PANCAKE recipes for Pancake Day in Newcastle 2013 – the continuation of a tradition going back centuries.
Everyone, aside from those who buy powdered pancake mix from the supermarket, knows the origins of the story; of grim-faced monks in cold, stone monasteries combining their remaining dairy and eggs before the solemn task of the Lent fast began.
Hence the simple recipe from simple times. A marriage of convenience between 200ml of milk, 100g of flour and two eggs. A tasty but functional feast for the Middle Ages.
But this isn’t the Middle Ages. This is the 21st Century and our pancakes play by their own rules. And we’re not talking about fancy-dan fillings – we mean the pancakes themselves.
It’s time to make pancakes awesome.
1) Beer pancakes
Beer, aside from being amazing anyway, has brought fish batter right up to date in recent years and it’s time the same thing happened to pancakes.
It’s ridiculously simple really – substitute beer for the milk. The colour will be different as well as being slightly opaque, and as long as you haven’t whisked the life out of it, the beer’s natural carbonation will lift the consistency of your ‘cakes.
And none of that cheap lager rubbish – try a rich local ale like Cullercoats Brewery’s Jack the Devil, a lighter fruit explosion like Tyne Bank’s Silver Dollar or, if you’re feeling adventurous, Hardknott Brewery’s treacle-thick Vitesse Noir imperial stout from Cumbria. Find it at Coppers 8til8 store in Brunton Park or Rehills in Jesmond.
A similar idea for children’s pancakes is using apple juice instead of the milk for a twist.
2) Rainbow pancakes
Why just brown? A little dash of food colouring will turn Pancake Day into a spectral riot.
Little pots of food colouring are cheap, so grab loads of them – orange, yellow, red, blue, green – as well as combining the primary colours, then stack the pancakes into a rainbow.
You could also try flavouring the different pancakes with an essence that corresponds to the colour. Try rose water for the red ones, orange essence for orange, lime juice for the green, vanilla for the yellow and, in true ice pop tradition, raspberry can stand in for blue. It’s extra effort but the visual effect will be well worth it if you’ve got guests.
3) Pancakes with whisky cream
Admittedly, it’s not the pancakes themselves that are awesome for this one, but these adjuncts can save your Shrove Tuesday, turning even the most boring beige stack into a mouth-party.
Combine 200mls of whipping cream with a tablespoon of icing sugar and a tablespoon of whisky, and whisk the hell out of it. Sensational when added to warm pancakes, especially if combined with chopped nuts and honey. Have a bit of that.