10 years ago, at age 19 I set off to university and somehow I managed to make it through the first few weeks of term without starving myself. I think it had a lot to do with ready made cheese sandwiches and coca-cola. But after a few weeks I was, understandably, feeling a little worse for wear and I called my mum to tell her that I wanted to make egg and soldiers, but I didn’t know how to boil an egg. BOIL AN EGG. I don’t know if she was ashamed or terrified, but she told me how and off I went to eat egg and soldiers for the next few months. Now this might seem like it has nothing to do with pancakes, but it does… I think.
I was originally a little embarrassed about this story, I mean it is literally placing an egg in water for X amount of time. But, I remember just how much this meant to me, that feeling of nervousness when I placed the egg in the water and pure joy when it was firm with a gooey yolk. I finally felt like a grown up, and that was really the beginning of my love affair with cooking.
Note: In my defence this was pre-google search option of ‘how to boil an egg’. And I'm sure that someone reading this has done that ;)
So, what does this have to do with pancakes? Well, if you can’t boil an egg at 19 years old then you sure as hell can’t make pancakes. To me, pancakes were a world of sophistication away. People who made pancakes at the weekend, were people who woke up before 9am and had stocked cupboards of different flours and sugars, and real butter in their fridge. And, for sure fresh flowers somewhere in their home. Basically, not me.
So, I set about making the worlds easiest, most basic pancake batter and instead of making toppings from scratch I bought them. And there is no shame in that! So, here is the worlds most basic pancake batter mix with pre-bought toppings for everyone who feels like they have no idea where to start in the kitchen. If you make this on the weekend, you’ll feel like a superstar and no one will be any the wiser that you aren’t in fact Gordon Ramsay in a dress.
If you want to be extra fancy, you can make the toppings and I’ll link to some great recipes for those. And, if you make these, then I would love to hear how they turned out!
Simple Sunday Gingerbread Pancakes with Fruit Compote + Cinnamon Butter
Serves 4 (or 2 hungry people with a little left over)
120g all-purpose or plain flour
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp gingerbread sugar (bought from here)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
240ml full fat milk (organic if possible)
1 large free-range egg, whisked in a separate bowl until pale in colour (this helps to keep them fluffy and rise, without over whisking the mixture)
1 tbsp melted unsalted butter (plus extra butter to cook with)
- I’ve been making this batter for years, but I did stumble across this recipe recently, which is almost the same. I suppose there are only so many ways to make a basic pancake recipe, but for full disclosure I wanted to link to it (and the tip about warming an oven tray is exactly what mine was missing!)
To make your own gingerbread sugar; combine sugar with ground cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to suit your tastes.
Pre-heat your oven to 100 degrees, and place a baking sheet in to warm up. Mix the dry ingredients together, then in a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. Add the dry and wet ingredients to the same bowl, and whisk until combined. If you need to add more milk at this point, go ahead until you have a smooth batter consistency.
Place a large pan over a medium heat, and melt a little butter in it. Once warm, spoon the batter into the pan and spread into a circular shape. Normally, I make one large pancake at a time but you could make several smaller ones at once if you prefer. Cook until air bubbles start to appear on the surface of the pancake and then flip over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until the other side has browned.
Place any cooked pancakes in the oven to keep warm and then, when ready, serve with any or all of the above toppings.