Salted caramel is a very common obsession; almost on par with coffee and crisps. From swirly, marbled hot chocolates sipped daintily alongside crumpled and crumbed newspapers in brick-walled cafes, to secret midnight indulgences at the foot of your microwave, cradling a molten, sugar-crusted pudding with mitt-clad hands, salted caramel is a combination we all know and have no problem loving. There's something about the sweet, cloying richness of toffee bursting with shards of sharp salt that really gets the tastebuds working - and I'm always up for a workout of the gustatory variation!
I must point out that amid your pancake-fueled fluster, you may not realise that the sauce requires a pre-made component in the form of Deliciously Ella's insanely delicious healthy nutella - warm, toasty roasted hazelnuts blended with dark cacao and pure maple syrup into the creamiest chocolate spread possible. Please do go ahead and click here to see Ella make it, or you can find it in her self-titled cookbook, Deliciously Ella. It's certainly good enough to consume on its own (I may or may not be guilty of eating the remanants from the jar first thing in the morning, still snuggled up in bed), but perhaps even better on top of these yummy little pancakes.
NOTE: Healthy nutella recipe from Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella, at www.deliciouslyella.com.
SALTED CARAMEL COCOA PANCAKES
1 1/2 cups of whole oats
1 cup of plant milk (I used Pure Harvest Coco Quench)
1 large, ripe banana
2 tablespoons of Koco Salted Caramel Raw Cacao Mix
1 tablespoon of raw cacao
1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder (optional)
HAZELNUT AND CACAO SAUCE
2 tablespoons of Deliciously Ella's healthy nutella
2 teaspoons of plant milk
Pinch of sea salt
Homemade banoffee pie bars (recipe coming soon) or any other raw chocolates
- First, place the oats in the bowl of a food processor and whizz until a fine flour is formed (this will take around 2-3 minutes). Whilst the blender is still running, add the Koco Salted Caramel Raw Cacao Mix, followed by the raw cacao, baking powder, banana, then finally the plant milk. This should leave you with a relatively runny batter, which you can then pour into a jug for easy pouring, or persevere with the bulky processor bowl.
- Heat a small non-stick pan (or a regular pan glazed with coconut oil) over a low heat, and begin frying the pancake batter into discs. Which size you make them depends on your own personal preference, but mine are usually around 6-8cm wide. It takes great skill to get them all the same size, but who needs another excuse to practice the art of pancake making? You'll know when to flip them when the top becomes bubbly and the edges a solid chocolate brown.
- Proceed to make the sauce by heating the plant milk and sea salt in a small saucepan over a low heat until just warm, then adding the healthy nutella and stirring until well combined and lovely and rich. You'll know the right consistency when you see it - still thick, but able to hold together when it creeps down the spoon. You may need to adjust the nutella to milk ratio if you find it a little too claggy, or alternatively, eager to slip away.
- Once all pancakes are cooked and cooled, stack with the biggest side facing downwards, and the smaller pancakes on top. Scoop the hazelnut and cacao sauce onto the centre of the top pancake, then swirl around and outwards to the edges. It should begin naturally dripping by course of gravity, but if not, feel free to give it a friendly nudge in the right direction. Top with chocolate of your choice, cacao nibs, and cacao dust, and enjoy!