Friday, 8 February 2013

Orgran. Perfect Pancakes?

The other week The Hub went shopping at Planet Organic, during his lunch break. I quite like it when he does that - he always comes back with free from goodies. To my surprise, on this occasion, one of his purchases was this box of pancake mix:

Not sure that my final product exactly matches theirs...
It appears, Orgran's mix is the ultimate in free from food mixes - at first glance, it seems to be free of almost everything you could possibly think of: dairy, wheat, gluten, soya, eggs (as long as you use an egg replacer - they suggest theirs) and nuts. In fact you almost begin to wonder what could possibly be in it - it turns out its buckwheat. Never having knowingly cooked with that before, I was quite intrigued. There are other packet mixes, on the market  - by Mrs Crimble and Hale and Hearty however, Orgran's is, I believe, the only one that is nut free too.

I probably wouldn't have bought the Orgran mix, myself - I haven't had a great deal of success with Orgran packet mixes and pancakes are pretty easy to make anyway - especially now that I have a pancake pan with the recipe written all over it. Besides which, by the time you've added the extra ingredients (in this case water, dairy free milk and 3 eggs, or egg replacer, if you need to be egg free) you've provided half the ingredients yourself, anyway!

What pancake recipe could be simpler?
The advantage of packet mixes, though, is that you don't need to blend different gluten free flours together and work out which work best. I don't know about you, but I'm not confident enough to do that and don't have enough room in my kitchen cupboards for them all, anyway.

Packet open, it was a pleasant surprise to discover there's a generous amount of mix inside (unlike some packet mixes I could mention). It certainly went a long way, between the three of us! It also looked a bit wholemeal-like.

I have to say, with no messy weighing out of this or that, the mix was made in no time at all, and was soon sizzling in the pan. Made strictly according to the instructions on the packet, with Kara/Koko coconut milk, to my mind it seemed to create a very thick, more American style, pancake than the French crepe-style pancake that I'm more used to.

First effort!
This mixture, however, seemed perfect for shape making. Following an idea from another blog that I came across this week (Madison Makes), we tried making more interesting looking pancakes. Madison uses a squeezy bottle to make hers, but we used a large, metal, bear-shaped cookie cutter, instead.

Bear-shaped pancake, anyone?
It worked out quite well, for a first go:

The extra blob is a ball (Baby's idea) in case you're wondering!
But Baby soon lost interest in bear-shaped pancakes - she was far more interested in coating her pancakes with chocolate sauce and Lyle's Butterscotch Syrup!! I added bananas, as well, though - to try and balance out the food groups! It seemed to work for Baby - she ate her first proper helping of banana in a long while! Baby doesn't like what she calls the 'pipsies'  in the banana. Disguised with syrup and chocolate sauce (tell you about the chocolate sauce another time), she didn't notice the difference!!

Back to the syrup, though... we love this syrup, even more than chocolate sauce (and that's saying something)!! It just so happens to be suitable for Vegans (dairy and egg free) as well as gluten free (yes, really)!

Banana, chocolate sauce and butterscotch syrup. Lovely!!
Meanwhile, my mission was to thin the pancake mixture down a bit - I just added a little more coconut milk, until it reached a consistency with which I was happy.

See, that's more like it!
So what was the pancake itself like? Well, by itself, it was savoury and a little dry, perhaps. Maybe the pancake was a little brittle, once it was cooked, BUT cover it with your favourite toppings, and I think you'll find it makes a perfectly acceptable pancake!!

Smiles all round!
Can't think helping that I could have added some Bessant and Drury ice cream to those pancakes - then I could have called them 'Banana Splits'. Oh well, there's always another time :)

Great minds think alike, or so they say. I had just finished trialling Orgran's Buckwheat Pancake Mix, when I discovered another blogger already had it covered. BUT having already done the hoof work, as it were (no horse meat included - unlike Findus) I decided to go ahead with it - after all I wanted to come at it from another angle anyway.  The other blog is Vegan - Veganoo, if you're interested.

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So how do you like yours? Pancakes!
A pud would be good!

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