Earlier this year in this column I shared an alternative breakfast pancake recipe. So to celebrate Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, here are a few alternatives to the traditional lemon and sugar.
The date varies from February and March; and when Easter falls. It is a tradition that comes from a time when leftover food would be eaten the day before Lent, when fasting would begin. It is mainly observed in English-speaking countries: Ireland, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US, but also in the Philippines and Germany.
This year, step away from tradition with these easy-to-make recipes. The first, stacked chocolate pancakes, look and taste delicious. To top the pancakes I have made some simple banana chocolate ice cream.
Here is how: Peel four ripe bananas, place in an airtight bag and freeze for two hours. Once frozen break into pieces and place in a food processor, blitz until smooth. Next, add four dessert-spoonfuls of Nutella and two teaspoons of cocoa powder. Blitz the mix until all the ingredients have combined. Pour into an airtight container and freeze for 3-4 hours.
The second recipe is a real showstopper; ignore the calorie-count and indulge yourself. I have used gluten-free flour for this recipe, and you can use a mix of berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries… for more colour add some pomegranate seeds. If the cream is too heavy, you can substitute it with some soft cheese.
Here is how: add 280g of soft cream cheese to a mixing bowl, add a tablespoon of icing sugar and half a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until creamy. Cover and keep at room temperature — this will make it easier to spread.
This basic recipe is so versatile, whether you use regular flour or gluten free, or switch the oil from coconut to vegetable. Do not use olive oil as it will leave a bitter taste, use light oils instead.
Whatever combination you choose, have a flipping great Pancake Day.
STACKED CHOCOLATE PANCAKES WITH CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM
Serves 4, prep time 20 minutes, cooking time 10 minutes
■ 120g plain flour sifted
■ A pinch of salt
■ 2 free-range eggs
■ 145ml of milk, mixed with 90ml water
■ 3 tbsp of coconut oil
■ 6 tbsp of Nutella
■ Chocolate ice cream
■ Chocolate & caramel sauce
■ Dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 100 degrees. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs and flour. Next, gradually add small amounts of the milk and water mixture, and keep whisking until the mix is the consistency of thin cream. Melt the oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and then add a quarter of the batter. Tip the mixture around to get an even layer. After about half a minute lift the edge with a spatula to see if it’s cooked. Now here comes the tricky bit — flip the pancake over with a spatula. Then cook for a few minutes, and slide onto a plate and place in a warm oven. Repeat the process; you should make 3-4 pancakes. Place the pancakes on a plate and layer with Nutella, then fold into four. Stack the pancakes on a plate, top with ice cream, pour over some chocolate and caramel sauce, top with cranberries and serve.
BLUEBERRY & WHIPPED CREAM STACKED GLUTEN-FREE PANCAKES
Serves 4, prep time 20 minutes, cooking time 20 minutes
■ 400g of blueberries
■ 3 tbsp of caster sugar
■ 110g gluten-free plain flour
■ Pinch of salt
■ 2 eggs
145ml milk, mixed with 90ml water
3 tbsp of coconut oil
■ 230ml whipped cream
■ Icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 100 degrees. Put 2 handfuls of blueberries, 120ml of water and caster sugar in a small pan. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes until the liquid becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre, break the eggs into it, and then begin whisking the eggs to make a batter. Now gradually add small amounts of the milk and water mixture, and keep whisking until the mix is the consistency of thin cream.
Melt the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat, and then add 3 tbsp of the batter to the pan. Tip the mixture around to get an even layer. After 30 seconds, lift the edge of the pancake with a spatula to see if it is cooked. Now here comes the tricky bit — flip the pancake over with a spatula. Then cook for a few minutes, and slide onto a plate and place in a warm oven. Repeat the process: you should make eight pancakes. To serve, place a pancake on a plate, layer with cream and blueberries, then repeat until all the pancakes are stacked. Finally, pour over the cooled blueberry syrup and dust with icing sugar.