These pancakes can reassure us all that delicious food need not be perfectly shaped! Yes we eat with our eyes but our stomachs will be extremely happy with these light slightly mishapen yummy treats. They can be served with all sorts of things like maple syrup, jam, butter, dulce de leche… or savoury with sausage and bacon. I’ve also had homemade korean burgers with them. They’re not too sweet or delicate – soft, light and fluffy yet firm enough to partner up nicely with toppings. They’re simple to make and you just need eggs, flour, a little sugar, salt, milk and lemon juice plus baking paper, a stapler and a non-stick frying pan with a lid. Following many experiments (life is hard, lol) I discovered an extra egg white makes sure they’re not too eggy, baking paper rings helps them rise better than my metal rings and gluten free flour easily replaces plain flour. Tomorrow is Pancake Day and the students I teach here in Catalunya have all voted in favour of making pancakes together in English class this week. Yay! I’m very excited and also a little nervous. Scroll down for class materials including info on Pancake Day races if you’re interested. This is the recipe we’ll be following and tomorrow you too could make these wonky fluffy Japanese pancakes! Go on… 🙂
A few girls in my classes were fascinated by the yellow squares they’d noticed on pancake images. I finally realised they must be pieces of butter? Lol. So I added one on top here, also imperfectly shaped of course. Yummy! The syrup is Algarve which is almost as nice as maple.
THE RECIPE – makes 11-12 smallish pancakes about 8cm/3in diametre and 2.5cm/1in high
These pancakes are adapted from lots of different ones online. The glutenfree ones come out lovely and light. It’s a flexible recipe. I accidentally whisked the sugar in the yolks instead of the whites and found this made fluffier pancakes. Plus sugarfree whites are easier to whisk.
Play around with quantities if you like and use any size ring. Higher pancakes need longer to cook through. A faster lower option seemed wiser for a class of 9 year olds eager to tuck in. And not a bad idea at home too. It’s a nice straightforward recipe and here are some suggestions:
Tips: try with one pancake first to test your frying pan and heat. If you try to flip the pancake too early it will be a soft messy fail (the pancake never truly recovers). Flipping too late gets them a bit dark and not as pretty but they’ll usually taste fine – unless it’s black and your smoke alarm has gone off. Low or low-medium heat is best to get nice evenly-coloured tanned pancakes.
These were cooked on higher heat but still very yummy.
Once the paper rings are ready the pancake-making process takes less than 1 hour.
With metal rings my pancakes got stuck and collapsed a bit, as did the no-ring ones. I recommend these paper rings that help them keep their shape or rise a little, come off easily and can be reused.
If possible get smaller width baking paper rolls (29cm wide) then cut at 27cm intervals to produce the rectangles. If you don’t have a metal ring you can use a cookie cutter or empty can of tuna. It’s not essential but helps with shaping.
After stapling place back in the metal ring for a final re-shape.
Here are the printable instructions (click on image).
- 150ml/g milk (I used full-fat but it should be possible to replace with other milks)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 3 egg whites from medium-large free-range eggs (115-118g in total)
- 1 and 1/2 yolks (30g in total)
- 29 – 35g/2 and 1/2 to 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract, to taste
- scant 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 150g/1 and 1/5 cups plain all-purpose flour or glutenfree mix – I used Doves Farm self-raising gf
- 1 tsp baking powder (optionally gf)
- 2 – 3 tbsp water for sprinkling
For a 1 or 2 person treat reduce quantities to 1/3 (1 egg white) or 2/3 (2 whites).
Method (printable recipe, click on image)
They all come out a bit differently even within the same batch, with some rising more than others.
Eating and storing
Eat immediately while warm – keep warm on a hot plate, etc. They can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge in airtight tupperware or frozen – first freeze solid separately on a tray lined with baking paper then place together in reusable plastic wallet or bag. Reheat frozen, defrosted or room temperature pancakes in a microwave, mini oven or toaster – optionally in a toastie bag. Serve with toppings. Yum.
The class project and Pancake Day videos
I’m very fortunate to have started working for a small English Academy that encourages hands-on cooking activities with their induction stove top. I really enjoy teaching CLIL – Content and Language Integrated Learning. My students are happy and excited too. We need a little pancake fun during this long Catalan pre-Easter period with no mid-term break.
We’re also watching videos to get a bit of culture in. Did you know there are actual pancake races in the UK where people run with frying pans flipping pancakes?!! Here’s a Spitafield Pancake race youtube video and a Pancake Day intro video which explains how pancakes traditionally helped use up stocks of milk, butter and eggs before fasting began for Lent. Um does this mean after these pancakes I should go on a diet…? Eek.
I love mine simple with maple syrup and butter. Yum!
They’re also yummy with bacon or fruit and greek yoghurt. Let’s look at a tower of wonky fluffy Japanese pancakes again. Please take one or two and add your favourite toppings! What are your favourite toppings?
Bye for now dears! Wishing you a lovely week where we’re all kind to ourselves and remember nothing needs to be perfect! Happy wonky eating and baking! 🙂 Lili x