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Rory's flippin' brilliant pancake recipe

By Sarah Groves, also posted in News on

Head Chef Rory WhelanRory Whelan, Executive Chef at Adnams Hotels, shares his top tips on how to make the perfect pancake. "It is coming up to that time of year again when we have to get our frying pans out for pancakes! For some, making pancakes can be a bit of a disaster. However, follow my simple tips and cook up this recipe and you will have fun making them.

You will need:

220 gm plain flour 4 free range eggs 550 gm semi-skimmed milk Pinch of salt 25 gm unsalted butter 5 gm lemon juice

Rory's tips on how to make pancakes:

Measure your ingredients correctly, I even weigh liquids on a scale instead of using a measuring jug, measurements are more accurate and consistent. Always sift your dry ingredients, it not only reduces lumps, but helps incorporate more air into the mix helping to keep the pancake light. Whisk the eggs into the dry ingredients using a large whisk (a larger whisk will again help get more air into the mix). Gradually add the milk a bit a time to get a smoother mix. Do not over mix, the more you mix, the more you work the gluten in the flour which in turn will turn your mix heavy and a bit gloopy. In a hot pan melt the butter until it starts to brown, add the lemon juice, cool slightly and quickly mix into your batter. This will add a slight acidity and nutty flavour to the pancake giving a bit more depth of flavour. Let your mix “rest” at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before frying to allow the gluten in the flour to “relax”. Cooking your first couple of pancakes is always trial and error, finding that right temperature for your pan and pouring the correct amount of mix in to get the right thickness. As a general rule, when your pan is hot, put 1 drop of water into it; if it “dances” across the pan it is ready for cooking. I find using a food grease-spray or clarified butter on a non-stick pan, you get the best results. Pancakes can soak up a lot of fat/oil so I try to keep it to a minimum. In the hot pan, ladle enough mix into the centre of the pan taking note how much mix you put in the ladle. Tilt the pan gently in a circular motion to evenly spread the batter mix. Now wait and watch! Don’t be tempted to lift an edge to see what is happening underneath. Wait until the edges start to brown and crisp up slightly, the centre by then should start to bubble up. When this happens its time to flip it over with a quick forward motion of the hand and wrist, keep the rest of your arm still. Good luck! Again, return to the heat and watch for the bubbling in the centre of the pancake. After a couple of goes and adjusting the amount of mix into the pan you should get into the swing of it. Pancakes are best eaten straight after cooking, but if you want to pre-prepare some for dinner, a tip is not to stack them as the steam from warm pancakes will turn them wet and heavy. To re-heat flash it back in a pan or hot oven. Most people like to eat their pancakes with lemon, sugar or maple syrup. Why not try a savoury dish? Here at The Swan Hotel we roll the pancakes (similar to a cannelloni) with mushroom and blue cheese filling and bread-crumb and shallow fry it as a vegetarian dish. It's served up with spring cabbage, beets and walnuts. Give it a go or come and try it here at The Swan."      


Sarah Groves