Pancake Day: Top chef Nello Russo shares his recipe for a treat with a difference

Nello Russo and his pancake with a difference.
Nello Russo and his pancake with a difference.
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Voted the UK's best Italian chef, Nello Russo has been wowing diners across Sunderland and beyond with his delicious sweet and savoury dishes.

And as families across the city prepare for another Shrove Tuesday, Nello, of Angelo's Ristorante in West Sunniside, is showing us how to wow by preparing a pancake with a difference.

The finished pancake.

The finished pancake.

So if you're bored of lemon, sugar and syrup why not try Nello's simple, yet effective, recipe for a tasty ricotta-filled crepe topped with chocolate and pear sauce.

Here's what you need to buy, and here's what you need to do:

INGREDIENTS

Pancake:

Filling the pancake.

Filling the pancake.

3 eggs

250g plain flour

500ml milk

40g butter

Salt

Ricotta mousse:

220g ricotta cheese

75g sugar

Vanilla

140g whipping cream

2 sheets of silver gelatin

1 orange

Caramelised pears:

2 pears

Sugar

Chocolate sauce:

50g dark chocolate

25g butter

125g double cream

1 tbsp sugar

METHOD

Pancake

*Put flour into a bowl and make a small "well" in the middle, drop the eggs into the centre, mix the flour into the eggs, adding the flour from the edges bit by bit.

*When the mixture becomes stick, start adding the milk a little at the time.

*Keep beating the mixture for a few minutes, now put it to one side in the fridge for 20 minutes.

*When you're ready to cook the pancake, melt a tiny bit of butter in a small pan, then when it's melted take some kitchen paper and rub it around the pan.

*Now put in enough mixture just to cover the base of the pan, let it cook for about a minute and at that point either turn, or if you're feeling adventurous, flip it!

*Cook on the other side for around 30 seconds

Ricotta filling

*Use a spatula to stir in the ricotta, sugar, vanilla and orange zest. In a separate bowl whip the cream using an electric mixer until firm peaks form. Then soak the gelatin in a cold water for about five minutes until soft.

*Heat 2 tablespoons of cream in the microwave, squeeze the water from the soaked gelatin out and stir into the hot cream until dissolves completely.

*Stir the ricotta mixture into the dissolved gelatin, then use a large spatula to fold this mixture till well mixed, cover the mousse for two hours.

Caramelised pears

*Halve pears lengthwise, remove cores, heat a large pan over medium, press cut side of each halved pear in sugar and cook in the pan adding a little water until beginning to brown.

Chocolate sauce

*Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmered water until completely smooth.

*Heat all the remaining ingredients in a small sauce pan until evenly combined, before removing from the heat and stirring through the melted chocolate.

Now just enjoy! Fill the pancake with the ricotta mousse and pour the chocolate sauce on top!