13 April 2012

April Bloomfield Cherry and Almond Pancakes with Brandy Syrup

April Bloomfield is the chef and co-owner of a trio of hot-as-they-come New York City restaurants: The Michelin Star restaurant The Spotted Pig, The Breslin another meat-centric enterprise and The John Dory Oyster Bar focusing on seafood both at the Ace Hotel. Each of these restaurants offer a dining-with-benefits experience with exceptionally flavourful and decadent cooking.

In Birmingham, England where she grew up she had wanted to be in the police force but ended up following in her two sisters footsteps. She began her culinary career at London’s Kensington Palace and then went on to Bibendum and River Cafe where many a great chef was born. She went to the United States where she landed a job at Alice Watters’ Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. The Spotted Pig, which opened in 2004, is a meat-centric gastropub specializing in seasonal British and Italian cuisines which she co-owns with its famous owners Jay-Z and Mario Batali and her partner Ken Friedman. Her cookbook A Girl and Her Pig was released April 10th of this year. I love this article from The Eater about her cookbook with some excellent recipes as well.  Thee is no doubt she deserves her place on the Gourmet Live's 50 Women Game Changers.


Whether you agree or disagree with the authors chosen fifty and their order it has been an enjoyable and creative outlet to cook from the masters and those we admire with a group of dedicated ladies. There have even been a few successful bloggers on "the list". We have checked out books from the library, borrowed cookbooks from friends, surfed the Internet and browsed our own cookbook collections seeking that one recipe that will highlight that weeks outstanding woman. This group is spearheaded by my favourite well-travelled blogger Mary of One Perfect Bite who back in June 2011 invited bloggers to travel along on a culinary journey throughout the year. It is still not too late to join in in 2012.

Let's see what we have been up to with our 43rd Game Changer....

Val of More Than Burnt Toast - Cherry and Almond Pancakes with Brandy Syrup
Taryn of Have Kitchen, Will Feed - Banoffee Pie
Heather of Girlichef - Warm Bacon and Egg Salad
Miranda of Mangoes and Chutney - Cauliflower and Anchovy Orrechiette
Jeanette at Jeanette's Healthy Living - Lyon-Style Chicken with Vinegar Sauce
Kathleen Van Bruinisse at Bake Away with Me - Devilled Eggs
Barbara of Moveable Feasts - Banoffee Pie
Veronica of My Catholic Kitchen - Devilled Eggs
Alyce of More Time at The Table - Lamb Burgers
Amrita of Beetle's Kitchen Escapades Parmesan and Fontina Beignets
Jill at Saucy Cooks Blueberry and Almond Pancakes with Vanilla Infused Maple Syrup
Sarah at Everything in the Kitchen Sink- Roasted Red Onions with Green Pea Pesto

These pancakes are amazing and the brandy syrup goes so well with the sweet yet tart fruit. I had some canned cherries but if cherries are out of season use blueberries.

**Cherry and Almond Pancakes with Brandy Syrup**
by April Bloomfield

For the syrup
100g (3½oz) sugar
50ml (2fl oz) brandy
½ vanilla pod, split
For the pancakes
450g (1lb) cherries, pitted
90g (3oz) white polenta
40g (1½oz) almonds, toasted until golden brown then ground in a food processor
70g (2½oz) flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
35g (1¼oz) sugar
pinch of salt
235ml (8fl oz) buttermilk
50g (5½oz) ricotta
½ tablespoon lemon zest
5½ teaspoon sour cream
1 egg, separated
½ teaspoon butter
Whipped Cream if desired

First prepare the syrup.

Place the ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil. Be careful – it may flame. Cook on a high heat for four minutes then take off the heat and allow to cool.

Divide the cherries into two piles. Chop the first lot into halves, and the second lot into quarters. Set aside the halves, and put the quarters in a large bowl. Add all the other pancake ingredients, except the egg white and butter, and stir until well combined. Whisk the egg white until it holds stiff peaks. Stir one third into the batter. Then fold in the second third until just combined. Repeat with the final third. Do not over-mix – there should be traces of egg white visible in the batter. This will give it an airy texture when cooked.

Heat the butter in a non-stick or cast-iron frying-pan. Pour in the batter in 10cm (4in) circles and allow to brown on one side. The pancakes will firm up and little air bubbles will form on top, signalling they are ready to be flipped. Turn them over and continue to cook until firm to the touch. When they are done, wrap them in a teatowel and leave in a warm place, such as the oven on its lowest setting, while you cook the rest. You should get 12 pancakes in all.

Place three pancakes on each plate, top with halved cherries, drizzle with brandy syrup and serve, adding whipped cream if desired.

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  1. Oh my...two pancake breakfasts in a row, Val. First Mary's and now yours. I am STARVING! These look wonderful and I love the idea of cherries with brandy syrup.
    Super post!

  2. This could become my second favorite syrup--right after maple! The pancakes sound delicious and I'm happy to "meet" April.


  3. A lovely recipe! Those pancakes must be heavenly.



  4. Oh, that Brandy Syrup sounds fantastic! I would gladly eat these tempting pancakes any day. :D

  5. These pancakes sound divine - I found April Bloomfield such an interest subject this week.

  6. Lovely photo! So British. Makes me want to sit by the window and read ... while I eat pancakes!

  7. Valli I love these of course and love "my" favorite teapot, all look nice!!:)

  8. I think everyone should start at least one day a week with this meal. It would take away a lot of discord in the world. People would be so happy.

  9. Brilliant recipe Val! Could not resist these pancakes.

  10. What's not to love about brandy syrup??? Great post:)

  11. Val, These look heavenly! I actually wanted to make these but my hubby is watching his diet! I have them on my “to make” list. Beautifully done!

  12. What yummy pancakes. I cant wait to make the syrup. Thanks for sharing with us.

  13. Between your post and Mary's post, I am WILDLY craving pancakes now!

  14. The pancake recipe has an interesting set of ingredients. Love the teapot too!

  15. Everytime I visit NYC I talk about trying one of those restaurants, but I haven't gotten to it yet.

  16. Mmmmmmm, who wouldn't be tempted?

    I had to put on a really rubbish Birmingham accent as I read the post, haha :D

  17. what a unique syrup! this batch of pancakes is definitely worth a taste.

  18. Oh I ma starving...they look delish!

  19. Wow, what an incredibly accomplished woman she is, Val! This dish is pure comfort food - so perfect for the Sunday morning I'm having. :-)

  20. So awesome. I am loving all of the pancakes!

  21. I would be happy with just the brandy syrup (smile). Love the idea of the cherries with the syrup. All the more reason to eat more.

  22. Great post! I have never heard of brandy syrup; must be real good.

  23. You pancakes look incredible. I'm seeing more brunches in my future. Wasn't if fun learning about April Bloomfield?

  24. I think she certainly found her niche! These would make a fabulous, special breakfast.

  25. I have to say that these are some of the most beautiful and delectable looking pancakes that I have ever laid eyes on Val! Great job! What a wonderful recipe that you've shared!


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