nuts (lol!). The nuts will burn very quickly (I found that out the hard way) so check the nuts after about 5 minutes. Leave the nuts to cool to room temperature. Taking 5-10 hazelnuts between your palms, rub them together until the skins fall off. Try and remove as much of the skin as possible as it tastes slightly bitter, and you will have to up the sugar content to combat it.
- Melt the chocolate over a bain marie (a bowl over a pan of gently bubbling water - making sure that the water doesn’t come into contact with the bowl). Take the chocolate off the heat before the chocolate is completely liquified, and use the residual heat to finish melting it. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Tip the hazelnuts into a food processor and then blend for 2-3 minutes or until the natural oils are released and it becomes smooth. Pour in the oil and blend for another 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend for a final 4-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the blender at minute intervals to make sure the mixture is completely smooth.
- Decant into a sterilized jar.
Find my recipe for classic crepes here.