Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Pancake day

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Happy pancake day!

This is my favourite holiday, even over Halloween, because pancakes are my favourites. I usually host a pancake party each year serving up different types of pancakes with a billion different toppings, but as I’m between homes at the moment I can’t have a pancake party!

Pancakes are my favourite because they are cheap. During times when I can’t afford to feed myself properly I live on a diet of noodles, bread, and pancakes. All filling, all cheap, and all starchy white carbs. It’s easy to get sick of bread and noodles if you have them a lot but I can never get sick of pancakes!

I’m much more of a savoury pancake person. Growing up we would always have a mega thick pancake sitting underneath a stew or a casserole and it soaks up all the amazing stew flavour and goes quite soggy and absorbs all the flavour. My other favourite childhood pancake is a plain pancake with branston pickle. Nobody in my family knows where this came from, but it’s still my favourite to this day. I also like pesto pancakes with pesto, cheese, and tomatoes which is probably just the middle class version of a branston pickle pancake.

Spot the branston!

In lieu of my pancake party this year here are my 3 things to do with pancakes:

Stick stuff in the batter
Pancake batter is easy peasy pumpkin peasy. You don’t need to strictly follow a recipe and it’s dead easy to make it gluten free or vegan. I’ve faffed around with egg substitutes for vegan recipes before but unless you are trying to make fluffy American style pancakes, there's really no need. Just take out the egg and use soya milk and you’ve got yourself a vegan pancake. It will be thinner than normal but genuinely as yummy. Also if you run out of milk you can add half water to your recipe which is what we did all the time growing up cuz we were poor and watered down milk does the job just fine anyways. Honestly, I don’t care how you make your pancakes, they all taste the same when you get the toppings on.

You can stick anything in the batter – blueberries, chocolate buttons, mushed banana with cinnamon, mashed sweet potato, cheese and garlic etc. Stuff in batter pancakes are best done with American style pancakes as they grow thick and the bits in your batter won’t burn as much.

American pancake batter
200 g self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
300 ml milk
1 pinch of salt
30 grams melted butter

Mix the dry ingredients first, followed by the milk and the eggs beaten together, lastly add in the melted butter after it has cooled, and stir in well. Then fry em up!

Hot dog pancakes

I love hotdogs. I love pancakes. And yet it only occurred to me at last year’s pancake party to put these two loves together and substitute a hot dog bun with a thin wrapped pancake. This works best with a thin crepe style pancake and I made meat version and veggie versions last year. Once the pancake is made I like to spread ketchup and American mustard on it then wrap the hotdog tight in the pancake, and you can use a cocktail stick to keep it altogether.

Crepe style pancake batter:
200g plain flour
2 eggs
300 ml milk
Pinch of salt

Mix the dry ingredients first, then the egg and milk beaten together. Then fry em up and wrap em round a hot dog!

Irn Bru pancake

My one true love

Due to my frying pan being in storage and not having a permanent home at the moment I haven’t been able to try this amazing pancake recipe yet, but I am dying to! While I was researching for my pancake zine (I take my research super seriously) I discovered the cola pancake. Coca cola is added to the batter before the milk is added and the bubbles in the pop react with the baking powder to create more bubbles and a super light fluffy batter. The pop also slightly caramalises while frying and is supposed to leave the pancake with a bit of a shine and an ever so slight crunch to the top. I’m sure you can achieve this in other ways like by adding sugar to the batter when it’s in the pan, but the idea of substituting cola with irn bru in a pancake sounds wonderful!

I haven’t tried this yet so I can’t fully approve the recipe below, and believe me as soon as I get my frying pan out of its cardboard box and into my new kitchen I’m gonna be making this pronto!

Irn Bru pancake batter

275 g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
200 ml milk
175 ml irn bru
1 pinch of salt

I haven’t made this yet but the recipe says to mix the dry then mix in the wet. You might not need the full amount of irn bru, so mix that in last and slowly so you aren’t left with a sloppy runny irn bru mixture. I am hopeful that this is the pancake of dreams.

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