I will never forget how I was sitting outside of Lady M Cake Shop in New York with my husband and Michael Laiskonis (thanks to him, we came to this place) and ate the most amazing pancake cake in my life. Matcha pancake cake. It was something mesmerizing, something divine and so, so wonderful. It was the day I understood that pancake cake can be something truly fantastic. It took me several years to make my own, just because I felt intimidated by the experience and taste I had there and thought I would never ever be able to make something like that.
I did not make anything like that and I will leave it to them, but I made this fantastic cake. My first ever pancake cake that just disappeared from the table – ladies eating two pieces each. It is great, great, great! It is seasonal with our local autumn harvest gold chaenomele curd, some cardamom and tonka beans.
400 ml whipping cream
500 g fine wheat flour
pinch of salt
3 heaping tsp Demerara sugar
¼ leveled tsp freshly ground nutmeg
¼ tsp vanilla powder (or extract or seeds from a vanilla bean)
8 large eggs
1 l milk
75 g melted butter
145 ml freshly squeezed chaenomele (something like small and sour quince) juice*
1 organic lemon zest
1 egg yolk
110 g light brown sugar
65 g Demerara sugar
215 g butter at room temperature, cut into 12 pieces
2 cardamom pod seeds
1/4 tonka bean pod, grated
Put quince juice and lemon zest in a bowl together with the eggs, egg yolk, sugar, cardamom, salt and tonka. Put about 5 cm of water in a pot and boil. Put a bowl on top of the pot (or use a double boiler). Do not let the water touch the bowl, and lower the heat to medium high. Whisk (or mix with a wooden spoon) the mash for about 5‒7 minutes until it gets thick and creamy. It will still be comparatively thin, but should not run. It should slowly slide off a spoon.
Take the bowl off the pot, and put into a bowl of ice-cold water. Chill, mixing with a spoon until it is around 50-60 degrees or at a stage you can put your finger in and you still feel some heat. Take an immersion (hand held) blender and with the blender running (in the cream of course), add the butter, 1 piece at a time, blending after each addition until incorporated before adding the next piece. The cream will get pale yellow and quite thick. Put it into a container, cover with cling film – right on the cream not on the edges of the bowl – and keep it in the fridge until ready to use. Make it the day before.
Pancakes. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, nutmeg, vanilla and sugar. Make a well and put the eggs in, and mix together with a whisk. When most of the flour and eggs have been mixed together, add just 200 ml of the milk and mix. Continue adding the milk and mix after each addition until the batter is uniform. Add the butter and mix. Let the batter sit in the fridge for 1 hour.
Heat the pan and melt some butter (only if needed). Pour a ladle of batter and swirl around the pan. Cook the pancake for 30‒45 seconds on one side until the edges are brown and are lifting off the pan. Flip and cook for another few seconds. Put the pancake on a plate. Continue cooking until the batter is gone, adding butter to the pan as needed, and place the pancakes on the plate. Let then cool COMPLETELY.
Just before making the cake, whip up the cream until it has soft peaks that just hold the shape. Mix half the curd with half the cream.
Make the cake. Place one pancake, then curd, then pancake, then curd, then pancake, then whipped cream curd, and all over again. You should use all of the curd and whipped cream curd. Decorate with the rest of the whipped cream and berries. Put in the fridge and let the flavors meld for 2 hours and serve.
* You can also use store bought, but it must be 100% juice. Or just make it with lemon or cranberry juice
Recipe, style and photos: Signe Meirāne
Plates, accessories and blankets from H&M Home
Photos taken with Sony alpha 7s