Pancake Day ideas – a month to go!

You might only just be thinking about what you’re baking for Valentines day but it’s only a month away until Pancake day (Shrove Tuesday) on 8th March. Recently, I spied a turquoise mini frying pan in my local department store and decided I had to have it! You can buy them online here in a range of colours for £3.99 and they make perfect mini pancakes. They also double up as good egg friers too when you don’t have a pancake craving!

My friend and I tried out Gordon Ramsay’s cinnamon pancake recipe recently from his Christmas recipe book. We adapted it and showered the pancakes with blueberries, drizzled them with honey and added a spot of natural yoghurt. They were perfect for brunch! Gordon cooks three in a bigger frying pan but it’s more fun to cook in a mini frying pan. Admittedly for pancake day you might be going for volume rather than novelty but you could always have the mini frying pan on the go on a different hob!

For two people making 6 mini pancakes:

75g self raising flour

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp baking powder

pinch of fine sea salt

3/4 tbsp maple syrup (we used honey)

112.5 ml buttermilk

2 large eggs separated

1 tbsp sunflower oil

Method:

1. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.

2. Add the honey/maple syrup, buttermilk and egg yolks to the well and gradually incorporate the flour into the liquid by whisking from the middle and working outwards.

3. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites to peaks and then fold into the batter.

4. Cook the pancakes for 1 – 1.5 mins on each side in the mini frying pan

5. Keep warm in a low oven. Then add blueberries, swirls of honey and natural yoghurt. Yum!

What’s the difference between a pancake and a crepe?

This is the question my colleague asked me last week. I think he thought because I had started a cake blog, I had now become qualified to answer such questions. Clearly not. My first reaction was a crepe is thinner than a pancake. Another colleague mused that perhaps it is all about the coarseness of flour.  A quick Google search and Wikipedia look up suggests some interesting differences. BiteSizeCooking has a nice post on all the variations of pancakes around the world. Not quite as simple a question as first thought!

English pancakes are not as ‘lacy’ as French crepes apparently. Crepes are thinner than pancakes and stuffed with more filling. For a little French regional variation, a Breton galette from Normandy or Brittany is made of buckwheat flour and is large and thin and only cooked on one side (no flipping fun then!).

So there you have it. You’re armed with pancake/crepe knowledge – you never know when that question might turn up in the next pub quiz!

And which pancake flavours went down a treat at my flat last week for Pancake Day? After the consumption of 30 pancakes between 6 of us, the votes have been counted.  For savoury – German salami, goat’s cheese and sundried tomato with some salad on the side (I thought it best to pretend we were atleast trying to be vaguely healthy).  And for a sweet and sugary fix? Melted dark chocolate and banana. It went down a storm. Next time I will know to buy double the chocolate and bananas!

Feel free to let me know what you think is the difference between a pancake or crepe if I missed something and suggest other cool pancake flavour combos!

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