Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Shrove Tuesday

Pancake Day

Pancake Day



Pancake Day – Shrove Tuesday

Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday as it’s otherwise known, falls on Tuesday 21st February in 2012.


Pancake Day is brilliantly fun and is a great excuse to get all your friends around for a party of indulgence. It was always a very special occasion for my family, as it marks the beginning of Lent, where you must sacrifice something indulgent. For me and my friends, we always chose chocolate, as it meant you could still be cheeky and have sweets sometimes!


So get the essential ingredients bought in advance and you’ll be well prepared. Make sure you’ve got plenty to make lots of batches as they get eaten extremely quickly.


The essentials for making pancakes are:

  1. Plain Flour
  2. Salt
  3. Large Eggs
  4. Milk
  5. Butter


These ingredients will give you a fantastic basic pancake batter. There’s no real need for anything else in the batter, but you’ll still find plenty of fancy pancake recipes with extra things in them.


However I think if you deviate too much, it won’t be much of a pancake party as you’ll be too busy trying to get it absolutely perfect, and not being a particularly involved host. So keep it simple! Here’s my favourite pancake recipe involving just the basic ingredients.


To make this into a super awesome pancake party, get all of these following things at the ready. All of your guests can decide what they want, or mix and match. Having lots of these different choices laid out on a dining table would look incredible, with extra decorations and candles dotted about.


Pancake Day

Pancake Day - Shrove Tuesday

  1. Caster Sugar
  2. Lemons – these could be fresh, or you can buy lemon juice in bottles
  3. Maple Syrup
  4. Ice cream (any and all flavours are allowed!)
  5. Jam – get a few different types of jam
  6. Melted Chocolate
  7. Cooked/stewed fruit such as apples
  8. Fresh fruit like strawberries
  9. An alcohol based sauce, perhaps rum
  10. Ground spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger


Aside from puddles of maple syrup all over the pancakes, one of my favourite toppings is blackcurrent jam spread over the pancake with a dollop of vanilla ice cream in the middle. The tartness of the blackcurrent with the sweet of the ice cream is a wonderful combination.  Fresh fruit is also a great option for the health conscious, as is warm cooked fruit like pears or apples.


So get your pancake party started with these lists of essential ingredients and toppings. Have fun!


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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Perfect Pancakes

Perfect Pancake

The Perfect Pancake


Calling “Here, kitty, kitty!” is the first secret to making airy, fluffy pancakes that melt in your mouth. After you call the cat, follow three more pancake recipe secrets to fry up stacks of fluffy pancakes. First, though, start the coffee percolating. You’ll need to relax and sip your coffee to complete the fourth secret to making fluffy pancakes.



Start with a basic pancake recipe:

2 cups of flour or Bisquick
1 cup milk
2 Tbsps sugar
2 Tbsps baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt 

First, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. 

Separate the egg yolks and whites into two bowls. Toss the yolks if you want low-fat, low-cholesterol fluffy pancakes. 


Here’s the first secret to fluffy pancakes:
Toss the milk. Give it to the cat. Substitute either club soda, ginger ale or beer in place of the milk. The choice is yours. It’s a matter of personal taste.
Club soda is a neutral ingredient and won’t add any flavor.
Ginger ale will add a tangy sweetness to your pancakes.
Beer is, well, beer.
You’ll need to experiment to find which taste suits you best. What you’re ultimately seeking is the bubbles – the carbonization in the liquid. 
Pour one cup of your bubbly favorite into the batter. Use less liquid for very fluffy pancakes.  Add more liquid, and you’ll see a less fluffy pancake. 


Here’s the second secret:
Don’t go overboard in stirring the batter. Gently stir the batter until all the ingredients are mixed. Then stop. A lumpy batter is your friend.


If you mix the ingredients too vigorously, the gluten in the flour activates itself. Gluten is that elastic texture found in bread. You don’t want pancakes tasting like a slice of bread. You’re not making French toast. It’s fluffy, airy pancakes you want.


Here’s the third secret:
Whip the egg whites until a stiff, white froth forms on top. Dip a spoon straight into the egg whites, and then pull the spoon out. If you see a small, stiff white wave form on top, the whites are ready.


Fold the whites into the batter. Remember, too much mixing will give you a doughy, bread-like pancake.


Now add strawberries, chocolate chips, fried apples or any other goodies you desire. Mix the ingredients into the batter. If you wish, add the beaten egg yolks.


Here’s the fourth secret to puffy pancakes:
Slip the batter into the fridge, sit down and drink your coffee. Relax. Wait about 10 to 15 minutes. If coffee isn’t your breakfast drink…well, there’s pop or beer left in the bottle.


Time’s up. Open the fridge, and you’ll see that the batter is growing; there might be bubbles rising to the top. That’s outstanding. The carbonation is mixing with the egg whites and creating a fluffy pancake mix in your bowl.


Heat your griddle to 350 degrees, add a spoonful of oil in the pan and fry the pancakes. In a few minutes, your family will enjoy airy, fluffy pancakes.


Here are key phrases to help you remember the four secrets to fluffy pancakes, followed by a summation of each pancake recipe secret in parenthesis.


1. Here, kitty, kitty. (Hold the milk and substitute club soda, ginger ale or beer.)


2. Lumpy means fluffy. (Don’t mix the batter too much.)


3. Froth and fold. (Beat the egg whites into a froth and fold them into the batter.)


4. Drink coffee. (Allow your fluffy pancake batter to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes while you drink your coffee.)