Light, fluffy and chocolatey or thin and drizzled with lemon and sugar, pancakes are delicious and surprisingly easy to make at home. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the sweet or savoury camp – all pancakes are the same underneath the toppings. Here are some of our tips for making pancakes that are flippin’ tasty!
The perfect pancake begins with the perfect batter. If you make pancakes often, you’ll find your perfect combination of ingredients but for the newbie, the usual mixture follows the standard Yorkshire pudding recipe of flour, eggs and milk. The following will make 8-10 pancakes.
125g plain flour, sifted
1 pinch sea salt
Put the sifted flour and salt in a bowl, add the eggs and milk and whisk until you get a smooth batter. It should be the consistency of single cream. Be careful not to over-whisk the batter as this can make your pancakes a bit chewy! Cover the batter with a damp tea towel and leave to one side for 15 minutes.
There are some twists to this classic recipe that will take your pancakes to the next level. Try replacing milk with buttermilk and adding a touch of vanilla extract for a nice depth of flavour. If you want fluffier American-style pancakes, use self-raising flour and for a nuttier flavour, try wholemeal flour.
For perfect pancakes, you need a solid frying pan with a non-stick surface. Think about the size of the pan – smaller pancakes are much easier for the family to flip successfully! Put the pan on a medium heat, being careful not to overheat the pan. It’s best to cook with oil rather than butter, as butter will burn. Your usual vegetable cooking oil is fine, and coconut oil works particularly well if you plan on having bananas or tropical fruit in your toppings.
Using a ladle, add enough batter to just cover the pan base. Tilt the pan so the batter is evenly distributed and leave on the heat for a couple of minutes. When you see the edges just begin to crinkle and lift off the pan, your pancake is ready to turn. Shake the pan to make sure no part of the pancake is stuck, and flip! It should have a lovely golden colour on both sides. You can always flip again if it looks a bit pale.
Eat immediately with the topping of your choice, or stack on a warm plate to have all together. Use kitchen towel to lightly grease the pan between pancakes.
You can’t go wrong with sweet toppings for your pancakes. The classic pancake topping is freshly squeezed lemon sprinkled over with sugar. Roll it up and enjoy the sweet tangy combination. For the more adventurous, try bananas with peanut butter and chocolate – a match made in heaven! And for a sweeter tooth, try summer berries with honey and maple syrup. But anything goes really!
Cooked meat and melted cheese work wonders with the delicate batter of a pancake. For a breakfast pancake, try bacon and eggs with a dash of maple syrup. Smoked salmon and creme fraiche are a light and elegant combination, while ham and leeks pair perfectly with double cream and melted cheddar. For something light, try brie and grapes with a hint of honey or a medley of ham, mushrooms and cheese.