Baking: Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday

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Pancake Day (as its commonly referred to) was never really a big thing in my family. We actually had them at least once a month growing up so they weren’t really a treat, though it was pretty much the only day of the year I was allowed to put ice cream, nutella AND sprinkles on the same plate! Now I’m at university Pancake Day is a much bigger occasion; last year the campus stores were completely out of flour and eggs by lunchtime. Though I must confess, me and my housemates still eat pancakes at least once a month…

Now because I can’t ignore that fact that it isn’t just Pancake Day…Pancake Day gets its name after the fried batter recipe traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday; they were designed to use up the ‘rich food’ of eggs and flour before the 40 days Lent. This BBC article actually explains the significance of pancakes to tradition in a way I could never do, so have a read if you are interested!

Now onto the yummy stuff…

This year me and the girls are combining Pancake Day with a girly night in. After a long day of lectures we’re cooking up Toad in the Hole, and then gorging on pancakes. And maybe doing each others nails too! Because I knew (1) I’d never remember to take pictures, and (2) it would be too late to post the recipe, I had an excuse to make pancakes with my boyfriend for a chilled Saturday breakfast this weekend. The sacrifices I make for you guys!

Normally I’d use a simple batter recipe, but my boyfriend favours a crepe style pancake, so when eating with him we stick to Deila’s recipe from her Crepe Suzette dish. I’m not going to reproduce it here due to copyright, so have a look at the link.

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Pancakes5 photo 2014-03-01104034_zpsc0a415a2.jpgMy top tips for pancakes are:

  • Fry in butter. It might be unhealthy, but it just takes better. However I do like the next few alternative is a low-calories oil spray – normal oil always makes them heavy.
  • Get the pan and fat really hot before adding the batter.
  • Swirl the batter round the hot pan quickly to get a thin and even pancake.
  • Leave the pancake alone until it moves when you shake the pan – otherwise it will stick.
  • I like to sprinkle my sugar as soon as my pancake is out of the pan – whilst it is still very hot. It then goes a bit syrupy. Yum yum!

My favourite pancake topping is the simple lemon and sugar (my tastes have become somewhat more sophisticated since my days of preferring ice cream and sprinkles!), but I am also partial to a mix of nutella with chopped nuts.

What’s your favourite pancake topping?