Sunday, 14 February 2010

Shrove Tuesday

Everyone knows how to make normal pancakes - or crepes, as I guess they are technically known. It's about 200g flour, an egg and enough milk to make it into a batter. Heat pan, pour in, flip, flip, onto a plate, lemon, sugar. Fine lovely and wonderful.

But I think Shrove Tuesday, which is this coming Tuesday 16th February, is THE time to branch out and make naughty pancakes, or American pancakes. I know I'm doing a lot of American stuff here, but I do have a real thing for their kind of food.

Anyway, this recipe can be found on p.93 of Nigella Lawson's excellent Nigella Express. I halve the quantities, but her recipe in full goes like this:

600g flour
3 x 15ml tablespoons baking powder
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
4og sugar (I tend to leave this out)
1 egg
250ml milk

Shake or stir the dry ingredients together. You can leave this mixture in a jar until you're ready to use it.

For each 150g of flour mixture, crack an egg into it and half mix it with the flour, then add the milk (or if you want to be really authentic, buttermilk) and whisk to combine to a thick batter. Then cook in blobs, as large or small as you'd like and serve with butter and maple syrup and, if you're really not worried about your heart, crispy bacon.

From these you get those fluffy, light, yet creamy pancakes that always hit me right in the temporal lobes. I usually have to be restrained from leaping to my feet, still chewing and, saluting an invisble flag with my fork, launching into Amazing Grace.

NB. Thanks and huge apologies to Isola Bay (see below) who pointed out that my first posting on this was very misleading. And when I say misleading, I mean completely and utterly wrong. I guess it just goes to show that you can only be SO creative and slapdash when it comes to cooking and get away with it.


  1. Hmmm, so turns out that the egg and 250ml milk should be added to only 150g of the dry mix, not all of it. I *was* wondering why I ended up with dough and not batter. Just thought I’d let you know, in case you get other readers who like me are too inpatient to check the source recipe by Nigella before starting out. Though why she had to complicate it like that I don’t know.
    Shall try it again tomorrow morning – I *will* have American pancakes, dammit!

  2. Massive apologies, Isola. I've corrected the post above. Thanks so much for pointing it out xxx

  3. Nae worries – as I said, think good old Nigella make things just a tad needlessly confusing. Anyway, I successfully made a batch for breakfast this morning, and you’re right, they’re damned good. Almost as good, in fact, as the best pancakes I’ve ever had in the States (at the House of Blues, Mandalay Bay, Vegas, should you ever be in the vicinity).

    Keep up the very good work with the blog. I love it, and it gives me something to do while waddling around waiting for my first baby to arrive.

    PS. I gather from your fiancĂ©’s Twitter updates that you’re in the throes of preparing that ad hoc fried chicken for your dinner party tonight – best of luck with that!!

  4. Oooh! Congratulations on the baby. Although you're probably so bored with people saying that. Thanks for being so understanding about the pancakes & I'm SO pleased they worked out okay. Yup, I am literally covered head to foot in flour and buttermilk (not in a good way) and frying off all 40 or something bits of chicken. Photos soon! xxx