Carnival/Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras – beloved child has many names and is observed in many ways worldwide. No matter what its name is, the day before Ash Wednesday has long been a time for eating and merry making.
Shrove Tuesday is the last day before the long fast for the Lent period in many Christian churches. The day is the day before Ash Wednesday when the long fast begins.
Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) festivities are particularly colourful in French cities such as Cannes, Grasse, and Nice. Celebrations feature grand parades of flower covered floats with giant figures.
It is also traditional in many parts of France to eat a large meal that includes crepes or waffles. Some people in the United Kingdom celebrate the day, known as Pancake Day, with games and races that involve tossing pancakes in the air.
Shrove Tuesday in Lithuania is a folk celebration to rejoice end of winter. During this celebration attention is concentrated on chasing away winter with all its “evils”. It is also observed in other European countries such as the Czech Republic, Shrovetide processions are still part of folklore celebrations. Children in countries such as Estonia and Finland enjoy the day outdoors on Shrove Tuesday, mainly engaging in activities such as sledging. A typical Finnish meal on this day may include pea soup and blini, or rich pancakes.
Like in Finland, also Estonians traditionally make pea soup on Shrove Tuesday. In addition, almost everybody prepares or at least eats buns with whipped cream.
Last year I created delicious plant-based spelt buns with cashew-raw buckwheat cream. My husband and kid were just humming and munching.
This year I concentrated on pancakes. Besides creating a new whole food plant-based pancake batter recipe with soaked millet and buckwheat, I also assembled a beautiful and delicious vegan oil-free, gluten-free and sugar-free pancake tart using cashew-buckwheat ricotta and date-chocolate cream as layers along with fresh mango, strawberries and blueberries.
Well, my 5-year-old said that this pancake tart was the best thing he’s ever had and I must agree – it really was delicious and mouth-watering!
The idea came to me a few weeks ago when walking home with my kid through Barcelona’s Esquerra d’Eixample district with all its inspiring apartment buildings. I presented the idea to him and he immediately got really exited wishing I started baking straight away. In reality it obviously took some more time to get from the idea to final product, but it was worth waiting for.
Vegan Pancake Tart Recipe
Ingredients:Millet-Buckwheat Pancakes |11 pancakes|
- 100g (3.5oz) millet, soaked
- 100g (3.5oz) raw buckwheat, soaked
- 200g (7oz) plant-based milk
- 250g (8.8oz) water
- 1 heaped tbsp. peanut butter
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Soak millet and buckwheat overnight or all day. Drain and rinse.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth batter forms.
- You’ll get eleven 20cm (7.9 inches) pancakes from this batter. You’ll use nine for the tart.
Ingredients: Cashew-Buckwheat Ricotta Cream
- 50g (1.8oz) raw buckwheat, soaked
- 1 cup cashews, soaked
- 1 banana
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 5 drops of rum essence
- pinch of sea salt
- juice from half of a small lemon
- about 100g (3.5oz) water or plant-based milk
Directions: Cashew-Buckwheat Ricotta Cream
- Soak buckwheat overnight or all day and cashews for at least 2 hours. Drain and rinse.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until thick ricotta cream forms. You’ll need to help with a spoon. Add the liquid gradually and only as much as needed to combine all ingredients well.
- Transfer into a bowl and set aside.
Ingredients: Date-Chocolate Cream
- 1 cup dates
- ¾ cup (188g, 6.6oz) water
- 3 tbsps. cacao powder (or half cacao + half carob)
- pinch of sea salt
Directions: Date-Chocolate Cream
- Cut dates into smaller pieces and let soak in ¾ cup of water for at least 30 minutes.
- Blend dates, the soak water, salt and cacao into smooth cream. You’ll need to scoop with spoon in between.
Directions: Assembling the Pancake Tart
- Take a cake plate and place the first pancake.
- 1st layer: spread 2 tbsps. of chocolate cream on the pancake and place another pancake on top. Don’t press.
- 2nd layer: spread 2 tbsps. of cashew ricotta on the pancake and place another pancake on top.
- 3rd and 4th layer: repeat steps 2 and 3.
- 5th layer: cover the pancake with strawberry and mango slices and fill the gaps with cashew ricotta cream. Place a pancake on top.
- 6th layer: spread 2 tbsps. of cashew ricotta on the pancake and place another pancake on top.
- 7th layer: spread 2 tbsps. of chocolate cream on the pancake and place another pancake on top.
- 8th layer: spread 2 tbsps. of cashew ricotta on the pancake and place the last pancake on top.
- Spread chocolate cream on top of the last pancake and place the tart into fridge for at least 6 hours.
- When the tart stays in the fridge, some liquid will appear on the plate – just suck it away with straw before you start slicing.
- Garnish the tart with fresh berries and you are ready to go!
- Be careful not to press hard when you build the layers.
- The tart will be quite firm on the next day. If you want to have it sooner, it’ll be messier to cut it.
- Use a long sharp tip knife to cut the tart and start from the middle holding the knife vertically. When you press onto the tart horizontally, you’ll squeeze the creams out from between the layers.
- You can build a smaller tower as well cutting out 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th layer and using 5 pancakes.
- Should you not want to bother with assembling a tart, just spread the chocolate cream and cashew ricotta on individual pancakes and start munching!