With Pancake Day upon us, we wonder how many people will actually make their own pancakes on Shrove Tuesday?
The reason we ask is there are now so many pre-prepared versions, whether it is those where the mix is already made for you or where it’s just a case of putting the pancake in the oven or microwave and eating immediately.
We understand that in this busy world of ours that many people will now opt for these versions, but, and you would expect us to say this of course, there’s nothing better than making them from scratch.
We suspect the real reason people go for the pre-prepared pancakes is that despite looking simple, they can actually be hard to make.
One of the most common mistakes is to overmix the batter. This causes the gluten to overdevelop and that’s why you are left with a stack of tough and chewy pancakes. It’s also important to rest the batter as this gives the gluten more time to settle.
Another major error is not getting the pan hot enough before you start cooking the pancakes. It shouldn’t be smoking, but keep an eye on the butter and oil and if you are in an doubt, spoon a small amount of the mixture into the pan and if it doesn’t start cooking immediately then you know the pan is not hot enough yet.
Finally, now we all like flipping our pancakes (you can’t do this with the ones that are already cooked!!) but the timing matters. You might be tempted to flip once the bubbles start to appear, but wait a minute or two and when you do, ensure you flip only once.
Follow these steps and you will be able to make your own delicious pancakes no problem.
The only thing you need to decide on next is what you are going to serve them with.
When it comes to sweet, we’re traditionalists so a bit of lemon and sugar is all you need.
However, when it comes to savoury, then the gloves are off, as you will see from this week’s recipe:
Spanish inspired pancakes with crispy chorizo, spring onions and chilli butter
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 40g melted butter (plus a little extra for cooking)
- 200g full fat milk
- 6g salt
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cayenne
Add all ingredients into a food blender and blend until a smooth batter is formed.
Using a solid based non-stick frying pan, heat up a little of the butter until it’s foaming and then pour in a little of batter into the centre of the pan. Cook on both side until golden brown and puffed up.
- 1 stick of good quality chorizo
- 50mls of virgin olive oil
- 2 spring onions
Dice the chorizo into 1cm cubes and fry in oil until crispy and golden brown then set aside.
Slice the spring onions diagonally and set aside.
Chilli, garlic and maple syrup butter:
- 250g salted butter softened
- 2 red chillies de-seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic minced to a puree
- 40g maple syrup
- 1 tsp salt
Mix all the ingredients till combined and set aside.
To serve begin by warming the pancakes in the oven. Then plate up by sprinkling the pancakes with spring onions, chorizo and a spoonful of the butter and let melt over the pancakes. I also suggest a fried egg on top just to take the pancakes to another level and extra drizzle of maple syrup. The salty savoury rich flavours are balanced with maple syrup.