Pancake Day. Finally a celebration that can’t be spoiled by lockdown because, even if you’re in the habit of going out for your annual fill of Nutella crêpes, even the most inexperienced of chefs can whip up a decent batter at home.
Which begs the questions, why not take things to the next level this year? After all, with no commute you’ve got plenty of time to try something a little more involved – and the world’s best chefs are on hand to offer their take on this brunch staple. From savoury sweetcorn pancakes to miso and saffron-infused styles, these chic pancakes are real showstoppers.
Nobu Marbella's Miso Pancakes
Created by Nobu’s first female executive chef, Eleni Manousou, these Japanese-style pancakes put a sophisticated twist on the classic.
Makes 8-10 pancakes
For the pancakes
250g soba flour
5g baking powder
2g baking soda
20g beurre noisette
For the miso butter
80ml maple syrup
80g shiro miso
For the yuzu cream
100ml yuzu juice
100g yuzu sugar
1 litre whipping cream
For the pancake
- Sieve the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- Separately mix the buttermilk and eggs together before slowly adding into the dry mix.
- Add the beurre noisette and mix well.
- To cook, use a non-stick pan and brush with some butter before adding the mix.
For the miso butter
- Soften butter and blend with the maple syrup, miso and lemon zest.
- For best results, serve on top of the pancake while it’s still hot so it drizzles over.
For the yuzu cream
- Make a yuzu syrup by combining the yuzu juice with the sugar and reduce until you have syrup.
- Add approx. 100g of the yuzu sugar into 1 litre of cream and whip.
- Serve the yuzu cream as a side dish and garnish the pancake with mint leaf, blueberries and a sugar glaze.
Gail’s Sweetcorn Pancakes
Serve these pancakes for brunch, lunch or a light dinner with eggs, smashed avocado, sour cream and hot sauce.
Makes 12 pancakes
200g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
0.5 tsp fine sea salt
300ml buttermilk (or use 150ml of each whole milk and yogurt)
3 medium eggs
90g butter melted and cooled plus more for frying
3 spring onions chopped
Leaves from a small bunch of coriander, chopped
Half a red chilli deseeded and chopped
2 large corn on the cobs
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Using a serrated knife, gently saw down the corn ear from top to bottom, allowing the kernels to fall on your chopping board.
- Arrange the corn kernels on a small baking tray and roast in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes until corn is toasted and golden brown but not dry. Using an oven-safe spatula, mix and turn the kernels halfway through toasting. Take out of the oven and leave to cool. Reduce the oven to 100C.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda.
- In another medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and melted butter, then add to the flour mixture and whisk briefly. There will be small lumps of flour. Avoid over-mixing the batter.
- Add the coriander, chilli, spring onions and cooled corn kernels and mix again.
- Heat a non-stick flat frying pan over a medium heat and add a small knob of butter. When the butter is melted and starts to foam, tilt the pan and make sure it’s coated with butter. Add a little more butter if the pan is not fully coated.
- Add large spoonfuls of the pancake batter and gently flatten them so you get rough rounds. Depending on the size of your frying pan, start by frying three pancakes at a time. The pancakes shouldn’t touch each other. Keep frying on medium heat until small bubbles form at the centre of the raw pancake and the bottom appears dark golden brown when checked with a spatula (5-8 minutes – if it happens sooner, reduce the heat and continue).
- Gently flip the pancakes and continue frying for 5 more minutes.
- When the pancakes are done, arrange them on a baking tray and keep them in the warm oven until you’re done frying the rest of the pancakes.
- Continue frying in batches, adding more butter as you go.
Kricket's Alle Belle Pancakes
“There are hundreds of different pancakes across India, from sweet malpua to savoury dosa,” says Kricket’s Will Bowlby. “This year I am making Alle Belle – a sweet pancake from Goa that makes for the perfect afternoon treat. If you fancy going the extra mile, garnish the pancakes with a dusting of icing sugar and some chopped pistachios.”
Makes 4 pancakes
For the pancakes
80g plain flour
Pinch of salt
150ml whole milk
Pinch of baking powder
A little ghee or clarified butter
For the filling
6 pitted dates, finely chopped
50g fresh grated coconut or desiccated coconut toasted to a light golden brown
50g jaggery or dark muscovado sugar
1 cardamon pod, ground to a powder
Small pinch of Maldon salt
- To make the pancake batter, whisk together the flour, salt, egg and baking powder. Slowly incorporate the milk until you have a thin batter consistency. Leave to one side while you make the filling.
- Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a pan. Add a little splash of water to prevent the mixture from sticking.
- Cook over a low heat until all the ingredients have come together and you have a nice thick, sweet paste with no liquid – this should take about 10 minutes. Allow to cool and set aside.
- To make the pancakes, heat up a little ghee or clarified butter in a non-stick frying pan over a low to medium heat.
- Pour a ladle of the batter into the pan, and swirl around to allow the batter to spread into a thin pancake. You don’t want any colour on the pancake itself, so keep the heat relatively low and flip the pancake after a couple of minutes.
- Once flipped, add some of the stuffing to the middle of each pancake and remove from the pan onto a serving plate. Roll up the pancakes. Repeat until you have used up all the batter and filling.
Dirty Bones’ Vegan Pancakes with Blueberry Compote
These plant-based pancakes from cult favourite Dirty Bones make a delicious vegan alternative. Don’t have time to make your own compote? Store bought will work just as well.
Makes 10 pancakes
For the buckwheat pancakes
100g plain flour
40g rice flour
1tsp baking powder
125g almond milk
30g almond yogurt + extra to serve 40gr per portion
25g maple syrup
25g apple juice
5g white wine vinegar
50g coconut oil
For the blueberry compote
500g fresh blueberries
200g caster sugar
To make the pancakes
- Sieve the flours, salt and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle.
- Mix together the almond milk, yogurt, apple juice and vinegar.
- Pour these mixtures into the well and using a wooden/plastic spoon to bring the mix together to form a paste.
- Melt the coconut oil in a pan and cool slightly, pour into the mix, drizzle in the maple syrup and use a whisk to beat the mixture to a smooth consistency.
- Heat a non-stick pan until hot and add a very fine coat of vegetable/sunflower oil. Cook the pancakes in batches using roughly 50g of mix per pancake for 2 mins on each side. The aim is to slowly pour the mix into the pan so you have a raised pancake. Keep warm.
- When ready to serve stack the pancakes in a tower of three, top with almond yogurt and blueberry compote.
To make the blueberry compote
- In a heavy based pan mix the water and sugar together and bring to a boil. Boil for roughly 3 mins until it starts to turn a light brown colour.
- Drop in the berries and simmer for 30 seconds, stirring so all the berries are coated. Remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
Avobar's Matcha Pancakes
These light and fluffy American-style pancakes by Covent Garden's Avobar use matcha powder and sour cream to add a delicious tang that works with both sweet and savoury toppings.
Makes 10 pancakes
100g coconut sugar
15g baking soda
10g matcha powder
5g vanilla extract
700g sour cream
500g self-raising flour
Knob of butter
- To make the pancake batter, break the eggs in a mixing bowl with the salt, coconut sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk all the ingredients well.
- Next, add sour cream, flour, matcha and soda and whisk well. Then add self-raising flour and mix all ingredients together.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it's melted, add a small ladle of batter (or two if your frying pan is big enough to cook two pancakes at the same time). 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 thick. Repeat until all the batter is used up.
- Serve with lashings of real maple syrup and extra butter (we recommend salted). Add toppings of your choice, sweet or savoury.
Paul Ainsworth’s ‘Thunder and Lightning’ Saffron Pancakes
Designed as a Shrove Tuesday afternoon tea alternative, these indulgent, flavourful pancakes by British chef Paul Ainsworth also make for a brilliant dessert.
To make the pancakes
120g plain flour
2 large eggs
1 pinch salt
1 tsp caster sugar
350ml full fat milk
100ml vegetable oil for frying
1 small pinch saffron strands
To make the filling
227g Rodda’s clotted cream
100g crème fraiche
1 pinch saffron strands
150g double cream
½ orange zest
Icing sugar for dusting
100g golden syrup
- To make the pancake batter add the saffron into the milk and leave to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- In a bowl sift the flour and add the salt and sugar. Form a well in the centre of the flour mix then add the 2 large eggs
- Add half the saffron and milk mix to the flour and eggs and whisk well until you have a thick smooth batter. Add the remainder of the milk and whisk making sure there are no lumps. The consistency should be like pouring cream. Add a splash more milk if needed. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a little oil to the pan. Add a small ladle of batter to the pan, tilting so you get an even, thin layer covering the base of the pan. Return pan to heat and cook pancake for 30-40 seconds until golden.
- Flip using a palette knife and repeat the cooking process on the other side until golden. Remove from the pan to cool and repeat the cooking process with the remainder of the batter.
- To make the filling add the clotted cream, crème fraiche and orange zest to a bowl and mix well.
- In a separate bowl lightly whisk the cream and remaining saffron until you get soft peaks. Then add the whipped cream to the clotted cream mixture in two stages, until all is incorporated.
- To build your pancakes, imagine your circular pancake is divided into four sections. Pipe or spread your cream filling into one quarter of your pancake, spreading from the centre to the edge. Fold the opposite side of your pancake over the filling so you have a folded pancake that is half filled. Now fold the remaining part of the pancake over again so it resembles a filled cone or quarter pancake.
- To serve, stack the filled pancakes and dust with icing sugar and drizzle golden syrup all over.