Chocolate Pancake Cake

This recipe looks more complicated than it is. The only time consuming part is making the pancakes, which takes about half an hour. You can do this the day before, and indeed, assemble the whole cake the day before serving.

Feel free to vary the dried fruit and nuts or to leave them out altogether.

Pancake mixture:
4 eggs
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 rounded Tbs sugar
2 heaped Tbs cocoa powder, sifted
150 g plain flour, sifted
300ml milk
100ml boiling water
2 Tbs melted butter, or oil
100g prunes, pitted and diced
2-3 Tbs rum or brandy (optional)
100g cream cheese at room temp
75g dulce de leche (manjar) (see note)
To serve:
100g dark chocolate
75ml cream
3-4 Tbs flaked almonds, or granulated peanuts, lightly toasted
Extra cream to serve, optional

Place all pancake ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Stop halfway to scrape down the sides with a spatula. Use mixture to make large pancakes in a nonstick frying pan. Use about 1/3 cup mixture for each and swirl the pan to cover the bottom evenly. Spray the pan lightly with oil between pancakes. Cook each one for a minute or two and when firm turn over and cook the other side. Place the pancakes in a pile, one on top of the other. My mixture made 11, but I only used eight in the cake as I didn’t have enough filling to use any more.

Soak the diced prunes in the rum or brandy or if preferred soak them in hot water. Mix the cream cheese and dulce de leche until smooth.

On a piece of aluminium foil, arrange the pancakes in a line, overlapping each one onto half of the previous one and spreading each one all over with the cream cheese mixture. See photo. Drain prunes and scatter them over the pancakes. Turn in about 2 cm on the long sides, just to make them neater. Roll up the cake on the short side, as tightly as you can, into a sausage shape. Wrap tightly in the foil and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Unwrap the cake and place it on a rack over a plate or tray to catch any drips. Heat the chocolate and cream until melted. If using granulated peanuts, mix them in then spread all over the cake. If using flaked almonds, ice the cake first with the chocolate mixture then sprinkle with the lightly toasted flaked almonds and leave to set.

Serve slices of the cake with whipped or pouring cream.

Serves 8

Variations: use seedless raisins instead of prunes; chopped roasted peanuts or macadamias instead of almonds.
Note: you can use Nestle Top and Fill Caramel instead of Dulce de Leche.



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