There are few quintessentially drool inspiring scenes to rival the humble pancake stack. Topped with cream, honey/mapel syrup flowing down the sides like a slow moving volcano of sweetness. It is the kind of breakfast (or dessert) that makes you feel glad you put in the effort to cook it, rather than lying in bed those few extra hours, waiting for the throbbing headache of the night before to subside.
My earliest memories of pancakes (or to be specific pikelets) was Mum cooking up big batches of them on a Saturday morning, using the top of our Kent wood fire back in NZ. It would get so hot that you could literally cook on top of it, so on would go a pan and batch after batch of pikelets would be poured, flipped, and devoured just as fast as Mum could make them.
So these pancakes follow in my great tradition of never eating a proper breakfast except for the weekend. There really just isn’t enough time or patience on my part during the working week to be able to give the meal the love and attention it so richly deserves.
The recipe is a little tarted up from Mum’s original, but stays true enough to the simple home cooking philosophy.
- 300g plain flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 cup fine sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 vanilla bean (I used 1 tsp of vanilla bean extract)
How I made them
Couldn’t be too much simpler really. Basically sift the dry ingredients together and mix well, then add the wet stuff. The eggs add the nice golden colour, and the vanilla bean extract adds a lovely mottled effect in the batter from the little seeds. Stir it all around and get rid of any lumps until you get a nice smooth creamy consistency.
Let the batter sit for a little while so the baking powder can do it’s magic, and then start to pour the batter into a hot buttered pan. The trick to getting nice round shapes is to always pour into the centre point of the pancake, and let the batter settle itself in the pan.
Then away you go… Watch the batter for signs of bubbles starting to appear, and you’ll know when they’re ready to flip. I highly recommend using a good flat spatula and a nonstick pan to save yourself some hassle. Once your pan is hot, it will take literally seconds for the pancakes to start bubbling… most taking a maximum of a minute or so to be completely cooked.
The most important thing about pancakes as far as I’m concerned, is eating them while they’re hot.
If you have to wait to get them onto a plate, then be sure and lather generously with maple/golden syrup/honey, fresh berries, cream, ice cream… anything you can think of really…personally straight out of the pan and into the mouth is ideal, do what I do and take a mouthful of cream and honey beforehand so you’re not wasting valuable seconds while transferring them from spoon to mouth :) (Nb: this is not encouraged behaviour for polite social gatherings).