Did you know that eating too many carrots could make your skin literally turn orange? When Stephanie Le, the creator of i am a food blog and author of Easy Gourmet, was four, she was in danger of just that. She spent months consuming massive amounts of carrots. Le was convinced that she was a bona fide bunny and eating carrots would give her better night vision. She was wrong on both counts, but to this day she still holds carrots near and dear to her heart. These carrot cake pancakes taste just like the real deal, incorporating three of Le’s favorite things: carrots, breakfast, and dessert.
Carrot-Filled Pancakes with Vanilla Mascarpone
For the pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup finely grated carrots
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup walnut pieces, if desired
Butter or oil for greasing the pan, if needed
For the Vanilla Mascarpone
½ cup mascarpone, room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
How to Make It
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and carrots. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Let batter sit for 10 minutes while making the vanilla mascarpone.
In a bowl, cream together the mascarpone and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. In a separate bowl, whip up the whipping cream until it thickens and holds medium peaks (when you lift the whisk from the cream, the tip of the peak will curl over on itself). Gently fold together the mascarpone-sugar mixture with the whipping cream and mix in the vanilla. Set aside in the fridge.
Toast the walnuts in a dry, heavy skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes while stirring constantly. Set aside while making the pancakes.
Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat. Brush a thin layer of butter or oil on your pan. Drop the batter 2 tablespoons at a time into the pan. Cook until tiny bubbles appear on the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Keep the pancakes in the warm oven until you’re done with the batter.
Top the pancakes with vanilla mascarpone and toasted walnuts, if desired.
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