• Chloe's Cookbook

Pancakes

Updated: Mar 2

Although only glorified once a year, pancakes are a cheap, easy and versatile dish that can be enjoyed savour or sweet and not just with lemon and sugar every Shrove Tuesday.


The History of Pancakes

Pancake day falls on Shrove Tuesday. This is a Christian faith celebration (although widely celebrated by non-practising Christians and Atheists due to its frivolity) which marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter in which people are expected to give up a bad habit, repent of their sins and rid themselves of unnecessary luxuries which may be impeding their path to righteousness. The 40 days is symbolic of the time Jesus supposedly spent in the desert without food, according to The Bible. As Lent is a time for penance, the day before, and in some cases the week before, is spent gorging oneself on fatty foods and luxuries which are soon to be "given up". The date will change each year, depending on the Moon's Cycle and therefore when Easter is observed.


In other countries, especially those of French origin, Mardi Gras is celebrated, which literally translates to "fat Tuesday" where differing celebrations occur. In many countries, Carnival Season is the week leading up to and including Shrove Tuesday. This can be observed as huge street carnivals of bead throwing, dancing and glitter in New Orleans, as well as vast parades of masquerade in Venice and Italy. Carnival comes from the Latin word "carnelevamen" meaning "to put away flesh" and thus not eating meat is also a common practice of lent. I have had the pleasure of seeing Carnivale in Italy and it is absolutely spectacular. It's also common for renditions of Romeo & Juliet to be shown, as Carnivale is usually very close to St Valentine's Day on February 14th. (here's some lovely snaps of me in Italy 2017 for your viewing pleasure)


Pancakes, usually being enriched with melted butter are symbolically eaten because in the 16th Century, when the specific notion of "Pancake Day" was observed, Eggs, butter and milk were rich foods to eat but were accessible to many and therefore symbolised the gluttony about to be shed. In other, Eastern European, countries doughnuts are eaten. In Poland, filled doughnuts called pączki are eaten and fried doughnuts called fasnachts are eaten in Germany.


However you celebrate, whatever religion you are, the big question can still cause a lot of controversy: HOW DO YOU EAT YOUR PANCAKES?!


Pancakes for all!

Whatever toppings you go for, the basic pancake can be simplified to three main options: Buttermilk, fluffy American or Classic Crepes. Some of these work best with specific toppings, but recipes and ideas for your pancakes can all be found below.


For me, its either a classic lemon and sugar crepe or a fluffy, berry-filled and strawberry-syrup-drenched American affair. Although I do like a good crispy bacon and maple syrup number....or banana pancakes and syrup.....as for savoury pancakes, filling a crepe with chicken, bacon and melted cheese and folding it up is always a winner.....I think you get my point: they're pretty delicious whatever topping you go for and they can be changed up to suit whatever mood you're in!


If you wanna be super artsy, you can get special pancake art pans from Tefal which help you make unicorn and owl shapes etc. I'm not gonna lie, I spent quite a while trying to make a pattern with them and got nowhere. I didn't really research it properly and I didn't practice much but its definitely something worth looking into if you like that sort of thing! I think you have to use a special type of batter or add some colouring but I decided not to try any further this time as we've eaten so many pancakes already! A link to buy those pans is here if you need it. If anything, they look really cool if you hang them on the wall due to the art on the bottom of the pan!


For all the following recipes:

Serves 2-4

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Preheat oven to 75℃


Special equipment needed:

Large frying pan

Whisk

Jug

Fish slice

Baking tray

Ice cream scoop (or large tablespoon)


Classic Crepes

The ultimate for all you flippin' tossers out there! Simple and effective. These are the staple pancake and make for a great Instagram-Flip-Boomerang when you're cooking! Roll them up with Nutella, Sugar and Lemon, Marshmallow fluff or Chocolate spread. Alternatively, fill them with melted cheese and meats, folding them up to create a savoury lunch!

Ingredients

100g Plain flour

2 Large Eggs

300ml Milk


Method:

  1. The oven is there to keep your pancakes warm whilst you make the rest of the batch. If you have a warmer/grill that does this function you can use this instead

  2. Whisk the flour, eggs and milk together in a large jug until smooth

  3. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes

  4. Give the batter a quick whisk again before using

  5. Heat a frying pan with a small knob of butter and add mix to lightly coat the bottom of the pan

  6. When bubbles begin to form on the surface of the pancake, prise it away from the edges with a fish slice until you feel it jiggle

  7. FLIP TIME! Aim your pan away from you and down slightly, give it a good, hard, sharp flick of the wrist forwards and upwards to flip the pancake over (or just use the fish slice but where’s the fun in that?!)

  8. Cook until golden on this side, and place in the oven to keep warm whilst you use the rest of the mix


Fluffy American Pancakes

These are the standard dessert pancake in my opinion. They're also the go-to if you want to mix things into your batter, like crushed bananas, berries or chocolate chips. Versatile. Something a little more luxurious than the average crepe. Pictured here, banana pancakes with maple syrup and Berry pancakes with Percy Pig Dessert Sauce.


Ingredients

2 tsp Baking Powder

2 tbsp Golden Caster Sugar

150g Plain Flour

1 Large Egg

2 tbsp Salted Butter, Melted

250ml Milk

Vegetable Oil for frying


Method:

  1. Sieve the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl

  2. Whisk together the wet ingredients

  3. Combine the wet and dry, whisking thoroughly and set aside for 15 minutes

  4. Give the mix a gentle whisk again before using

  5. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add an ice cream scoop worth of mix

  6. Once bubbles have formed all over the surface of one side, use the fish slice to gently flip the pancakes over onto the other side and cook for 1 minute more until coloured

  7. Transfer the pancakes onto a baking tray in the oven to keep warm whilst you make the rest of the batch

  8. Serve stacked high with your choice of toppings


Buttermilk Pancakes

These have to be THE fluffiest of them all. They're definitely the best ones to mix bacon or savoury and sweet together with - if you're a fan of that sort of thing the picture here is crispy bacon with a cherry-berry syrup.

Ingredients

250g Self Raising Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

2 tsp Caster Sugar

2 Large Eggs

150g Buttermilk

300ml Milk

10g Salter Butter, Melted

Vegetable Oil, for frying


Method:

  1. Sieve the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl

  2. Whisk together the wet ingredients

  3. Combine the wet and dry, whisking thoroughly and set aside for 15 minutes

  4. Give the mix a gentle whisk again before using

  5. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add an ice cream scoop worth of mix

  6. Once bubbles have formed all over the surface of one side, use the fish slice to gently flip the pancakes over onto the other side and cook for 1 minute more until coloured

  7. Transfer the pancakes onto a baking tray in the oven to keep warm whilst you make the rest of the batch

  8. Serve stacked high with your choice of toppings



Enjoy your Pancake Day and remember, anyone can cook!


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