The modest pancake has been making cinnamon and sugar look good for years, but in more recent times, restaurants have used this versatile wrap to enfold all sorts of delicious things. Pancakes at Kitima, winner of the 2011 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Award for Best Asian Restaurant, are filled with crispy-fried duck breast and homemade duck sauce; Hardford House chef Jackie Cameron has crêpes filled with orange-infused chocolate mousse for a grand celebration; and award-winning Luke Dale-Roberts has an innovative take on the pancake featured at The Test Kitchen, the 2012 and 2013 Restaurant of the Year, that’s served with litchi, mango, passion fruit and lemon grass. There’s definitely something special about these silky golden circles…
Here are our top five reasons to love pancakes.
By nature, pancakes are flat and perfect for stacking, plus they can be folded over or rolled up to hold their filling better. The batter can be made into all sorts of shapes, like animals for kids and hearts for Valentine’s Day, by using a squeeze bottle. You can even learn how to make a pancake landscape with Andrew Stellitano, one of the guest speakers at the inaugral Eat Out Conference in 2012.
Quick and easy, pancakes can be cooked ahead of time and defrosted on the day. Fill them with bananas, berries or citrus fruit and honey to make a healthy(ish) breakfast, or go the full hog and spread them liberally with Nutella and sprinkle in some choc chips, you know, for texture.
Loved by some and hated by others, the savoury pancake can be filled with ingredients like smoked salmon and cream cheese, creamed spinach, creamy chicken and mushrooms – we quite enjoy the cream theme – and even bacon and scrambled eggs. What’s not to like about a vehicle for all your favourite foods? Throw in an impressive filling and no one will judge you for having pancakes for dinner.
These flat cakes are ideal for building easy, no-fuss desserts. The internet is an imaginative place: check out these red velvet pancakes made with cocoa, cream cheese and berries; apple pie pancakes; blueberry yoghurt pancakes; and triple chocolate pancakes.
All you need to make a batch of pancakes is cake flour, baking powder, eggs and milk, and a splash of oil for frying – all ingredients bound to be on your almost-bare shelves at the end of the month. Pancakes can be matched with anything, really. Use your imagination and you might find that the lone banana in your fruit bowl and dusty tin of caramel could be just the thing. If not, you can find some inspiration on this blog dedicated to pancakes.
By Kelly Pluke
Also find inspiration in our great chocolate guide and 10 cake recipes to restore your faith in humankind.