Pancakes at the Principal

Here's what Vision got up to this Pancake Day.

(Image: Emily Sinclair )

Each year on Shrove Tuesday, pancake pandemonium takes over the nation as people treat themselves to that oh so delicious stack of sugar, flower, butter and maple syrup. Or, if you’re cool like Emily a savoury pancake: mixed opinions on those, I know.

Simple ingredients and yet ever the favourite of households the world over, pancake day provides the opportunity to use up those sweet kitchen staples before the beginning of the lental season. The Christian season of Lent symbolises the 40 days leading up Easter where Jesus is said to have fasted in the desert to prepare for his death. In this manner, the Christian church asks followers to give up something in recognition and mirroring of Jesus’s journey. Are you giving up anything this year?

Nowadays, however, Shrove Tuesday is no longer just for the Christians of the world. Now anyone with sugar, flour and a delicious topping can come together to partake in the (possibly over) consumption of pancakes. From pancake parties to pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner – shops across the nation saw themselves largely devoid of pancakes, pikelets and all things flat.

To celebrate the occasion the Principal hotel in York advertised their very own delicious do-it-yourself pancake recipe, created by Head Chef Aaron Craig.

Aaron’s pancakes are embrued with creamy ricotta and delicately decorated in smooth chocolate and bursts of raspberry on top; the perfect easy-to-make snack for anyone, whether it’s pancake day or not.

Aaron describes “in keeping with York’s chocolate heritage, (here’s an) indulgent recipe for homemade chocolate spread to accompany the light delights. The final touch of a fresh raspberry compote cuts through the richness to deliver a zesty hit.”

Vision were even give the exclusive opportunity to taste these delectable treats in person. Swinging by the Principal hotel first thing on Tuesday morning (okay 10am. We are tired uni students after all), we were greeted to a lovely sunlight table near the window, overlooking the York Minster. The Garden Room Cafe was already bustling, as patrons of all ages visited to partake in breakfast, business meetings or morning tea. But only we were gifted with pancakes!

We enjoyed our lovely (and necessarily caffeinated) offering of tea and coffee (my tea pot felt particularly fancy!), and before long so too flew in the pancakes. Smothered in chocolate and pops of red raspberry, we tucked straight in, and we were immediately amazed by the subtle and delicious flavour pallet and delightful lightness.

Not to sweet, not to heavy, just right (as Goldilocks would say). And the perfect size for a brunch, lunch, mid morning snack or yes even a pancake dinner party. We left full and content, having enjoyed a beautiful morning of pancakes and conversation in a gorgeous room.

It was affordable too! During our visit we pursued the range of menus laid out, with details on everything from the cocktail options to afternoon choices. The lunch menu was surprisingly promising, with students able to partake in a range of bar snacks, sandwhiches and breakfast options for under £10. Cocktails too were just as acccesible as any drink in town would be, with £12 for a wide range of signature drinks in this prime and stunning location. Even the afternoon tea, complete with 6 different courses of cakes, sandwiches and hot drinks, costs only £29 – perfect for any special occasion or graduate celebration.

So next time you want to venture out and try a new study location or lunch spot don’t discount the Principle, or it’s phemonable pancake recipe.

Much thanks to the Principal and Head Chef Aaron Craig for making our Pancake day a unqiue and delightful one!

(Image: Principal York)

Aaron Craig’s ‘flipping delivious twist on the perfect pancake’

Chocolate Spread

  • 100g toasted hazelnuts.
  • 350g melted milk chocolate.
  • 100g melted dark chocolate.
  • 75g icing sugar, sieved.
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Raspberry Compote

Ricotta Pancakes

  • 175g of ricotta
  • eggs, separated.
  • 75g of flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 90mls of milk
  • 2 tsp butter


Mix the Raspberries with the lime zest and juice and set aside.

Place all the chocolate spread ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, adjusting the sweetness with a little icing sugar, if needed.

For the pancakes, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks in a bowl. Mix the ricotta and egg yolks in a separate bowl until smooth, then stir in the flour, baking powder and milk. Carefully fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture.

Heat the butter in a non-stick frying pan and drop in small spoonfuls of the pancake mix into the pan.

Cook until golden on the underside, then flip over and cook the remaining side.

Place a pancake on each plate and spread on the chocolate mixture. Top with the raspberries, then repeat the process with another pancake, layer of chocolate spread and top with more raspberries. Grate over a little extra lime zest to garnish, if desired

Aaron uses only the best fresh local produce to demonstrates the tasteful simplicity of Yorkshire fare at the principal’s eateries which include The Refectory Kitchen & Terrace and the Garden Room which serves the hotel’s famous chocolate inspired Afternoon Teas.

To dine at Principal York, visit