Saturday, 18 February 2012

So how do you like yours? - Pancakes!!

So it's Shrove Tuesday soon and this year I'm getting excited. For one thing, we've got a new frying pan, but for another, it is of course the tradition of making and eating pancakes. Traditionally Shrove Tuesday was designated for using up the goodies in the cupboard, so they didn't go off during the fast season of Lent. I'm afraid I'm not giving up anything - my excuse being that I've not much else left to give up. 

New Pan!
I am taking up something this year, though. Well kind of taking it up again really. Having got dairy free omelettes cracked (using water instead of milk) I'm going to make pancakes. Two years ago, having just received news of Baby's problem with milk, we were barely getting to grips with anything and so Pancake Day passed us by. 

Last year Baby was still too young to appreciate the fun and I was trying to get to grips with something else - being unable to tolerate wheat. This year, I'm going for it - but dairy and wheat free, with the help of my new cooking friend (Doves  Gluten  Free Flour) and my choice of milk substitute.  I'm still debating which one though - Baby is alright with soya but I'm still not sure whether she's OK with coconut. I could perhaps use almond, as it's just a little in cooking... Hmm! Some further thought required!

The Batter

My recipe works!
Meanwhile, I've been studying a few recipes but, let's face it, I'm no domestic goddess so I'm not going to be giving Nigella a run for her money. No, but (as far as I can tell anyway) most pancake recipes are pretty much the same: plain flour, one egg, milk (in my case possibly coconut milk) and some melted butter. Aghh - melted butter!! Thankfully, my recipe of choice (a good old favourite from my old book by Marguerite Patten) has come to my rescue - it is full of extra useful hints and tips and says that you can use olive oil instead (phew, panic over). 

The Topping

Now that's the basic Pancake Batter sorted, what about the topping? Well TV chef James Martin was faffing around with Grand Marnier and orange on Saturday Kitchen (slightly disappointed he didn't toss his pancakes - calls himself a chef) but me, I like things simple. Saying that, I do remember having a Pancake Party one year, where we experimented with toppings like Nutella and Marshmallow Fluff among others (please note, all available out of a jar, no skill whatsoever required). However, it's all about satisfying your personal taste really. 

Update: By the way, if you're okay with hazelnuts and 'may contain milk,' you might like to give Anthony Worrall Thompson's gluten free chocolate spread a go (Free From aisle at Sainsbury's). I've tried it, it's really very nice!!

For me, though, no Pancake Day Pancake is complete without the routine I remember from childhood: caster sugar sprinkled over the waiting plate, onto which the pancake is delivered straight from the pan. The pancake is topped with further sprinklings of caster sugar; a generous dollop of Golden Syrup and a healthy dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Maybe this will become Baby's method of choice (when she's older) too or maybe, if she overcomes her intolerance, it'll be the Hub's choice of topping... caster sugar, on its own!!

So back to my original question: how do you like yours? If you're after something more adventurous, I came across this dairy free recipe, yesterday. Although I'll be sticking to my tried and tested favourite this year, this recipe does look scrummy, so maybe next year...

Another update: Meanwhile those of you who can't have egg, may be interested in this recipe, by 'Pig in the Kitchen.'

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