Pancakes are a sure-fire crowd pleaser and can be whipped up with just a handful of household ingredients. Most of us have tried the traditional lemon and caster sugar mix, or gone all out with maple syrup and ice cream, but pancakes are the culinary equivalent of a blank canvas, so it’s time to get creative.
First things first, let’s start with a good pancake recipe. This makes enough batter for about 12 pancakes, depending how big and thick you like them!
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
375mL buttermilk (see tip)
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and whisk in egg and buttermilk.
- Using a wooden spoon, gradually draw in flour. Beat well, cover and leave to stand for 1 hour (see tip).
- Heat a frypan over medium heat, add butter to melt, then pour butter back into flour mixture, folding to combine well. Increase heat to medium high.
- Pour batter into a jug then pour in enough batter, while tilting the pan, to coat the base. Cook for about 1 minute or until small bubbles appear on the surface, then flip over using a spatula.
- Place cooked pancake on a clean dish towel, fold ends over to cover and continue making pancakes. Drop each directly on top of the last and fold towel over to cover again.
Top tip: While it’s not essential if you’re too hungry to wait, resting the batter makes for a much lighter pancake. The flour absorbs the liquid and the result is a light, buttery treat. Buttermilk can be substituted with milk, but the former also results in a much lighter batter.
Now that you’ve made the perfect flavour base, here are three easy sweet and savoury ideas to top it off.
Rhubarb compote and vanilla crème fraîche
This is a delightful mix a mix of tart, sweet and creamy flavours. To make rhubarb compote, place 400g chopped rhubarb in a small saucepan with 2 tbsp honey, the finely grated zest of 1 lemon and 3 tbsp water, then cover with a lid. Cook until soft and tender. Fold the seeds from a vanilla pod (or 1-2 tsp of vanilla essence) and ½ tbsp icing sugar into 150mL crème fraîche. Place a dollop of rhubarb and crème fraîche mixtures in the centre of a pancake and serve.
Banana choc chip
It’s a pancake rendition of a banana split! To prepare, sprinkle roughly-chopped dark chocolate over the flipped pancake while cooking, allowing the chocolate to melt a little. To serve, finely slice banana over the top, and spoon over either whipped cream or yoghurt. Fold pancake in half and half again to serve.
Smoked salmon and dill
To make the sauce, melt 25g unsalted butter in a small saucepan, stir in 30g plain flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Gradually pour in 200mL milk and stir until it forms a thick sauce. Season well with freshly ground black pepper.
Cut smoked salmon or trout into small bite-size pieces and fold slowly into sauce mixture. Cook gently for 2 minutes, then fold in 2 tbsp finely chopped dill, one tsp Dijon mustard and juice from a ¼ lemon. Spoon over pancakes, roll up and serve with extra lemon wedges for squeezing.
Of course the only downside of pancakes is they tend to get a little messy. To make cleaning up easier, try new Finish Quantum – it comes with a revolutionary new gel chamber that delivers an intense cleaning action for an amazing clean and shiny dishes, first time every time!