Perfect pancakes are a very personal thing. It could be traditional English-style, or maybe the thicker American-style. Then there is the matter of toppings… where do you start? Sweet or savoury? Honey or syrup? Berries or banana? The list is endless!
Whatever the topping, one thing’s for sure – if you haven’t got the base right, it will never taste good! That’s why we’ve spoken to two of Newmarket’s top chefs to get some tips for their perfect pancakes…
Executive Chef at the Bedford Lodge Hotel
200g plain flour
4 large eggs
2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a little extra for frying
Lemon juice, to serve (optional)
Caster sugar, to serve (optional)
Put the flour, eggs, milk and a pinch of salt into a bowl or large jug, then whisk to a smooth batter. Set aside for 30 mins to rest.
Set a medium frying pan or crêpe pan over a medium heat and carefully wipe it with some oiled kitchen paper. When hot, cook your pancakes for 1 min on each side until golden, keeping them warm in a low oven as you go.
Serve with lemon juice and sugar, or your favourite filling. Once cold, you can layer the pancakes between baking parchment, then wrap in cling film and freeze for up to 2 months.
Tips & Treats
Try and use a pan with a heavy base, this will give you more even heat distribution and more even cook.
Use a thin flexible palette knife to turn the pancakes half way through cooking
Keep the heat fairly high to get a nice colour and markings, they taste better.
Have fun as a family and have a tossing competition!
My personal favourite perfect pancakes include Maple syrup and Lemon juice together. Another nice combination is chocolate spread with sliced banana, rolled together.
Head Chef at the Heath Court Hotel
135g plain flour
1 TSP baking powder
1/2 TSP salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp melted butter
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl, lightly whisk in the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.
Beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will soon disappear with a little mixing. Let the batter stand for a few minutes.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it’s melted, add a ladle of batter. It will seem very thick but this is how it should be. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1cm (½in) thick.
My favourite topping is Cornish Clotted Cream and Strawberries, but savoury and sweet as a combination work equally well.
We hope that’s set you on your way to producing your very own perfect pancakes. If you’d like to sample some of Ray and Sean’s culinary delights, book your table at the Heath Court Hotel or Bedford Lodge Hotel’s Squires Restaurant today.
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