Tag Archives: pancake day

Make: Blinis

blinis

With only one to go until pancake day I was chastising my food and lifestyle blogging self for not having marked the occasion. Forget christmas, pancake day is the big one, and having injudiciously missed the boat on national Nutella day last week I was anxious to meet this brief, yet completely without inspiration. That is until I visited leicester wholefoods co-op at the weekend.

If you are Leicester based and have not visited this delightful treasure trove of wholesome delights drop everything and go, go now! It’s an inspiring place. I was accompanying C who was picking up ingredients for work and I had promised myself I would just window shop, but it wasn’t to be. £20.00 later I was armed with Buckwheat flour, coconut palm sugar, agar, dried shitake mushrooms, Liquorice yogi tea and I even threw in some physilium husk (A key ingredient in the life changing loaf of bread) for good measure.

So, lets talk about buckwheat for a minute, the name is misleading as it’s not a grain, rather a pseudocerial or seed more closely related to sorrel and rhubarb than wheat, It’s high in nutrients and a great source of protein. Buckwheat is often to be found lining the shelves of the supermarkets in groat format though it’s not often I see buckwheat flour and I don’t recall ever having baked or cooked with it so I seized the opportunity, buckwheat was exactly what I needed for my pancake recipe of choice this year.

Now onto Blinis, This humble yeasted pancake hails from Russia, traditionally made with buckwheat flour and served to mark the beginning of lent. These delicate, cloud like morsels offer a sophisticated bite sized pancake that can hold up a multitude of toppings. The addition of yeast does keen you need to be a little patient, but the end results are well worth it!

blini making

Buckwheat blinis- you will need:

  • 125ml milk
  • 40g plain flour
  • 30g buckwheat flour
  • 2.5g fast action dried yeast
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 egg whites

This recipe makes 35-40 canapé size blini, I made mine a little larger, around 5cm diameter with  yield of 20

  1. Gently warm the milk to blood temp and mix in the yeast and 15g of the plain flour. Cover and set aside in a warm place for two hours*
  2. Mix in the remaining flours, the yolks and salt. Cover and leave for a further 1/2 hour.
  3. Whip the whites to stiff peaks and fold into the mix.
  4. lightly oil a frying pan and on a medium high heat fry the blinis in batches and watch as the batter bubbles up delightfully. Flip the pancakes halfway through so they are an even golden colour on both sides.

*If you have a dehydrator you can cut the time down by setting the dehydrator to 30°C and warming the milk mix through for just one hour, rather than two.

blinis 1

Now time to get creative, lets talk about toppings…..

I’ve gone down the savoury route here, blinis have a great affinity with smoked fish so I couldn’t deny them a little smoked salmon and cream cheese. I also opted for semi dried tomatoes, avocado and Sirancha, and red pepper pesto, cherry tomato and and olive.

Sweet works a treat here too, I suggest any of your favourite pancake toppings, e.g. honey and blueberry, maple and banana or Nutella and orange, anything goes!

Happy pancake day to all!

creative toppings

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Do: Pancake Cannelloni

Probably the most memorable pancake day I have ever had was as a student, when my housemate P and I prepared a three course pancake based feast. Goats cheese and pancetta pancakes to start followed by pancake cannelloni, then pancakes with vanilla ice-cream and mars bar sauce to finish. Wow. I caught up with P just last week and we were fondly reminiscing on this now fabled ‘death by pancake’ feast, and although our tastes have changed since our student days, we both agreed that this recipe might be acceptable now as sensible adults…..

The following recipe makes 5-6 pancakes, we used Bolognese sauce to fill our cannelloni but vegetable chilli or beans would work just as well, it’s a really good dish for using up leftovers, and of course perfect for pancake day!

ingredients

making the pancake batter

frying the pancakes

filling the pancake cannelloni

pancake cannelloni ready to serve

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Make: scotch pancakes

For these you will need:

  • one egg seporated into two large bowls
  • 50g butter, gently melted in a saucepan
  • 125g flour
  • 300ml milk
add to your egg yolk the milk and melted butter and sift in your flour, whisking as you go. You want a smooth batter with no flour lumps. When these four ingredients are well combined you should have quite a thick, dense batter. Next step is to lighten the mix by whisking your egg white to soft peaks, then folding your whites into the flour and egg yolk batter.
You want a nice hot frying pan coated with just  a little oil to cook these. Pour half  a ladle full of the mixture into your frying pan, the mix doesn’t spread like a normal pancake and smaller pancakes work best so smooth it out with the back of your ladle until it is the size you would like. Your pancake is ready to flip when the underside is easily lifted away from the pan, cook to a good golden brown colour on each side, then start your next batch!
Pile them high….
I like to serve mine with caramel sauce and toasted hazelnuts,
lemon and sugar work rather well too.

Happy Pancake day!

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