Tuesday, 11 October 2011

American Super-light Pancakes

Some foods can be so simple and easy to make yet taste great. One such food is these superlight American pancakes. I know pancakes are not something so great to blog and brag about, but this one worth a post. There are number of ways to make pancakes and they vary from region to region, and countries to countries. These pancakes appear on our breakfast table most weekends and we just love it.

This is one of the simplest breakfasts you can make; instant and doesn’t require any fermenting or any waiting. These are not thin like French crepes, but soft, wonderfully fluffy, thick and sweet pancakes; literally speaking, cakes made in a pan! Other day, I added two handfuls of fresh handpicked blackberries, crushed into the very same batter and made some blackberry pancakes. They were awesome with all the goodness and sweetness from the berries. This is one recipe where you can rechristen it the way you would fancy, like adding few sliced bananas, raisins or apples into the batter. I also tried adding some orange rinds along with half a teaspoon of vanilla in the batter and it was great with a hint of orangey flavour.
You can serve with you own choice of  berries, honey, maple syrup, clotted cream or toasted bananas. I always almost serve it along with maple syrup and toasted bananas, which are favourites so far. For toasting bananas, once you are done with pancakes, in the same pan add a knob of butter. Slit a banana into two and place it on the hot pan. Let it get cooked on one side for a minute until it gets slightly caramelized, and then flip over and cook on the other side for another minute or two. You really enhance the flavour of banana by cooking it. Try it. If you want to make caramelized bananas, add some sugar to pan. When it caramelize and take an amber colour, add slit bananas and then cook on both sides until covered all over with caramel.

175g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
125g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence or 1 pod of vanilla bean scraped
250 mls milk, whole or semi-skimmed
A pinch of salt
Softened butter or vegetable oil for cooking

1.Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar.
2. In another bowl, break eggs and gently whisk to break them up. Gradually add in milk and mix well. Add vanilla essence and mix again.
3. Make a well in the dry mixture. Gradually add this milk mixture in the flour; drawing the dry ingredients in as you whisk. Eventually you should have a slightly lumpy batter. Don’t  over mix the batter or it will make the pancakes heavy.
4. Heat a heavy non-stick frying pan until you feel a good heat rising. Add a small knob of butter and/or trickle a little oil along with butter, this will avoid burning of butter. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the batter into the pan. (If you want nice neat edges with perfect round shape, stand a 8 ½ cm (3 ¼”) round metal cutter in the pan to contain the batter. The resulting pancakes will resemble crumpets).
5. Cook until bubbles rise to the surface and the batter started getting firm. Loosen from the bottom of the pan and flip over for a few seconds to brown on the other side.
6. Repeat with the remaining batter, stacking the hot pancakes under clean towel until ready to serve.
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