These Black Forest pancakes have all the flavours of the classic Black Forest gateaux but in pancake form. Chocolate pancakes with a black cherry filling and kirsch flavoured cream.
I first discovered my love of baking and cooking in general in the 1970's when the Black Forest Gateau was the height of food fashion, and it was my favourite dessert as a child.
Chocolate and black cherries are a classic flavour combination that have always worked together, add fresh cream into the mix and the result is divine!
So this is not the first or last time that I take inspiration from this classic gateau and it was while shopping for pancake ingredients that I spotted the black cherries and that gave me the inspiration for a new twist on pancakes.
On pancake day, if I'm honest, I usually stick to serving a classic thin pancake with lemon and sugar, but I also enjoy pancakes throughout the year, and it is then that I will prepare something a little different, particularly when entertaining.
Crepes Suzette a classic retro dessert and a more modern way to serve pancakes is my gluten-free Coconut and pineapple Pancakes both always go down a treat. They make great summertime desserts as do pancakes with roasted strawberries.
These Black Forest pancakes are very good and make a great dessert at anytime of the year but don't just take my word for it, try them. They look great and have that classic flavour combination that works so well.
To make the chocolate pancakes
The pancakes are made by substituting some of the flour with cocoa powder. Overall the dessert is nicely sweet so I have not added any sugar to the pancakes themselves but instead have lightly sweetened the cream. But you could add 1 tbsp caster sugar to the mix if you prefer.
The pancakes are made in the same way as the standard mix, just sift the flour and cocoa powder together as this will help to avoid any lumps.
Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and a little milk, then whisk together gradually incorporating the flour as you do do.
Tip: Beat well at this stage to make sure there are no lumps before adding the remaining milk. If it is lumpy at this stage it will be hard to beat out the lumps once all the milk is added.
Once you have a smooth thick batter gradually add the remaining milk. The pancake batter is now ready to use.
Tip: Some recipes recommend leaving the batter to stand for 30 minutes before use but if you have mixed it by hand I find it makes no difference.
To cook the chocolate pancakes
The frying pan - I have a frying pan that I only use for pancakes. I love it because it distributes the heat evenly and has low sides which make flipping the pancakes over easy, but any good non-stick frying pan that is about 20cm(8in) diameter on the base will do.
Pour a little pancake batter into the base of the pan (about 3tbsp) and quickly swirl the pan so that the batter coats the base of the pan in a thin layer. Cook until the top is just dry and the base is golden.
Tip: Transfer the batter to a jug to make pouring in the batter easier.
Toss or flip the pancake over and cook for another 30 -60 seconds or so until the underside is pale golden.
Slide onto a plate and keep warm while making the remaining pancakes. I do this by covering the stack of pancakes with foil or a large saucepan lid.
Pancakes also reheat well in a microwave in just a few seconds.
To complete the Black Forest pancakes
The black cherry pie filling
The black cherry filling is made using black cherries in syrup which is then thickened with cornflour to make a hot filling. As the cherries are in syrup there is no need for any additional sugar.
Tip: Save time and use cherry pie filling instead.
The Chantilly cream
The cream is lightly sweetened with a little icing sugar.
I added kirsch to the cream as this is added to a traditional Black Forest gateau but I can take or leave it. A little bit of brandy or gin would work just as well or just leave it out altogether.
Spoon some of the filling onto each pancake and roll up or fold into triangles. Top the pancakes with the fresh cream and a sprinkling of chocolate and serve immediately or pass the cream and chocolate around separately.
Tip: Grate the chocolate using a vegetable peeler.
Black Forest Pancakes
For the pancakes
- 75 g (3oz) plain flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 300 ml (½pt) milk Semi-skimmed or full cream
- oil for frying
For the filling
- 2 x 440 g (1lb) can black cherries in syrup
- 4 tsp cornflour
- 150 ml (¼pt) double cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tbsp kirsch (optional)
- a little grated chocolate
- 20cm (8in) non stick frying pan
- balloon whisk
- palette knife or
- fish slice
To make the pancakes
- Sift 75g (3oz) plain flour and 2 tbsp cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Drop in 2 eggs and add a little of the 300ml (½pt) of milk. Use a balloon whisk or wooden spoon, beat the egg and milk together gradually incorporating the flour.
- Beat until smooth then gradually beat in the remaining milk.
- Heat a little oil in a 20cm (8in) heavy-based frying pan. (I use a silicone pastry brush to brush a thin layer of oil over the pan). Pour about 3 tbsp of the pancake mixture into the pan and tilt the pan quickly so that the batter to coats the base of the pan.
- Cook for about 1 minute until the top is just set and no longer wet. Flip the pancake over and cook the other side. Slide the pancake out of the pan and keep warm. Repeat the process with the remaining batter, re-oiling the pan as required. Stack the cooked pancakes on top of each other, covering to prevent them from drying out.
To make the filling
- Drain the juice from one of two 440g (1lb) can black cherries in syrup. Place 4 tsp cornflour in a small bowl and stir in a little of the juice to form a smooth paste.
- Place the cherries and remaining juice in a saucepan along with the contents of the other can. Heat gently until the syrup is very hot. Stir in the cornflour paste and continue to cook stirring until the sauce thickens.
- Whip 150ml (¼pt) double cream with 1tbsp icing sugar and 1 tbsp Kirsch, if using until just thickened.
- Serve the pancakes filled with the black cherries and topped with the cream and a sprinkling of grated chocolate.