‘5 Minutes in the Pan’ American Pancakes

The other day, I was shown a Twitter post that had over 55,000 retweets: “Retweet if these pancakes are sexier than you.” The picture showed three basic, perfectly round and smooth pancakes, stacked on top of each other. Look it up. My first reaction was to laugh and to admit that these pancakes did indeed have a high level of sex appeal. My second reaction was to stare at these pancakes in awe and ask myself: Why did my pancakes never turn out this well?

I have always loved indulging in pancakes and drooling at photos of delicious stacks, covered in chocolate sauce, maple syrup and various fruits. Pancakes are just so versatile; they come in many forms in various different countries around the world. You get buttermilk pancakes in the States and Canada, pikelets in Australia, scallion pancakes in China. Whether you prefer sweet or savoury food, you will find at least one kind of pancake that you love eating.

But it is one of those foods I rarely make because I can just never get it right – the shape, the texture, the taste. I always have a vision of how my pancakes will look and the end product is far from it. Google images and recipe books make the idea of making perfect pancakes seem so attainable. However, after a conversation about pancakes with my flatmates I realised how much I was craving them and decided to give them another go.

Ingredients: 60g plain flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 55ml of milk, 1 medium egg, 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Extra olive oil is required for cooking.

Pour the flour, baking powder, salt sugar, milk into a bowl. Then, crack the egg and start whisking the mix well with a fork until you have a smooth batter. Make sure you get all the little lumps of flour.

Heat a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat or Gas Mark 4 and spread a little olive oil on the pan, just to make sure that the pancakes don’t stick. Then pour roughly one tablespoon of batter mix into the pan – I prefer this method to using a tablespoon as I find my pancakes shape better this way.

Flip the pancake when bubbles begin to form on the top of the pancake. Cook both sides until they are golden brown and then place it on a plate. Repeat this process until all the batter has been used. You might find that as you cook more pancakes, they cook much faster. If this is the case, flip the pancake when the bottom has solidified, so as not to end up with burnt pancakes. You may want to also lower the hob to Gas Mark 3.

Once you have made a stack of pancakes (I managed five), smother them with any toppings you like! In my photo, I topped my pancakes off with Nutella, strawberries, banana and a dash of vanilla extract – which I might add into the batter mix next time. Other toppings you might like to add to yours: maple syrup, lemon, sugar, desiccated coconut, figs or blueberries.

Tesco Plain Flour – 45p, Tesco Milk (1 Pint) – 49p, Tesco baking powder – £1.74, Tesco Saxa Table Salt 750g – 80p, Tesco Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1kg) – 79p, Tesco Free Range Eggs (Pack of 6) – £1, Tesco Olive Oil (250ml) – £1. Total cost: £6.27. Cost per serving: 86p.

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