When goodtoknow.co.uk got in touch with me, asking whether I'd be interested in joining in with a bit of fun on their website with "Pimp my pancake" - I couldn't say no.
Every year since I started this blog, we've - somehow - managed to miss pancake day and this seemed to be a very good way of including it, without having to present photographs of yummy, but relatively dull pancakes.
I'll admit, before this I hadn't heard of goodtoknow.co.uk, which is apparently one of the biggest women's sites in the U.K. Well, you learn something new every day.
I've joined in with this really just for the fun of it, but they will be placing the best pancakes on their website, with some prizes up for grabs - so you never know! If you're interested in having a go at pimping a pancake, get yourself along to this link and you can read all about it.
Anyway, immediately the ole grey matter started to work along the lines of "unusual fillings for pancakes" and although we could think of quite a few, plus all sorts of souffle style pancakes, none of them had enough of the surprise about them, to qualify as having been "pimped".
I needed to stop thinking of a "normal" pancake - and start thinking outside of the box (or the frying pan, perhaps). Now if you think of a car that has been "pimped" (hate that expression, but it is "of the day" so I'll go with it), it - obviously - is still a car, but it is bigger and flashier and louder and shinier and well, just everything in it, on it or around it is just more than you'd have expected.
So, translate that to a pancake. You see my difficulty.
I decided to consult the interwebs for inspiration, and searched google's images for pancakes. It threw up the normal lemon & sugar and maple syrup pancakes - but then (having been through quite a few pages of photographs), there was an image of a red filigree pancake made in the shape of a heart. How did they do that?
Well, it turned out that the shape was piped into the pan using an icing set and the "pancake" was cooked slowly to set the pancake mix without it flowing everywhere. Well now, that gave me something to think about!
I really liked this idea, but I didn't want to make my pancake in the shape of a heart as that was too Valentine's day and not enough Pancake day. Now bearing in mind that pancake day is very often right at the point where the harshest days of winter have passed by and the balmier days of spring are making themselves felt - with accompanying spring flowers, I thought a flower motif might be nice.
I settled on the daisy because it was simple to create and gave a bit of room for creativity in the colouration of the petals, etc.
The pancake recipe I used is as follows and makes a rather puffier version than the traditional crepe-style pancake :
70g plain flour
65g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
half a tsp of salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
120ml full cream milk
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp rapeseed oil.
1. Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine.
2. Place all the wet ingredients in another bowl and stir to combine.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a balloon whisk until no lumps remain.
4. Lightly oil a non-stick frying pan, placed over a moderate heat. Ladle in however much you require of the batter, to make whichever size of pancake you prefer.
5. Cook, without interference, until you see small bubbles appearing through the batter mix, then gently an with a palette knife or fish slice, turn the pancake onto the other side to cook for 2 minutes or so. Both sides should be golden brown.
Serve with whatever toppings you prefer.
The first go at piping out the flower shape into the pan was a total disaster - as often happens. You need to have a couple of goes at it, to get the flow from the bottle right and the speed at which you need to "draw" with it, right. The first one fell to pieces as I tried to slide it from the pan - so the garden birdies got that. They liked it, too!
Having got the measure of the bottles and realised that I need to s-l-o-w down with it, I then completely overcooked the next one - and the birdies got that too.
I liked the fact that the heart-shaped pancake was coloured red and had intended to make mine red, too. However, I completely failed to realise that if you put half a bottle of red food colouring into your pancake mix, it will a) change the consistency and b) make it inedible. So instead of piping out a lovely red flower, I got on with cleaning out the bottles and making up another pancake mix. *sigh*
|Edible glitter - how much fun is that?|
After a teensy bit of moulding the flower to the shape of the plate so as to prevent the raspberry coulis from flowing underneath the petals' edges, I got on with piping in the coulis and smoothing it evenly to make pink flower petals.
A liberal sprinkling of gold glitter in the middle, some raspberries for decoration around the petals and a sprig of fresh mint to represent the flower's stalk - and my pancake was pimped.
Well, it kept the two of us busy on a wet Thursday afternoon!
Edit : Just to confirm that we won the "Best Blogger" category with the Daisy pancake!