After Christmas Day, Shrove Tuesday is potentially my second favourite day of the year. In my eyes, pancakes are one of –if not the best – foods out there, and the fact that they get a day dedicated to them really makes me love the human race. Nevertheless, if you are not quite as experienced in the pancake department as I am and require a little help when it comes to perfecting your pancakes, here is a few tips and toppings to ensure this pancake day is your best yet.
The Easiest Recipe Ever
Granted, when I think about pancakes (which is often) I think about thick, squishy, stacked buttermilk beauties. However, whilst these are the most delicious, they are not the most simple. If you want effortless, thin pancakes (or crêpes) all you will need is some flour, a couple of eggs, and a splash of milk. Check out Mary Berry’s recipe on The Telegraph’s website for exact measurements and a method to follow. Once cooked, finish your crêpes with either savoury or sweet toppings. Try making a wrap of grated cheese and ham, or belatedly celebrate World Nutella Day (5 February) with a classic banana and Nutella filling.
Buttermilk is better
Pancakes with normal milk are good, don’t get me wrong, but there is something about that deliciously fluffy and rich, buttery taste that buttermilk produces that makes my mouth water and heart flutter just by thinking about them. Personally, I follow Martha Stewart’s recipe that can be found on her website by searching ‘Best Buttermilk Pancakes’. Buttermilk can be a bit hard to get your hands on sometimes, so a great substitute is to mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of either lemon juice or vinegar, leave it for 10 minutes to let it curdle and voilà, you have got your own faux buttermilk to make some truly delicious pancakes.
The full American
It is hard to imagine who first came up with the idea of adding bacon to the classic topping of maple syrup on pancakes, but one day this happened, and history was made. The mish-mash in your mouth of the saltiness from the bacon, the sweetness from the syrup and the fluffiness from the pancakes is almost so confusing to your taste buds that your brain has to to give up making sense of it and just concede that it is delicious. Try following the recipe on deliciousmagazine.co.uk for ‘Pancakes with bacon and maple syrup’ to experience this taste sensation for yourself.
One of the biggest benefits of pancakes has to be the fact that they go with so much. For how many other foods could I say: don’t fancy bacon as your topping? Well, how about berries?
Berries and pancakes are another killer combo. Raspberries are delicious, but I would say blueberries are the true stars. Either stir some into the batter before you cook or whilst you are flipping your pancakes, leave a pan of blueberries, hot water, and a little sugar to simmer away to make a compote to spoon over your pancakes once they are cooked. Sweet, warm, and contributes to your 5-a-day. What could be better?
Make it a dessert
Another amazing thing about pancakes: they can be in any meal of the day. The variety of sweet and savoury toppings means they are fit for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But have you ever considered making pancakes your dessert? To do this is so easy that you will question why you have never tried it before. All you need is milk and cake mix. And by cake mix I mean the pre-made, packet mix you buy from the shop when you cannot be bothered to make a cake from scratch. Grab a pack of chocolate cake mix and stir in your milk, and then cook your pancakes as you would normally. There you have it; chocolate cake pancakes, the ultimate dessert.
Image: Chris Barber @ FLICKR