Christmas and New Year are long gone now so unless your birthday was in January we can’t imagine you’ve had much to look forward to. Of course there was Valentine’s day but that’s overrated anyway right?
So it’s the end of February and you’re dreaming of the summer holidays, beer gardens and twelve weeks sat at home doing nada, nothing, zilch. The countdown to summer is on but right now we’re here to celebrate Shrove Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday A.K.A Pancake Day was traditionally a way for Christians to use up the fatty foods which resided in their cupboards before lent. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, the day after Shrove Tuesday and lasts for 40 days and the idea is that you give up something you love for its duration.
We’ve compiled two pancake recipes to help bring you and your pals together. Get a friend to help you, maybe the guy Mike who lives next door but you’ve never really conversed with or Sophie from down the hall who makes a mean lasagne . So here’s to those of you that live off ready meals and sniff longingly at those who actually bother to cook. Cooking doesn’t have to be difficult to be tasty.
First, let’s introduce two delicious and simple pancake recipes.
Fluffy and soft American Pancakes
Recipe found here.
You will need…
135g of plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp of caster sugar
130ml of milk
1 large egg, (lightly beaten)
2 tbsp melted butter (cooled down slightly) and a little extra for cooking
1. Sift the flower, baking powder, salt and caster sugar in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl (or jug) lightly whisk the egg and milk together and then whisk in the melted (slightly cooled) butter.
3. Pour step number 2 (the contents of jug/bowl) into bowl number 1. Now, beat this all together with a fork, or a whisk if you’re well equipped for Shrove Tuesday! Ensure the lumps are eliminated and then leave to stand for several minutes.
4. Now, you’ll need a non-stick frying pan and to pop it over a medium heat with a blob of butter. When the butter is melted, put the pancake mix in. Don’t panic it seems too thick, it is meant to be. Once the top begins to bubble, turn it over. Cook both sides until is golden in colour and about half an inch thick.
5. The easy part, repeat step 4 until your pancake mix is all used up.
Fool proof pancakes!
They can be frozen – bonus.
Recipe found here.
You will need…
125g of plain flour
1 egg and 1 yolk
300ml of milk
1. Sift the flour into a bowl (from a height) and make a well in the middle.
2. Whisk the egg and the egg yolk and a little milk from the 300ml together and then pour this into the well. Whisk with a little of the flour.
3. Gradually whisk in half of the remaining milk, bring in a little of the rest of the flour at a time. This will ensure the batter is smooth. Stir in the remaining milk.
4. Leave to stand for 30 minutes.
5. Heat your non-stick frying pan and brush with a little oil or butter.
6. Put in two or three tablespoons of mixture (depending on the size of your pan) and tilt the pan to ensure it covers the bottom evenly.
7. Cook the pancake for 45-60 seconds on a medium/high heat. Flip it over when the underside is browning and the edges begin to curl and there are small holes on the surface. Cook it on the other side for 30 seconds until golden.
8. Heat and grease the pan before repeating the pancake process.
Arguably the most difficult decision of all is deciding what toppings to have. Will you opt for satisfying your sweet tooth with a drizzle of lemon and a sprinkle of sugar or will you break the rules and choose the savoury option of cheese and ham? Maybe you are a health advocate and fancy button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and chopped chives to boost your feel good mood. Then there is the taste of America with the simple but scrumptious combination of blueberry’s and maple syrup. The options are endless but we’d also recommend:
– Milk chocolate chips, banana and peanut butter
– Nutella, strawberries and freshly whipped cream
– Kinder chocolate melted with fresh cream
– Rhubarb compote and vanilla crème fraiche – sure to impress your parents if you’re home this pancake day
– Mango, papaya and passion fruit pancake
– Warmed banana slices, banoffee sauce and vanilla ice cream
– Mushrooms & brie
Finally, if you have decided that flipping your own pancake isn’t for you this Pancake Day then you can always head out to experience some of the finest pancakes near you.
Here are the best places to head for this Pancake day:
Wolverhampton – The Little Desert Shop offers good portion sizes and value for money with pancakes priced from as little as £4.50. If you are happy to venture into Birmingham then pop to Giraffe in Grand Central, they are offering half priced pancakes on Pancake Day. Quinto lounge is also a good shout, offering buttermilk pancakes with a variety of toppings to choose from for £6.25. The street vendor Victoria Creperie (now a member of the ever-growing and popular Digbeth Dining Club) will also not disappoint, a business that has grown to meet demand in recent years.
Huddersfield – Northern Tea House offers American Pancakes with a variety of toppings at great value for money and with 4.5 out of 5 on TripAdvisor it is not a Coffee shop to be overlooked.
Bolton – If you venture into Manchester the Black Dog Ballroom’s Northern Quarter and New Wakefield Street Bars are serving free pancakes this Pancake Day if you buy a drink. The NQ branch is also hosting a pancake eating competition from 7pm, the winner will win a £25 bar tab and games of bowling and pool.
London – If you’re willing to potter around London – Shoreditch’s Box Park will be serving both sweet and savoury pancakes on its green this pancake day and for the two consecutive days after. No one should miss this one out if you’re at DIGS Ravenscourt! There is also the Parliamentary Pancake Race where you can watch MP’s, Lords and alike flipping pancakes for charity. This event is in its 20th year and it is a huge success year in, year out. Visit The Diner’s Strand site in Charing Cross on Tuesday for The Pancake and Shake Challenge, this one looks incredible. If you finish three chocolate chip pancakes and a chocolate milkshake in six minutes with no water, then you will eat for free! AHMAZING! If you don’t succeed, you’ll pay the £13.50. All proceeds go to Charity. A good deed and a fun day out.
Sheffield – Inhabitants of Sheffield love pancakes! Sheffield are pancake world record holders after all. Visit The Cabin in Sheffield for pancake stacks which have recently featured in an article for the best pancakes in the UK. The Cabin is staying open extra hours until 7:30pm on pancake day so all you Sheffielders’ can have your fix! Or try Couch which serves incredible mouth-watering American pancakes.
Enjoy your pancakes everyone (we sure will). How will you be having yours?