Our top tips for making flippin' fabulous pancakes:With Shrove Tuesday on the 25th of February this year, it's time to boost your skills with our top tips for making great pancakes!
1. If you have time, make your batter in advance, cover and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours before cooking. If it thickens too much, just add a splash of milk to loosen it to the consistency of single cream.
2. Dreaming of fluffy pancakes? Don’t overmix your batter. The more you mix, the more the gluten develops and the chewier your pancakes will become. Simply combine the wet and dry ingredients until the flour is no longer visible, then stop. A few small lumps in the batter is normal!
3. Replace your wooden spoon with a whisk to help incorporate air into your batter. Bubbles are good and will result in a lighter mixture.
4. A ladle can be a godsend when it comes to portioning out your pancakes. Pour a small amount of batter into the pan, then swirl it around to coat the base. Once it starts to look dry and bubbly on top, check the underside carefully using a small spatula or palette knife. If it’s golden brown, you’re good to flip it over!
5. Fancy a flavour boost? Use a small amount of butter for frying, instead of oil. Swirl it around the pan before adding your batter. It should be very hot but not smoking! You can also add a dash of oil or butter to your mixture to prevent it from sticking.
6. Don’t be afraid to make a mini pancake to test the temperature of the pan before cracking on with the rest of your pancakes. It’s normal for the first pancakes to be a little rugged!
7. Cooking over a medium heat is best. Too high and you run the risk of burning the outside of the pancake while the inside is still raw.
8. Invest in a good quality non-stick pan – it will make a world of difference, just make sure it is nice and hot before pouring in your batter.
9. Pancakes are the perfect canvas so get creative with your toppings! Yes, we know maple syrup is delicious, but it’s nice to be a little adventurous. Savoury or sweet, don’t be scared of trying new flavours.
10. Bring your ingredients to room temperature before preparing your batter.
11. Forgotten to buy eggs? Mashed banana can be a brilliant substitute in some recipes – use 1 banana to replace 1 egg.
12. Avoid pressing the pancake down with a spatula. It won’t make it cook any faster, you’ll just push out the air and make them stodgy.
13. Cooking for a crowd? Keep your pancakes warm in between batches by popping them in a low oven. Put a small piece of greaseproof paper between them to stop them sticking!