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Ricotta and Coconut Hotcakes with Espresso Syrup

I think one of my best-loved breakfast recipes is pancakes, or hotcakes. You can experiment with all sorts of flavour combinations, but these are my current favourite as they’re lovely and light to eat, but still seem to keep me satisfied for hours.

• Makes 10 to 12 hotcakes • 30 minutes

for the syrup
300ml espresso coffee
150g caster sugar

for the hotcakes
125g ricotta cheese
150ml coconut milk
2 eggs, separated
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50g desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons caster sugar
sea salt
vegetable oil
sliced banana, pineapple,
mango or other fresh
fruit of your choice
(if you fancy it), to serve

To make the espresso syrup, place the espresso and sugar in a saucepan, bring to the boil and cook until the liquid has reduced
by half. Leave to cool and, as it cools, it will take on a syrupy consistency.

For the pancakes, mix together the ricotta, coconut milk and egg yolks. Sift over the flour and add the baking powder, desiccated
coconut, caster sugar and a pinch of salt and mix until everything is just combined (if you overmix then you won’t have such light
hotcakes).

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiffpeaks. Add a spoonful to the ricotta mixture to loosen and then
fold in the rest with a large metal spoon, trying not to knock out all of the air from the whites.
Heat a large non-stick frying or pancake pan with a little oil. Drop a few spoonfuls of the batter into the pan, leaving enough space
between each to turn them. Cook over a low to medium heat for a couple of minutes until golden underneath (lift an edge to have
a peek). Flip over using a palette knife or fish slice and cook for a further minute or so until golden. Keep warm (on a plate with a
tea towel over the top near the hob or in a low oven) while you continue to cook the rest, adding a little more oil to the pan for
each batch.

Serve the pancakes with the syrup drizzled all over and some
fresh fruit on the side (if you fancy it).

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