So today is Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday, or (my personal favourite) Pancake Tuesday. It was ritual in my household to eat a big fat stack of pancakes on this day every year and I definitely continue that tradition. This year, I figured I would take it to the next level. First, I added bacon of course. Second, I added my favourite hazelnut spread. Finally, I made it bigger and badder than anything you’ve ever seen… EVER! I’m not sure if you can handle this.

Below you will find a step-by-step guide to making a ten layer pancake cake with hazelnut cream cheese frosting, a hazelnut ganache and sweet and spicy bacon. I hope your head didn’t explode…

Ingredients

10 Strips Maple Leaf Bacon

2 tbsp Brown Sugar

2 tsp Black Pepper

2 tsp Chili Powder

6 cups All Purpose Flour

5 tbsp Baking Powder

4 tsp Salt

4 tbsp Sugar

6 cups Milk

4 Eggs

12 tbsp Melted Butter

2 tbsp Vanilla Extract

250g Softened Cream Cheese

250g Mascarpone Cheese

1 cup Heavy Cream

1 big jar Hazelnut Spread (divided)

Directions

1. First thing we need to do is prepare our sweet and spicy bacon. Grab your brown sugar, black pepper and chili powder and mix those spices together

2. Lay your strips of bacon on a baking sheet and bake them in a 375F oven for 8 minutes

3. After 8 minutes, flip your strips over and sprinkle on your spice mixture you just prepared. Mmmmm… sweet and spicy goodness.

4. Bake these strips for another 6-8 minutes until they are sufficiently crispy and let them cool on a rack

5. In the meantime, let’s prepare our mounds of pancake batter. In a large bowl, sift together your flower, baking powder, salt and sugar.

6. Whisk in your milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract.

Just a couple tips here: I like to use warm milk so that the melted butter doesn’t resolidify while you’re mixing everything together I also did this batter in two batches. I didn’t have a bowl nearly large enough to hold 6 cups of flour and 6c milk.

7. I preheated my griddle to 175C (350F). If you don’t have a griddle, use a medium heat in a large pan. I placed the ring of a 9” spring form pan (without the base) on my griddle. I’m going to use this as a mould.

8. Pour just over a cup of your pancake batter into your large ring mold and let your pancake fry for a couple minutes, until the edges have set.

9. Once the edges set, remove your mold and continue to bake until you see bubbles pop through the entire surface of the cake.

10. Flip that bad boy over!

11. Continue doing this until all your batter is gone. It should make a perfect 10 pancakes!

12. Now we need to make our frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together your softened cream cheese and mascarpone cheese.

13. Add in 1/2cup of your hazelnut spread and beat this vigorously until well combined. Give it a taste, you’ll thank me later.

14. Now for the assembly. Place a single pancake down (your thickest one, if you have one).

15. Spread a thin layer of your cream cheese and mascarpone frosting.

16. Chop up that peppered bacon

17. Then sprinkle a little bit on the layer. We don’t need too much because we’re doing this 10 times, remember?

18. So repeat until you’ve used all your pancakes.

19. It is now time to put this way over the top. Hazelnut ganache. It couldn’t be easier to prepare. Measure out a cup and a half of your hazelnut spread and a teaspoon or so of salt (it enhances the flavour)

20. Whisk in 1 cup of heavy cream that’s been brought to a simmer. You get this beautiful, silky, shiny, delicious, chocolatey, heavenly substance that I’m sure is illegal in 48 of the 50 states.

21. Pour this over your cake until you get a nice shiny top and the sides are well covered.

22. Oh boy.

23. Cut a piece, and make some friends.