Monday, December 21, 2015

36. Banana-Nutella Tacos with a Hazelnut Pancake Shell and Frangelico Whipped Cream


I'll be honest.  We needed to give the savory tacos a rest - for the sanity of our taste buds!  Ha ha.  So, I decided this recipe would be a sweet one.

Also, I'm on winter break right now.  What does that mean?  Among other things, it means that EVERY DAY of  my life is a good day for brunch.  :)

This was really a no-brainer.  I love the combination of bananas and chocolate.  Believe it or not, this is actually the first time I've ever purchased a jar of Nutella.  My experience with Nutella has only been at restaurants - mostly as a filling for delicious crepes!  Usually, there was ice cream involved.  There were always bananas involved.  Buying the Nutella may have been a mistake - now I have most of a jar of Nutella left.  Hmmm.  What ELSE can I put it on???  This could get a little dangerous!

I decided to amp up the hazelnut character just a bit by adding some ground hazelnuts to the pancake shell batter.  I have discovered that the Oregon roasted hazelnuts from Trader Joe's are delicious.  Hazelnuts always seem a little rancid when I buy them from a regular grocery store.  Well, not these!
And since you can never have too many hazelnuts in your life, I added a splash of Frangelico to the bananas and whipped cream.  If you don't want to buy an expensive bottle of Frangelico for this, you would still get delicious results if you left it out.  We just happened to have a bottle already!  :)

As you can see from the pictures, I seem to be incapable of making a brunch that does not include bacon.

Here's the recipe:

Banana-Nutella Tacos with a Hazelnut Pancake Shell and Frangelico Whipped Cream

Makes 12-15 tacos, serving about 4 or 5


For the hazelnut pancake shells:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole roasted hazelnuts
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 and 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. canola oil
As you can see, there is a good, strong cup of coffee here.  That's for the cook, not the tacos!  :)
Non-stick cooking spray

For the whipped cream:

1 half-pint container of heavy whipping cream
A pinch or two of sugar
A large splash of Frangelico

For the banana mixture:

Three large green-ripe bananas
A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice
2 tbsp. apricot preserves
A splash or two of Frangelico

Nutella (A small jar is plenty; you won't use it all unless you really LOVE Nutella.  Ha ha.)

Additional hazelnuts, chopped (for garnish), if desired

1.  Grind the hazelnuts.  Place the whole hazelnuts in a high-powered blender (or food processor) and grind until fairly fine, but still containing some small chunks.  Mine looked like this:

2.  Transfer the hazelnuts to a medium bowl.  Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir to combine.  In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the remaining ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just blended.

3.  Generously spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium-low heat.  Cook the pancakes, 3 at a time, using about 3 tablespoons of the batter for each one.  They should spread out to about the size of a street-taco tortilla.

Don't try to flip them too soon!  My first batch stuck pretty badly.  I really would recommend a good amount of cooking spray and a little bit of patience.  :)  After the first batch, they were fine.

(It all worked out, because I got 15 pancakes and I was only planning on 12, so I had room for a few mess-ups!)  As you finish them, stack them on a sheet of foil, wrap them up, and place in a 200 degree oven to keep warm.

4.  Place the cream in a medium bowl and add sugar and Frangelico to taste.  Whip with a whisk until soft peaks form.  You can also use a hand mixer.  Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve the tacos.

5.  Make the banana filling:  Cut the bananas in half lengthwise and then slice.  Toss in a squeeze of lime or lemon juice and set aside.  Heat the preserves in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add Frangelico to taste and stir the liquid has mostly reduced and the mixture is hot.  Lower the heat.  Add the bananas and stir until just warmed through.  Remove from the heat.

6.  Assemble the tacos.  For each taco, place a pancake shell on a plate.  Top with a healthy smear of Nutella.  Spoon on some of the banana mixture.  Top with the whipped cream and garnish with a sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts.  Enjoy!

There's really not much to say about these.  If you like Nutella and bananas, you will LOVE these.  If you don't . . . well, try these apple tacos instead!

If you're serving a small amount of people (like two), you will want to halve the banana and whipped cream recipes.  Neither of those elements keeps very well as leftovers.  The pancakes are great heated up the next day, though.  You can even eat them as PANCAKES (with syrup), if you wish, and not tacos.  Ha ha.

I did endure a little bit of teasing from some of my family members about these.  You know, along the lines of, "Are you SURE those count as tacos?"  OK.  I'll admit - it's a stretch.  However, I had to direct my detractors to my original project description.  These were stable enough to pick up and eat and we did!  Therefore, they are tacos - for the purposes of this project, anyway!

By the way, if you want to just make all of the components, call them pancakes, and eat them with a fork, go ahead.  You won't be disappointed.  Call them whatever you want - they taste amazing!  :)

Well, what do you think?  Please feel free to comment below!  Thanks for reading!

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