Pancakes are easy to make and can be whipped up in a couple of minutes. The ingredients used in making the pancake is also really little and can be found easily in your nearby grocery store. Nowadays, there are more restaurants selling all day breakfast and pancakes would usually be present on the menu. Pancakes also look and taste really good when they are stacked up and covered with fresh berries, chocolate sauce, jams or savory sauces. Want to have a pancake party at home? Read on and find out how you can make successful pancakes that not only looks fantastic but taste delicious too!
Making the batter
A basic pancake batter consists of flour, eggs, salt and milk. Depending on different recipes, the quantity of flour and milk may differ. Some recipes call for part milk and part water while some call for all milk. Having half milk and half water makes the pancakes lighter. Milk however is needed to produce a smooth batter and allowing the pancake to brown evenly. Sometimes, instead of water, beer or chicken stock may be used to give the pancake a savory flavor.
For a richer batter, an additional egg can be added to the original recipe but reduce the amount of milk by 2 tablespoons.
The secret of making successful pancakes is to not overbeat the batter as too much whisking causes the gluten in the flour to develop causing the pancake to become chewy and tough. However, this does not apply to yeast pancakes which require more whisking to form gluten. A successfully whisked pancake batter should achieve a pouring consistency. If you want your pancake to be light, let it rest for a while; otherwise, this step is not needed. Freshly prepared pancake batter tends to be bubbly so you can pour the batter into a jug, cover and set it aside for 30 minutes. This allows the starch in the flour to swell. If the pancake batter is left out for too long, the batter may separate. You can stir the batter and add additional water to thin out the batter. Remember not to let the batter stand for more than 12 hours as fermentation would occur.
For sweet dessert pancakes
- Include vanilla sugar or caster sugar into the batter
- Plain chocolate can be melted into the milk to make chocolate pancakes
- A spoonful of brandy or liquor can be added into the batter for more flavor.
- Add lemon or orange juice and zest to give the pancake a citrus flavor
- Add cinnamon, mixed spice or almond essence
It is best to use a light vegetable oil or melted butter when cooking pancakes so that the batter does not stick to the pan. For dessert pancakes, use unsalted butter.
Whenever we make pancakes, we usually need to cook them individually and most of the time this causes those pancakes that was cooked earlier to turn cold. You can prevent this by placing a bowl of hot water under the pancake plate or place the ready pancakes in an oven set on low temperature. Pancakes can be made before hand and stored for up to 3 months. Just remember to place baking paper in between the pancakes to prevent them from sticking together.
Serving the pancakes
- Basic roll: place the filling in the middle of the pancake and roll it up starting from one side of the pancake.
- The cigarette: lying the pancake flat, spread the fillings to cover the entire pancake and roll it up into a long, thin cylinder
- The parcel: place the fillings in the middle of the pancake and fold the sides over one another covering the ingredients. Fold the top and bottom edges to form a neat parcel. Turn the pancake parcel upwards to serve.
- The baton: place the fillings in the middle of the pancake and fold in the side edges to the middle. Roll the pancake up from the bottom to the top to form a neat roll.
- The triangle: fold the pancake in half and then another half. In one of the pockets, stuff the pancake with the fillings
- The stack: lay the pancake on a plate and spread a layer of fillings on the pancake before stacking the next piece on top. Repeat this until the last pancake is used.
Pancakes are versatile and can be eaten practically anytime of the day. Pancakes can be made in sweet desserts or savory dishes depending on what ingredients are added to them. Do get creative when making pancakes and you will get something delicious 😉