This Pancake Day (28 February 2017) don’t be a flop, ditch the packet mix and impress your friends and family with delicious homemade pancakes. Homemade pancakes take minutes to make and are tastier and better for you, so please see below top tips on hosting a flipping perfect Pancake Day from Head Chef Gary Durrant at 5* boutique hotel The Arch London.
• Pick a pancake style
Almost every country and culture has its own version of pancakes, from a Malaysian ‘Lempeng’ made with banana and coconut, to a French crepe, fat Canadian pancake stack, or classic British pancakes served with sugar and lemon. The mixture for pancakes differs depending on the country’s readily available ingredients, such as corn in Venezuela, cabbage in Japan and rice in Nepal. All types of pancakes are relatively easy to make, so why not consider trying some different kinds to spice up your pancake day.
• Fat matters
If making traditional English pancakes, make sure to use plenty of fat to get the batter nice and crispy. If you use oil, then I recommend vegetable oil, and if you use butter, then clarified butter works best.
Pancakes should usually only take about 2-3 minutes to cook, but its best to ignore the clock and check for bubbles on the top of the pancake which means its ready to flip over. Make sure not to cook it for much longer than 2-3 minutes though, as the batter could dry out.
Pancakes are delicious both sweet and savoury, depending on your taste. They go very well with fresh fruit, chocolate and maple syrup, but equally well with ham, cheese and bacon for example. Try using different cheeses such as brie, ricotta, or blue cheese which taste amazing when melted inside a crispy pancake.
• Hitting the pan
Don’t just dollop the mixture in with any old kitchen utensil. It’s helpful if you spoon the batter into the pan using a large ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with a nice thin layer of batter.
Here is a simple pancake recipe for making around 10 pancakes:
75g – Plain flour
120ml – Full fat milk
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of salt
Put the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl and make a dip in the centre using a spoon. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and egg together, and then whisk this gradually into the flour mixture. The batter should resemble the consistency of single cream. Some people swear by leaving the mixture to rest for an hour, but I think its fine to use straight away. A heavy non-stick frying pan about 16cm across is best – over a steady medium to high heat.
If you would rather someone else serve you homemade pancakes, The Arch London will be offering complimentary pancakes with breakfast, lunch and dinner menus all day on Shrove Tuesday. For pancake fans, Canadian pancakes are served all the year round on The Arch London’s breakfast.The Arch London, 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FD. For reservations, please call: 020 7724 4700 or www.thearchlondon.com