Dubrovnik rose liqueur, ricotta and almond crepes and candied rose petals
Recipe from Nino Zoccali's cookbook The Venetian Republic
PREP TIME 10 minutes, plus overnight drying of rose petals and 20 minutes for resting batter
COOKING TIME 10 minutes
Pancakes and crepes are absolutely everywhere in Croatia and, in fact, are hugely popular throughout much of Europe. Less common is the combination of ingredients I’ve used here, however, each one is classically Croatian and they’re stunning all together. This is a simple but beautiful treat for all the senses, with the candied rose petals adding a great visual element.
Candied rose petals
3 egg whites
20 g (1 cup) rose petals
110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
150 g (1 cup) plain flour, sifted
1 egg, beaten
375 ml (1½ cups) milk
2 tablespoons butter
230 g (1 cup) ricotta
240 g (1 cup) Mascarpone (see below)
30 g (¼ cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar, plus extra for dusting
3 tablespoons Dubrovnik rose liqueur (rose water can be used as a substitute)
160 g (1 cup) roasted blanched almonds, chopped
To make the candied rose petals, lightly whisk the egg whites to a frothy consistency, then lightly brush the rose petals with the egg whites. Dip into the caster sugar, then place the rose petals on a tray lined with baking paper. Place the tray of petals in a warm, dry place to dry overnight.
To make the crepes, place the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in centre. Add the egg and a little milk and whisk to a smooth paste. Whisk in the remaining milk. Pass through a fine sieve and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
Heat a non-stick frying pan or crepe pan over medium heat and add ½ teaspoon of the butter. Add a small ladle of crepe batter to cover the base of the pan. Cook for 1 minute, turn over and cook again for 1 minute. Repeat with the remaining crepe batter.
To make the ricotta filling, whisk together the ricotta, mascarpone, icing sugar and rose liqueur until smooth. Fold in half of the chopped almonds.
Place 3 tablespoons of ricotta filling on each crepe and spread evenly. Roll each crepe into a cigar shape.
Dust the crepes with icing sugar and serve with candied rose petals and the remaining chopped almonds.
MAKES approximately 100 g (scant ½ cup)
PREP TIME: 5 minutes plus cooling and overnight resting
COOKING TIME: 30-60 minutes
250 ml (1 cup) thick cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Place the cream in a saucepan and, using a cooking thermometer, bring it to 88°C (190°F) over a medium-high heat. When the cream is at temperature, lower the heat and maintain the 88°C (190°F) temperature.
Add the lemon juice to the cream and stir through until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
Place three layers of muslin cloth inside a fine strainer and place over a bowl. When the mix is cold, pour into the strainer, then cover well and leave overnight.
Take the mascarpone out of the strainer and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.