Sunday, 19 February 2012


Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) marks the start of Lent, obviously you will have all thought long & hard about what you are going to give up for 40 days & 40 nights! When I was younger I used to chose to give up mushrooms every year because they were obviously my favourite food that I couldn't go without. Now rather than giving something up, I try & take something up.

Pancake day is a great excuse to get everyone together & indulge in a tasty pudding. Just a word of warning; if you read this DON'T YOU DARE then go & buy ready made pancakes or pancake mix ... they are far too simple to make and ready made pancakes & pancake mix are a total rip off, so not really options at all. The idea with pancakes is that you have the ingredients in your cupboard so you do not have to go & buy anything. I thought I would get ahead of the game so you can follow this simple recipe & reap the rewards on Tuesday evening or any time after...

If you do not have a set of scales I have included alternative measurements for the flour in brackets so you will just need a measuring jug.

Makes 8 -12 pancakes 
(depending on the size & thickness of your pancakes)
If possible try & use a non-stick frying pan, if not add a little extra butter when it says to do so in the method

You will need the following:
150g Plain Flour (Jug: 200ml)
2 Eggs
300ml Milk
Pinch of Salt
1 tbsp of Butter

Measure out your flour into a bowl or measuring jug
(if you are opting for chocolate pancakes, add the 40g cocoa now)

Add the eggs

Next, measure out 300ml of milk 

Then add the milk to the eggs and flour, with the pinch of salt

Get any old hand whisk (not electric) or fork if you don't have a whisk & mix your mixture until it is combined & all of the flour is off the edges

Good old fashioned advice: Once you have combined the mixture, whisk for approximately another minute and leave the mixture to stand for half an hour. 
(I'm not so sure as to why but my mother has always told me to do so & the one time I didn't do it, the pancakes were a bit of a flop - so it must be a valid point!)

Once the half hour is up you can focus your attention on the fun part. Melt 1tbsp of butter in a frying pan over a hot heat. Pour a little of the excess butter into your batter mixture with a spoon & whisk into the mixture.

Pour a small ladle of your mixture into the pan (discard the first always goes wrong - so don't waste too much mixture on it). You will need roughly just under a ladle full of mixture per large pancake

As soon as  your mixture hits the pan you want to tilt the pan side to side & in a circular motion so that the mixture spreads evenly over the base of the frying pan. You don't want your pancake too thick otherwise it will not fold properly when cooked 

When the mixture looks slightly cooked through (roughly 1 minute) & a semi skin forms on the top, it is ready to flip

The art of the flip is all down to you! If you aren't brave enough to flip, use a fish slice to flip your pancake. It should be a light golden colour 

Cook the pancake for another minute on the other side. 
(if you are opting for the banana & chocolate pancake below, add the Nutella now)

Take your pancake out of the pan & it is ready for the filling of your choice. After several pancakes you may need another tsp of butter to grease the pan 

Present the pancakes as you wish, here I have simply folded into quarters. If you have one of the other fillings you may wish to simply roll your pancake

Enjoy with ...

Pancake combinations:

THINK BIG WITH YOUR FILLINGS & ENJOY ... lets face it, you might as well make up for what you are going to miss out on in lent. If it is chocolate you are giving up - go chocolate. 

Lemon & Sugar Pancakes
Simple & classic...use the juice of 1/4 lemon for every pancake & sprinkle with as much sugar as you feel necessary
Chocolate Pancakes
Add 40g cocoa powder when making the pancake mix. When cooking the second side of your pancake place 30g chocolate on top of your pancake for the duration of cooking the second side. Eat immediately!
Banana & Honey Pancakes
Slice a banana lengthways & caramelise in a frying pan over a medium heat with 1 tbsp of sugar for 2 mins on each side. Serve 1/2 a banana per pancake & drizzle with honey
Cheat's Raspberry Compote Pancakes
In a saucepan add 2 tbsp of raspberry jam with 50g of raspberries, 1 tbsp of sugar & 1 tbsp of water. Simmer gently for 10 mins until the mixture thickens slightly. ideally start making the compote just before you make the pancakes as it tastes great when hot. Serve with a few fresh raspberries.
Banana & Chocolate Pancakes
Follow the method for caramelising bananas as set out in the banana & honey recipe. Spread you pancake with Nutella once cooked & serve with 1/2 a banana per pancake.
Caramelised pineapple & golden syrup pancakes 
Chop a 1 inch-thick slice from your pineapple. Cut away the skin & cork out the core of the  pineapple. Caramelise your pineapple in a frying pan over a medium heat with 1 tbsp of sugar for 2 minutes on each side. Serve hot with golden syrup drizzled over the top.
Apple & Cinnamon Pancakes 
Peel & segment your apple. Cook in a saucepan over a medium heat for 5 minutes with 2 tbsp water, 1 tbsp sugar & 1 tsp cinnamon. Make sure you stir the apples so they don't stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
Crêpe Suzette
If you have a casual tipple of Grand Marnier, Cointreau or brandy floating around your drinks cupboard & fancy a challenge then pluck for a Crêpe Suzette. 
In a bowl mix 150ml orange juice, the grated zest of 1 orange, the juice & zest of 1 lemon & 3 tbsp of your tipple of choice. Cook your pancakes & leave to one side. 
In the same frying pan melt a bit of butter, pour in the sauce & heat gently. Add a pancake & allow to heat through before folding it in half twice to make a triangle shape, then move it to the side of the frying pan. Repeat this until all of your pancakes are re-heated & soaked in the sauce

If you're feeling really indulgent you might as well serve your pancakes with some ice cream...

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