5 fun facts about Pancake Day, with recipes


5 fun facts about Pancake Day, with recipes

Call it Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras or Pancake Day, gorge on the breakfast classic all day



Pancakes
Time to get into a flap about flapjacks - it's Pancake Day! Image Credit: Pexels

It’s that time of the year when you can have your pancakes and eat them too. It’s World Pancake Day!

Might we suggest that this year, you make them too? Keeping with the spirit of the lockdown cooking skills that a majority of us have accumulated over 2021, we’ve handpicked two easy-to-make and quick pancake recipes from two of Dubai’s popular breakfast spots.

But before we launch into the recipes, we’d like to whet your appetite with some Pancake Day related facts you probably weren’t aware of:

1) It always falls on a Tuesday: Come rain or shine, Pancake Day always falls on a Tuesday, exactly 47 days before Easter. It’s one of the few things you can be sure of in life. It’s also why the day’s other moniker is Shrove Tuesday.

2) Feasting before fasting: There’s more to Shrove Tuesday though – originating from the Latin word ‘shriven’, which means to confess one’s sins, Shrove Tuesday marks the last day of indulgence in Catholic tradition before the fasting period of Lent.

One of the easiest methods of ridding kitchens of rich, greasy and fatty ingredients that were abstained from during the fasting period (hey there, butter and eggs) was to combine all of them and whip up delicious pancakes. And so, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras are other names that Pancake Day goes by.

What historically started out as a clearance of sorts over 1000 years ago in Europe, and can be traced back even earlier to ancient Greeks and Romans, ended up becoming a cause for celebration for foodies across borders who unanimously agree that the breakfast food, whose batter requires ingredients most pantries never run out of – milk, butter, eggs and flour – is top-notch nosh.

3) Flipping for wishes: One of the most unique Pancake Day tradition is one observed in France – flipping the pancake with one hand while holding a coin in the other and making a wish. Those who can manage to pull off this culinary stunt are believed to have their wish fulfilled. If you happen to have a spare sovereign (gold coin) lying about at home, hold that instead of a dirham and if you manage to flip the pancake single-handed, you’ll have secure financial stability and wealth for your family for the year. Or at least that’s what the legend says.

Our suggestion? Ditch the cast-iron skillet if you plan to do this and double-up the reps on your push ups.

4) Coin or button: In Canada, the coin is added to the batter. Along with sewing trinkets such as a thimble or a button. Bite down on a coin and you’ll have riches coming your way. And if it’s a sewing item you unearth while cutting into a stack of fluffy pancakes, then you’re in store for some hard labour.

The Canadian method of celebrating Pancake Day that doesn’t involve possible choking hazards (or chipped teeth) is to simply switch your favourite topping for maple syrup.

5) The Amazing (pancake) Race: And the UK isn’t one to be left behind when it comes to quirky Pancake Day traditions. In fact, they race to it, literally.

If you’re ever in the Queen’s country around this time of year and see people running helter-skelter around the streets tossing pancakes on frying pans as they run, don’t worry. You haven’t entered a parallel dimension, it’s just a Pancake Day race. Pancake races are an integral part of the UK’s Shrove Tuesday celebrations. And the credit goes to a 15th century woman from Buckinghamshire who upon realising mid pancake-prep that she’d forgotten to go to church and confess, ran out the house in a flap, still clutching her frying pan with a flapjack in it.

The two recipes below from Clinton Street Baking Company and Restaurant and Tania’s Teahouse will have you and your family members running to the dining table to dig in.

Raspberries and Cream Pancakes

Raspberry and Chocolate Pancake
Raspberry and Chocolate Pancake from Clinton St. Baking Company Image Credit: Supplied/ Clinton St. Baking Company

This recipe by Chef Ratan Srivastava of Clinton St. Baking Company and Restaurant is a classic fluffy pancake recipe, topped with raspberries and whipped cream.

Prep time: 20-30 minutes

Cook time: 5-7 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

942gm flour

125gm baking powder

200gm castor sugar

½ tsp salt

500gm egg whites

200gm butter

200gm egg yolk

1 litre full-cream milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

200gm frozen raspberries, defrosted

For the raspberry coulis

100gm frozen raspberries

100gm sugar

For the cream

100gm whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 ¾ tbsp sugar

Method

1. For the pancake batter: Mix all the dry ingredients with a wire whisk in a large mixing bowl.

2. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg white till medium peaks form.

3. Melt butter in a saucepan, then allow to cool to room temperature.

4. Combine all the wet ingredients together, then mix with the dry. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg white into the pancake mix.

5. Add the liquid from the defrosted raspberries to the batter to get a nice red colour (2 tsp of frozen liquid for every 100gm of pancake batter).

6. Ladle the batter onto a heated pan and form pancakes; cook on medium to low heat till golden brown.

7. Don’t flip the pancakes as soon as you see bubbles form on the surface. Flip them when the bubbles pop and form holes that stay open on the surface of the pancake.

8. For the coulis: Place the sugar in a pan on medium heat and stir well, until caramelised or liquefied in texture. Add frozen raspberries and cook until softened.

9. Then strain with a fine strainer for a smooth sauce.

10. For the cream: Add sugar and vanilla essence to the cream an whisk it continuously until air is incorporated into it, and it takes on a foam-like texture.

11. Serve pancakes, sprinkled with icing sugar, topped with the cream and drizzled with raspberry coulis.

Tip: to make sure the pancakes turn out fluffy, do not overmix the batter. Also, always make sure your spatula is large enough to support the pancake.

Flippin’ Flapjacks

Flippin' Flapjacks
Flippin' Flapjacks - healthy oat-based vegan pancakes from Tania's Teahouse Image Credit: Supplied/ Tania's Teahouse

This gluten and guilt-free oats-based decadence by Tania Lodi, founder of Tania’s Teahouse is great for vegans and those with food allergies.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 8-10 minutes

Makes: 12

Ingredients

2 ½ cups of rolled oats (gluten-free, you can also replace this with almond flour)

1 ripe banana

1 tbsp maple syrup/agave syrup/brown sugar

1 cup of almond milk

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

1. In a blender, grind your oats to a flour-like consistency (unless you’re using almond flower).

2. Throw in the rest of the ingredients and blend. Let the batter sit for a few minutes to thicken.

3. Pour the batter into a medium-low heat skillet that’s been greased with coconut oil or butter. Flip them as they turn golden!

4. Top with seasonal fruits of your choice (we love adding strawberries and blueberries), cream of your choice (whipped coconut cream or dairy) and lastly, a delicate a edible flower.

5. Drizzle with some maple syrup.

Tell us about your favourite dishes or recipes at food@gulfnews.com

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