Moroccan Pancake Layer Cake - Baghrir Cake

Happy pancake day United Kingdom!! How are you guys celebrating?! I thought the best way would be with a gorgeous baghrir layer cake. Because why have one pancake when you can stake them all up and make every single bite magical?

Baghrir is traditionally enjoyed in Morocco with a honey and butter syrup that is often flavoured with orange blossom water. For this reason, I chose to make a Moroccanized version of the crème patissière to layer my baghrirs with honey and orange blossom water! 

The consistency of the crème patissière is perfect for this cake because it’s not too runny like a custard and not as dense a buttercream. Crème patissière is definitely a winner and it so yummy you are going to want to eat it with the spoon, so be careful and make sure you keep enough for your cake!

I also added pistachio and pomegranates seeds to add some crunchiness and bring out the flavour of the crème patissière. That said, feel free to use anything crunchy such as: sprinkles, chocolate chips, ground almonds, walnuts, etc.

Enjoy!

Moroccan Pancake Layer Cake - Baghrir Cake

INGREDIENTS

Makes 4 8 cm (3 inch) layer mini cakes

Pancakes (Makes about 28 8 cm (3 inch) baghrirs)

  • 250 gr of fine semolina
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour (40 gr)
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 500 ml warm water 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Honey and orange blossom crème patissière

  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons orange blossom water or more to taste
  • 15 gr plain flour
  • 15 gr cornflour

Assembly

  • 1 pomegranate, deseeded
  • 150 gr unsalted pistachio, roughly grinded or chopped

METHOD

Pancakes

• In a blender insert the semolina, flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add the warm water and blend until there are no lumps and the batter is smooth.

If you don’t have a blender place all the ingredients in a large bowl and use an electric whisk instead of a blender.

• Add the baking powder and blend again for a few seconds. Leave the batter for 30 minutes to allow the yeast to proof and blend again for a few seconds.

• Grease a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Wait for the pan to be very hot to start baking the pancakes, otherwise you won’t get many holes on your pancakes.

• Pour about 1/2 cup of batter in the warm pan and leave the pancake until it dries out. As soon as you place the batter on the pan, the batter should start bubbling and drying out. Once the baghrir is no longer wet (it takes about a minute), it will mean that it is cooked. The baghrir are cooked only on one side. Never flip them while baking them, as you will loose the holes.

• Repeat until you've used all the batter.

• Don’t pile up your Moroccan pancakes while they are still hot, as they will stick to each other. If you want to pile them when they are hot, separate them with a tissue.

Honey and orange blossom crème patissière

• Transfer the egg yolks, sugar, honey and orange blossom water in a large bowl and beat the ingredients together until smooth. Set aside for a few minutes.

• Transfer the milk in a saucepan or a deep skillet and place over medium heat. Leave for a few minutes until it starts simmering (just before it bubbles) and take the pan off the heat (remove skin if any has formed).

• Add a few splashes of milk into the egg and sugar mixture, then add the flour. Mix to combine and make sure there are no lumps. Progressively stir in the remaining milk.

• Return the mixture into the saucepan over medium heat and stir continuously and vigorously (to avoid lumps) until it start thickening. Once it has thickened and it is smooth, turn down the heat and let simmer for two minutes. Transfer the crème patissière into a bowl and cover with a cling film to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside to cool.

Assembly

• Once the baghrir and crème patissière have both reached room temperature you can start assembling.

• Stack up the baghrir, 7 layers for each cake, with crème patissière, a teaspoon of pomegranates and a teaspoon of pistachios in between and on top. Keep in the fridge.

Notes

• Warm water in this recipe means water that is warmer than room temperature but not hot.

• If no bubbles start popping when baking the pancakes, it is most likely that the batter is too thick and/or that the batter hasn’t proved long enough. In that case, add a couple of tablespoons of warm water and leave the batter to proof for an extra 15 minutes. 

.• Check the best way to deseed a pomegranate here.