Lemon Ricotta Deep Dish Pancake with Cranberries and Chocolate For Your Sunday Brunch

Lemon Ricotta Deep Dish Pancake with Cranberries and Chocolate slice

Now beginning the recovery from my recent job/life debacle, I am finally starting to step away from a constant state of panic. I am happily settling into a new routine with my new job and generally feeling normal again. Fresh start. My new apartment is the biggest I’ve ever had in Korea and I love it. I’m looking forward to getting my kitchen set up and getting back to cooking.

 Korean kitchen

For now, I’m enjoying making comforting, cozy foods. There is nothing better to get you back on track with your life than cooking the recipes you know and love.

 Lemon Ricotta Deep Dish Pancake with Cranberries and Chocolate

Brunch is my favourite meal. It combines sweet, savory, bitter and greasy with flawless ease. It’s perfect for sleeping in or meeting a friend when recovering from the night before.  Since you’re combining two meals, you can allow yourself to overeat (in some moderation) without guilt, or at least that’s what I tell myself.

 Lemon Ricotta Deep Dish Pancake with Cranberries and Chocolate 2

I’m not usually attracted sweet foods in the morning, but since brunch is a gateway meal, I can make exceptions. This deep dish pancake is a perfect way to tie your sweet brunch to your savory brunch. It’s eggy texture and sour fruitiness invites the eater to have one bite with syrup, the next with a bit of bacon and the next mixed with quiche provençale. Or solo, of course. Wash it down with a sip of espresso macchiato. Viola! Brunch.

Lemon Ricotta Deep Dish Pancake with Cranberries and Chocolate 1

This recipe is very easy and the ingredients are easily found (even in Korea… Bless you, Costco). Invite a friend or two over for brunch, lounge around chatting and then work it off with a nice walk around town. Happy Sunday.

Lemon Ricotta Deep Dish Pancake with Cranberries and Chocolate slice 2

Lemon Ricotta Deep Dish Pancake with Cranberries and Chocolate

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp softened butter
  • ½ cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 425ºF/220ºC/Gas Mark 7.

Spread butter around a 7 inch circular baking pan.

In a bowl, whisk eggs until frothy.

Leaving out the chocolate and cranberries, whisk in remaining ingredients in with the eggs until smooth.

Pour the mixture into the greased pan.

Sprinkle berries and chocolate on top of the pancake and gently press in.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Cut a piece for yourself and drizzle with maple syrup mixed with a touch of ricotta cheese.

Garnish with walnuts and cranberries.

Eat immediately and voraciously.

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Homemade Graham Crackers with White Chocolate Frosting + Finding Balance

homemade graham crackers with white chocolate frosting 2

 

I knew vaguely for some reason that graham crackers were meant to be a “healthy” food. I’m not sure if it’s something I was told from my childhood or a belief held by society or what. This has always confused me because the modern graham cracker of today certainly doesn’t look, feel or taste healthy. They’re loaded with sugar, use uber refined ingredients and are mass produced by the bajillion. Considering that most people eat (or at least associate) them as S’mores, cheesecake crusts and piecrusts, the health label seems like another lie people tell themselves. Another delicious lie.

graham crackers with white chocolate frosting

Well, apparently graham crackers are meant to be healthy. MEANT to. A health nut minister named Sylvester Graham invented graham crackers in 1829. He was an advocate of vegetarianism and believed that an unhealthy diet would lead to uncontrollable, carnal urges and sexual excess. He swore that physical lust was harmful for the body (as any good minister should) and caused consequences as dire as pulmonary consumption, spinal diseases, epilepsy and insanity. So, to Graham a high fiber, vegetarian diet was the key to purity and chastity, while meat and refined foods meant debauchery, destruction and non-stop sex. Hmm… tough choice. 

No. Not really.

 graham cracker bite

Like most North Americans, I have yo-yo’d with my weight and my ideas of (read: dedication to) a healthy lifestyle. From a heavy set youth to starving myself to eating everything in my path to severely restricting my food intake, I’ve gone through the self-hate-through-food thing for a good portion of my life. So many of us have. Eating disorders are a fairly new phenomenon in the history of human kind. Born out of excess (something that didn’t exist for anyone other than royalty until the middle class appeared) we binge, we purge, we starve and we judge our food.

homemade graham crackers with white chocolate frosting 

The puritanical reactions to unhealthy lifestyles aren’t really any healthier. As an ex-raw foodist, I remember convincing myself (many years ago) that certain foods were evil and that my pure insides would surely burn and melt if I consumed a piece of white bread or grain of refined sugar. I didn’t realize until much later that these were thoughts of someone who hates food.

 cinnamon bark for grinding

The whole thing is such an old, tired story full of clichés and I’m sick of it. I LOVE food. I LOVE cooking and I LOVE eating. I took a stand against the horrid cycle and found something that feels balanced and real. Here are my guidelines:

Eat in moderation.
Try anything I want.
Always choose fresh, real ingredients.
Don’t deny myself (denial responds with feelings of rebellion, resentment and guilt)
Exercise regularly.

This has worked for me for several years. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in ages and I feel more balanced and happy with my relationship to food. Hail Mary.

 

These graham crackers were made using a somewhat similar recipe to Minister Graham’s original recipe. But as I’m not one to deny myself of a tasty idea, they also contain chocolate. A bit of balance goes a long way.

Homemade Graham Crackers with White Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 ½  cups graham flour
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/8 cup molasses
  • 1/3 honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp anise powder
  • 5 oz of white chocolate (optional)
  • licorice candy powder (optional)

graham cracker ingredients

Directions

Melt butter. Add honey and molasses to the butter and mix.

Add eggs and water to the mixture and mix.

In a different bowl, combine salt, baking soda, flours and spices. Stir.

Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well incorporated and smooth.

Wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

graham cracker dough

Preheat oven at 350ºF/180ºC/Gas mark 4.

Find a clean surface to roll your crackers and spread flour over it to prevent sticking. Make fist sized balls of dough and roll evenly to a 1/8 inch thickness.

graham cracker dough 2

Cut your crackers into small squares or rectangles, about 2×2 inches.

graham crackers 1

Use a fork to mark those satisfying graham cracker dots.

graham crackers 2

Bake for about 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

graham crackers 3

If you wish to add white chocolate, melt some in a double boiler and spread a thin coat on the back of your crackers. Refrigerate to harden.

white chocolate melting in double boiler

If you wish to add licorice powder, sprinkle some to the layer of chocolate before cooled.

Makes 20-24 crackers.

Eat with love.

graham crackers 4