|Ricotta and Chive Hotcakes with Smoked Salmon Roses.|
Photograph by Michael Le Grange, and plate by David Walters
Image © Random House Struik 2012.
A crisp delicate crust and a hot oozy filling make these little hotcakes a real crowd pleaser. They are good warm but best served piping hot, so if you have a portable gas burner, make them at the table and let your guests help themselves to the toppings.
Ricotta and Chive Hotcakes with Smoked Salmon Roses
500 g fresh ricotta cheese
5 Tbsp (75 ml) finely grated Parmesan
2 extra-large eggs, separated
½ cup (125 ml) milk
½ cup (125 ml) cake flour
½ tsp (2.5 ml) baking powder
½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
4 tsp (20 ml) finely snipped fresh chives
milled black pepper
400 g finely sliced smoked salmon or trout
milled black pepper
1 x 250 g tub crème fraîche or sour cream
caviar and capers (optional)
First make the salmon roses. Cut the salmon slices into long strips about 2 cm wide. Twirl each slice into a loose spiral, place on a plate, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate. You’ll need about 24.
Put the ricotta, Parmesan, egg yolks and milk into a large bowl and beat energetically with a wire whisk. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix to a batter. Stir in the chives and season with pepper. Using a clean whisk and bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff (but not dry), then gently fold them into the mixture, adding more salt if required. Heat 1 Tbsp (15 ml) oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Drop tablespoons of the batter into the pan and cook for 1 minute, or until the bottom edges turn golden brown. Flip over and cook for another minute, or until the hotcakes are puffed and their edges look set. Watch them like a hawk as they burn quickly. Keep warm.
Arrange the hotcakes on a platter and top each one with a salmon rose. Serve immediately with lemon wedges, black pepper and little bowls of crème fraîche, capers and caviar.
Makes about 24; serves 8 as a snack.
Prepare the salmon roses up to 10 hours in advance and keep covered in the fridge. The batter can be made up to 6 hours in advance, but beat and fold in the egg whites just before you fry the hotcakes.