Now, here’s an Ottolenghi recipe from Nopi which is just the thing for a wet, gloomy November day – a 2015 version of the fluffy American-style pancakes that our family friend Balazs used to serve on Saturday mornings with strong coffee and heated political debate.
700g sweet potatoes (2 medium)
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tap grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs, separated
150ml full-fat milk
50g butter melted plus 50g for frying
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp runny honey
Date or maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 220°C Fan and bake the unpeeled sweet potatoes on a tray lined with baking paper for about 40-50 mins until the flesh is soft and the skin shrivelled. I cooked them for 40 mins and left them to finish cooking in the cooling oven.
When cool, peel off the skin, and squeeze the flesh in a piece of muslin (or, in my case, an underused jelly bag) to extract any liquid. You should end up with around 320g sweet potato purée.
Mix together the dry ingredients with a little salt. Whisk together the egg yolks, milk, melted butter, vanilla and honey in a separate bowl and then fold into the dry ingredients, and stir in the sweet potato. Whisk well until smooth. [you can make ahead to this point]
Heat oven to 160°C Fan. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the potato mix.
Heat a good nut of butter in a large frying pan over medium-hot heat. Use 2 tbsp of the mixture for each pancake – you should be able to get 3 in the pan. Cook for about 2 mins (my first batch took a little longer) until bubbles appear in the middle and they are lightly browned underneath. Turn carefully and cook for a further 1-2 mins.
Transfer to a warm dish in the oven while you cook the remainder, adding a fresh nut if butter between each batch.
Serve topped with yoghurt and a drizzle of syrup (with bacon on the side for carnivores. We think roast field mushrooms would be good with them too if you’re feeding vegetarians).