Monday, 8 February 2016

Everybody's favourite Tuesday: Pancake Tuesday!

Carnival, Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday. Three different names for festivities marking the beginning of Lent, the Christian fasting period before Easter.

Let me start off by this: I honestly had no clue about such things until I was twenty-two.

And let's be honest, as a child, who cares about these things? Growing up in Great Britain, all you know is this: Pancake Tuesday is THE best Tuesday ever! No matter where you are, who you eat with, it's basically unwritten law that they have to feed you pancakes. It's criminal not to.

It's also a much loved tradition that I am all to happy to pass on to my son who, as luck would have it, is in fact old enough to eat pancakes today. But not just any pancakes, because as a mum I of course want what is best for my son which means making pancakes a delicious but slightly healthier treat. In my case it meant replacing the white flour I have always used with my current flour of choice: spelt. Spelt is slightly lower in carbs and calories but higher in protein than regular wheat flour making it just a bit more nutritionally balanced and having the added bonus of just tasting delicious. Be it bread, donuts (I'll get to those later in the year) of cakes, I love spelt. Knowing that it's slightly better than wheat is really the bonus from my perspective.

Spelt pancakes.

  • 300 grams spelt flour
  • 4 medium/large eggs
  • 750 mL milk, I always drink semi-skim so that's what I use for pancakes
  • A splash of neutral flavoured oil, I've grown up with my mum using sunflower oil
  • A great non-stick frying pan
First off, the good non-stick pan is essential for when you want to avoid adding fat to your pan constantly I have a lovely BK pan that can also go in the oven, we love it!

In a large bowl, add the flour and eggs. Gently loosen the eggs with a whisk.
Next add your milk and whisk until the flour and eggs seem incorporated, a few small lumps of flour are fine.
Heat up your frying pan(s) and keep an eye on how much heat is best for your own cooking speed.
Once the pan is hot, whisk a small splash of oil into the batter and ladle a spoonful into your frying pan.
When the batter is no longer a liquid and small bubbles have formed around the edges, gently lifting them up, use this natural process to flip the pancakes, I use a spatula as I am no hero with air flipping.
Toss out onto a plate and cover with some aluminium foil, the heat from every following pancake will keep the others warm and the steam also loosens the pancakes which can come out of the pan looking a bit stiff.
Bring the stack of pancakes to your mouth the table and enjoy the smiles and happiness that pancakes bring!
Fry, little pancake, fry!

My suggestions for toppings:

Homemade dark chocolate sauce
Strawberries and maple syrup
Cheesy leeks for my little one as I want him to have some vegetables and he's not allowed to have syrups or chocolate yet

My suggestions for add-ins:

Of course you can also add things to the frying pan whilst making the pancakes therefore, melting, crisping or caramelising your toppings of choice. Cooking order depends on what topping I use; for melty cheese I add sliced or grated cheese immediately after I flip the pancake and let it rest with a lid over the pan. For most other toppings I place them in the pan first and then add batter. Honestly, I have not perfected flipping those properly so they usually end up a delicious pancakey mess:
Light brown sugar and cinnamon sprinkled over some butter, studded with thinly sliced apple
Thinly sliced banana, depending on your pan this too will require some butter or coconut oil
A golden, small stack of deliciousness


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