Still practicing for Shrove Tuesday: gorgeous pancakes for breakfast (recipe already blogged)
Shrove Tuesday is coming and I decided this year to take a departure from the traditional pancake batter and instead tried this American-style pancake recipe and it was sooooo worth it! In our indulgent taste test (in the name of blog research) we tried both savoury pancakes with smoked salmon and a dill sauce followed by pancakes with caramelised bananas and either chocolate or caramel spread. Wow!!!!! (John’s first five words) Fluffy and light, smooth and indulgent, I’m afraid the days of traditional pancake batter may well be behind me, these are absolutely terrific and feel like an utter treat.
Makes 6 – 8 pancakes, depending on how big you like them
What you need for the buttermilk pancakes…
150g plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon caster sugar
Pinch of salt
2 large, happy eggs, separated
284ml carton buttermilk
Knob of butter for frying
What you need for the smoked salmon and dill sauce topping…
1 large, happy egg yolk
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 dessertspoon caster sugar
Pinch of salt
150ml rapeseed oil
Small bunch dill, finely chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
Smoked salmon (100g tops 3 pancakes)
A few dill sprigs, lemon wedges and creamed horseradish to serve
What you need for the caramelised banana and chocolate topping…
Sprinkling of caster sugar
1 banana, sliced thickly,
Either Dulce de Leche (milk caramel spread) or chocolate spread or Nutella
Dollop of ice cream to serve (we had brandy ice cream – recipe already blogged – which was incredible but vanilla would work well)
What to do…
Make the Dill sauce up to three days in advance. This means that you can just enjoy the pancake-making on the day that you want to eat them.
Put the egg yolk, vinegar, mustard, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and use your handheld electric whisk to beat until a foam is beginning to form. Very slowly pour in the oil, whisking the whole time, to create a thickened Hollandaise-style sauce. Stir in the dill and lemon juice, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge until needed.
For each warmed pancake, dollop on around a dessertspoon of dill sauce and spread over the pancake. Arrange or plop on as much smoked salmon as you fancy and garnish with a few dill sprigs. Serve with lemon wedges and a little creamed horseradish on the side: wow and awesome!!!!
And to the pancakes! In a medium mixing bowl, use your handheld electric whisk to beat the egg whites until they form soft floppy peaks. Set aside. Unplug the whisk and rinse.
Mix the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks and mix in. Slowly pour in the buttermilk, using your handheld electric whisk to mix it in thoroughly, forming a thick, smooth batter.
Add one tablespoon egg whites to the batter and use a balloon whisk to incorporate. Add the rest of the egg whites in two batches, again using the balloon whisk to gently incorporate, creating a light, fluffy batter.
Heat a large frying pan over a moderate heat and lightly grease with butter. For each pancake, drop in a ladleful of batter, smoothing it down a little with the back of the ladle to create pancakes that are about 10cm wide and 1cm thick. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes on each side and then keep warm in a low oven whilst you cook the rest. Add your choice of topping and either slowly indulge or demolish with relish!!!! (We tried the first approach but quickly made the transition to the second!)
For the caramelised banana and chocolate topping. Warm a small frying pan over a moderate heat with the sprinkling of caster sugar covering the bottom of the pan. As soon as the sugar has melted, chuck in the banana slices. As soon as the melted sugar turns red, flip the bananas and cook for a couple of minutes until they are well caramelised. Don’t muck about with them as they’ll break up. Remove from the heat and set aside whilst you spread your choice of chocolate or caramel spread over your warmed pancake. Tip the banana slices over the top and then dollop on your ice cream. Roll your eyes in the ecstasy that is this pancake – guard it against jealous housemates!
This quantity of the dill sauce is enough for 6 – 8 pancakes, but if like us, you only make up half the batter for savoury ones, the sauce will keep in the fridge for 3 days and is brilliant served with grilled or roasted fish.
Really easy and very worth it. I’d definitely make the dill sauce in advance though as there was a lot of washing up!
Who can resist? Shrove Tuesday – the perfect excuse to indulge in delicious, naughty pancakes, stacked high and topped traditionally with the sweet and tart marriage that is sugar and lemon or filled with some luscious alternatives. It doesn’t matter, whatever you choose, enjoy your crêpes Suzette and other pancakes!
Makes batter and sauce makes enough for 8 crêpes/pancakes
What you need…
for the crêpe/pancake batter
175g plain flour, sifted
2 large eggs
for the classic crêpes suzette sauce
50g unsalted butter
150ml orange juice (3 large oranges)
Grated zest 1 orange
Grated zest and juice 1 lemon
1 tablespoon caster sugar
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
What to do…
To make your crêpe/pancake batter (let’s refer to them as pancakes from hereon in – I’m getting fed up typing ‘crêpe/pancake’) tip the flour into a large jug together with the eggs, milk and water, and using an electric hand whisk, vigorously whisk the ingredients so that they are thoroughly blended, creating your batter.
Put a small frying pan on the highest heat with 1 teaspoon of rapeseed oil. When the oil is just smoking, add 1 ladle of batter and swish it around the pan so that the pan is evenly coated. Cook for about 1 minute. You’ll know when the underside of the pancake is cooked – just shake the frying pan and the pancake will easily move about. At this point – the fun part – remove the pan from the heat and tilt it so that the pancake slips to the furthest edge of the pan. Then, a quick flick of the wrist and flip that pancake…….how high depends on how confident you’re feeling!!!!! Cook for a further minute and then tip it out onto a piece of greaseproof paper.
Repeat this process until all the pancake batter has been used and you have a stack of pancakes, each separated by greaseproof paper.
In a medium-sized frying pan, melt the butter. Then add the sauce and gently warm. Place the first pancake into the pan and gently warm it before folding it in half and then in half again to make a triangle. Slide it to the edge of the pan and then tilt the pan so that the sauce runs back into the centre. Repeat this process until all the pancakes are reheated, folded and drenched in sauce.
Serve these delicious pancakes immediately on warmed plates and thoroughly enjoy this naughty dessert in the name of Shrove Tuesday! Yummy!
Alternative toppings and fillings…
Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice and a Smattering of Caster Sugar
The classic pancake topping. After squeezing and smattering, roll up and indulge. Simple and simply lovely.
Rhubarb and Vanilla
To make enough for 4 generous pancake fillings, put 400g trimmed and sliced rhubarb into a lightly buttered ovenproof dish together with 70g caster sugar and a split vanilla pod. Cover with foil and pop into a preheated oven (160°c / 310°f /gas 3) and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and discard the vanilla pod. Gently mash the rhubarb and then spoon a ladleful on one half of the pancake, folding the over the half over the top. Indulge. Light, sweet and a lovely change from the normal.
Warmed Balsamic Strawberries
To make enough for 4 generous pancake fillings, hull and quarter 250g sweet, ripe strawberries and pop them in a saucepan over a moderate heat together with 1 teaspoon caster sugar and 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the strawberries have been gently warmed and coated in the balsamic glaze. Spoon a ladleful on one half of the pancake, folding the over the half over the top. Just divine although a dollop of vanilla ice cream on the top wouldn’t be inappropriate!
Ugh!!!! But the kids like it. Smother chocolate spread over the top of the pancake, roll up and eat! No comment! Don’t let them near either the knife or the jar of chocolate spread – it’ll get messy!
A bit of mix really. The batter mix is one of Delia Smith’s, the rhubarb and vanilla filling comes from Lisa Faulkner and the warmed balsamic strawberries from a vanilla cheesecake recipe by Stuart Gillies.
Pancakes aren’t hard are they? You’ve just got to decide how naughty you want to be and how high you flip ‘em!!!!