Jamie Robinson, Executive Chef at Tesco, has pulled together his ultimate tips and tricks for achieving perfect pancakes this Shrove Tuesday.
He told FEMAIL: ‘A little twist to give your pancakes great texture is to replace half of the flour with cornmeal. Not only will this help you achieve that perfect golden pancake colour, but it will also give a lovely bite to the finished product.
‘To achieve the light and fluffy finish that American pancakes are famous for, try adding a little baking powder to your mix as this will help your pancakes to rise.
‘When adding the eggs, make sure you separate your yolks and whites, putting whites into one bowl and yolks into another.
‘Add the flour, baking powder and milk to the yolks, gently whisking the mixture all together, then carefully fold the whisked whites into the mix at the end. This will help to make the mixture super light.
‘I love a rich American pancake and so my secret is to add an extra egg yolk to the recipe. To balance out the richness I also opt for butter milk instead of normal milk, as it is slightly more sour so helps to strike the right balance of flavours.
‘If you are looking to whip up some vegan pancakes, replace the egg with a banana and the milk with a vegan alternative. Adding bananas into the mix will give your pancakes a lovely, velvety finish.
‘When it comes to cooking, I always use a spray oil as it allows you to have more control and add smaller quantities at a time to the pan. I also make sure not to overheat my pan and keep the heat to medium, as I want the pancakes to cook evenly throughout, without burning them on the outside.
‘A trend I have noticed is the use of American pancakes in savoury dishes.
‘If you prefer sweet over savoury, try adding some spring onion, five spice and Chinese pork belly as toppings for a flavoursome combination. Don’t be shy with spices either and make sure to add lots of herbs for some extra flavour – I love to add chives to mine. You can also use pancakes to replace the classic burger bun. Get creative, the possibilities are endless!
Shake it all about
‘I like to whisk my eggs separately, then pour all of the mix into a clean and empty bottle. Shake the bottle well until all the ingredients are incorporated. This is a quick and mess free way of making the batter and I find shaking is an easier method for achieving the smooth consistency required, rather than whisking it manually.’
Avoid oily pancakes
‘Always use an oil spray rather than oil from the bottle. It’s easier to control the amount added and saves you from a greasy pancake, which you want to avoid.’
Watch the heat
‘Be careful not to heat the pan too much – make sure you use medium heat as hot pan will burn your pancakes.’
Less sugar, more zest
‘I never add sugar to my mix. Instead, I prefer to add little sprinkle on top with a squeeze of lemon – the sharpness of the citrus and sweetness of the sugar just works so well.’
‘That being said, there are quick and easy additions you can make to the batter itself if you really want to pack a punch. I love adding orange or lemon zest for a citrus zing – adding the zest (rather than juice) will give you a more fruity, floral flavour rather than sour. I also like adding a touch of cocoa powder for a truly chocolate treat.
Showstopper twists and alternatives
‘Social media has led to an ‘over the top’ trend. Loaded pancakes with toasted marshmallow and chocolate sauce topped with a crumbled shortbread are really popular right now.’
Make a meal of it
‘For a little twist, try a savoury pancake this year by topping yours with red onion jam and goat’s cheese before baking it in the oven. Finish with pumpkin seeds and a crisp salad on side.’