Okay so you've got Valentines Day dinner covered. You've booked yourself into a restaurant or planned a picnic but did you think about breakfast? Because this Valentines Day is on a Sunday (hint: it's February 14th) and you might just like to surprise him or her with these lusciously decadent and fluffy matcha pancakes layered with strawberries and served with a hot white chocolate ganache sauce!
For Mr NQN and I Valentines Day is never out at a restaurant. Mr NQN will spend money when it is necessary but the Valentines Day and New Years Eve surge pricing are something that he is really very against (and don't get me started on buying roses then too! "What a total rip off," he'll say). So this year as always we will make it simple and at home. And by that we will start it with these matcha pancakes because although they look a bit of trouble, they are quite simple.
I adore this pancake mixture. The matcha pancake mix is light and fluffy but for some visual eye candy there are the pops of red from the halved strawberries peeking through. The white chocolate ganache sauce is what really brings it together though. It is a liquid hot chocolate ganache and the whole stack is topped with chocolate dipped strawberries. I really just like writing that sentence and saying it out loud.
Husbands really are funny creatures though. They're also blunt at times too. Like a couple of years ago I met the husband of a blogging friend of mine. He seemed nice enough but during the course of the evening he cornered me because he wanted to tell me something.
"I don't read your blog you know," he said.
"Oh ok," I said befuddled. There's no decree that anyone has to read it so I didn't quite understand his point, nor did I bring up the subject of my blog. So I just smiled and said, "Good for you!" and tried to change the topic. "I love her blog though, I read it every day," he said pointing at a parenting blogger standing nearby. "Okaay, that's great!" I said again, not knowing what response he wanted from me.
I would only see him on occasion. We would nod at each other and I'd exit as soon as I could in case he wanted to tell me that he really, really didn't read my blog or that it had escalated to hate. Because he seemed to like to tell me things that didn't really need to be said. And quite honestly, while I like his wife I am not so keen on him.
Then the other day I bumped into him at an elevator.
"Where do I know you from?" he said, squinting his eyes. I mentioned where and he said, "Oh yes, it's out of context. You usually look better," he said casting a look at my makeup free face and training gear.
"Err thanks," I muttered before praying that the elevator would hurry up and I would never have to see him again for a long time! But now I feel safe in the knowledge that he really, really doesn't read my blog so he won't mind me telling you about him! ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have a blunt partner? What do you think I should have said to him? Because I get the feeling that I'll bump into him again and I'll need a quick reply ;) And what will you be doing for Valentines Day this year? Do you tend to go out for dinner or do you do something lowkey at home?
P.S. Happy Pancake Day!!
Matcha Green Tea Pancakes With Hot Chocolate Ganache Sauce & Strawberries!
Makes 8 x 10cms/4inch pancakes (sorry to sound weird, and no you don't need to get the ruler out I promise)
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott/Not Quite Nigella
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup self raising flour (or plain flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder)
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons matcha powder
- pinch salt
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- Oil for frying
- 250g/8.83ozs. strawberries, washed and patted dry
- 100g/3.5ozs. white chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup cream
Step 1 - Whisk the flour, sugar, matcha powder and salt together in a bowl or jug. Measure out the milk in another jug and add the egg and whisk well. Make a well in the dry ingredients and gradually whisk in the liquid ingredients until smooth.
Step 2 - Heat a frying pan on medium heat and add a little oil. Using a ladle pour a scoop of batter and when bubbles appear on the surface, turn it over. Repeat using the remainder of the batter.
Step 3 - Place a piece of parchment on a plate. Melt the white chocolate in a microwave or double boiler and dip three of the strawberries in the white chocolate and allow the excess to drip away. Place on the prepared plate and chill. Then I take a teaspoon and drizzle a bit of chocolate on top of the strawberries (not necessary really).
Step 4 - Remove the calyx of the strawberries and slice into half or thirds (depending on size). Layer the pancakes with strawberry slices-one strawberry per layer cut into three is usually enough.
Step 5 - Heat the cream and add it to the remainder of the white chocolate and whisk to combine well. Heat it again slightly if you need to. Serve with the hot chocolate ganache cream.
Cutlery and napkins by Zara Home (gifted)