As of next Tuesday I'm embarking on a 12-day detox diet. It doesn't in any way involve starvation, just the cutting out of certain foods and drinks.
So I'm considering this week as a bit of a 'last hurrah' and I'm enjoying all the things on my detox 'not allowed' list. The list being yeast, alcohol, flour, dairy, sugar and tropical fruits.
This brings me to detox no-no number one -- orange and ricotta hotcakes. Small in size but not in flavour, these mini hotcakes are infused with cinnamon, orange zest and oozings of fresh ricotta. The hotcakes themselves are made of a mixture of finely ground corn flour (corn meal), unbleached flour, Castor sugar, milk and eggs. The syrup is simply a combination of honey, water and orange zest boiled with a vanilla bean. The mingling of citrus and vanilla is intoxicating and only becomes stronger as the syrup heats up.
The addition of ricotta is delightful and results in a light, moist hotcake. The trick to adding the ricotta, is to very gently fold it into the hotcake batter, making sure that there are noticeable ricotta lumps in it. Just don't over mix, although I'm sure if you did, it'd be ok.
I had some leftover batter and I couldn't resist making some 'mini-minis'.
Someone has to feed the hotcake fairies.
Orange Ricotta Hotcakes Recipe
(Serves 4) Adapted from Cuisine.co.nz
Orange Honey Syrup
1 cup liquid honey
1/2 cup water
1 vanilla pod
Zest of 1/2 an orange
1/4 cup fine corn flour/meal
1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup flour
1/4 cup Castor sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 tbs butter, melted
1 cup of ricotta
Zest of 1/2 an orange
Bananas or berries for serving (optional)
- Place honey, water, vanilla pod and zest of 1/2 an orange in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, switch off and allow to cool a little. Discard vanilla pod. (Rinse, dry and reuse.)
- Pour boiling water over corn flour/meal and rest for 5 minutes.
- Sift dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Whisk eggs and milk together into dry ingredients. Add melted butter and wet corn flour/meal to the batter and whisk again. Gently fold through the ricotta and orange zest.
- Heat up and lightly butter a heavy-based pan or griddle iron. Cook small ladles of the batter on a low to medium heat, 2 or 3 at a time.
- Wipe the pan lightly with butter in between batches. Turn each hotcake once bubbles form on the surface and cook until firm, about 2 minutes per side. Keep hotcakes warm in the oven while cooking further batches.
- Serve in stacks of 2 or 3 with fresh fruit such as bananas or berries. Spoon over honey orange syrup.