Love is in the air! Spoil your loved one this Valentine’s day with breakfast in bed featuring some beautiful buckwheat pancakes accompanied by red wine spiced poached pears. The buckwheat pancakes are sweetened by banana, and they are soft and delicious; along with the sweet and tender pears and the tanginess from the yogurt, rest assured this dish will very well impress your lover.

Poached pear can be made one or two days ahead and kept in the fridge. Any leftover pears can also be served with some vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche as dessert for the night.

For buckwheat pancake batter (makes about 12-14 pancakes):

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 5 cups almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (and 2 extra tablespoons to cook the pancakes)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachio to serve
  • Coconut yogurt or Greek yogurt to serve

For the red wine spiced poached pears:

  • 4 just-ripe small Bartlett Pears/ Williams Pears, peeled and leave stalk intact
  • 2 cup red wine (I used Shiraz for a more in-depth flavour)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 5cm knob fresh ginger
  • 3 x 5cm-long strips orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. For the poached pear, place the red wine, water, coconut sugar, honey cinnamon sticks, star anise, ginger, orange peels and vanilla extract in a medium-sized pot and stir to combine.
  2. Add the pears and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 40-45 minute or until tender. Gently turn the pears a couple of times during cooking so that they get covered in red wine and aim for a beautiful red-ruby colour.
  3. Carefully remove the pears from the red wine and set aside.
  4. To thicken the liquid from the poached pears, strain the cooked red wine through a fine strainer and put it back to the boil. Simmer the liquid for another 10-15 minute on low heat until it is syrupy. Set aside.
  5. For the pancakes, blend all the batter ingredients in a blender (except yoghurt and pistachio) until smooth and creamy.
  6. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and brush the pan with coconut oil. Make sure the pan is well heated before putting the batter in to avoid them sticking onto the pan.
  7. Add 1/3 cup of the batter to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden. Repeat with coconut oil and the remaining batter.
  8. Place 5-6 pieces of pancake on the plate, followed by the poached pear and some chopped pistachio. Drizzle the pancakes with the red wine syrup and finally top it up with a spoon of the yogurt and serve immediately! Enjoy!
Phei Yee Yap
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