Buttermilk Beetroot Pancakes with orange, macadamia and goat’s curd

I found these fabulous pancakes on the menu at the Byron Beach CaféThe recipe is courtesy of chef Christian Poulsen (unfortunately the ingredients list is missing as a virus got into my WordPress), just one of the many talented chefs who’ll be part of the Sample Food Festival. The Festival kicks off at 9am on  Saturday 10/9/11 at the Bangalow Showground – entry is free. A Gala Dinner will be held on the night at The Byron at Byron Resort and the winners of the Golden Fork Award will be announced at the dinner.Beetoot-Pancakes-from-The-Byron-Beach-Cafe-320x215

To make the beetroot pancake batter, first cook the beetroot. The best method is to use oven-roasted beetroot for improved intensity of colour and flavour; boiling beetroot dilutes the flavour and the result is inferior. Dress the beetroots with the olive oil, then place in a small roasting tin, sprinkle with salt add 1 cm of water to the tin, cover with foil, and bake in a 160°C oven for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Leave to cool before peeling and dicing; reserve 250 g diced cooked beetroot.
Place the reserved beetroot in a food processor and process to a purée. Add the sugar, salt, eggs and buttermilk and continue to process until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and gradually add the flour, whisking to make a smooth, thick batter — if it is quite wet add a little more flour. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To make the orange dressing, put the sugar and 50 ml water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as it starts to caramelize, remove from the heat and add the vinegar to seize the cooking process. ‘Cracking caramel’ with a liquid causes the caramel to boil and spit. If you haven’t done it before ensure you do it over the sink and in a saucepan with reasonably high sides. Allow to cool slightly, then stir in the nectar, canola oil and salt. Pour it into a sauce bottle or airtight jar so you can shake it — the mixture should resemble a vinaigrette.
Heat a frying pan over low heat and grease the base with a little canola spray. Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into the pan at a time to make crumpet-sized pikelets. Cook for 3–4 minutes on each side, or until golden. You should be able to cook these in batches of three. Remove to a plate and keep warm while cooking the remainder — you should make about 12 pancakes in total.
To serve, place a pancake on each serving plate with 2 slices of orange on top, then repeat to make a stack of 3 pancakes. Spoon some of the goat’s curd on top, then drizzle over the orange dressing and scatter over the macadamia nuts and watercress.

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