There are a few dates in the British calendar that dictate the types of food that we like to eat. Though with Easter around the corner, we will be looking forward to eating not only hot cross buns, a sweet bread made with dried fruit and spices, but also pancakes.
As Christians around the world prepare themselves for Easter, many of us here in the UK will look forward to Shrove Tuesday, or “Pancake Day” as it’s commercially become known.
I will always remember my first gluten free Pancake Day. I had only been diagnosed a couple of weeks before and I was still getting used to my new diet. It was unfortunate for me that this day fell so soon.
As a child I loved eating pancakes, and my sister and I used to stand in the kitchen watching our parents ladle the creamy batter into a frying pan, holding our breaths as the pancake was tossed over. Our kitchen was always full of laughing, oohing and aahing as we watched the pancake go up into the air and then back down into the frying pan. We used to queue up once all the pancakes were made, and then fill them with what ever we wanted.
My first attempt at making traditional pancakes eight years ago using plain gluten free flour was okay, but I clung onto my happy childhood memories of this day.
The gluten free version tasted different. I found that the batter was heavier and this resulted in a denser and rubbery pancake. But over the years I have experimented with different flours and have mixed plain gluten free flour and corn flour together, which gives the pancake a lighter texture and consistency. Making the batter slightly looser has also make the end result more palatable.
Over the past two years I have moved away from using a traditional pancake batter and have adapted an American pancake mix to suit. These pancakes are lighter and fluffier in texture and they taste really good. They do require a little more preparation, but it’s worth the extra effort.
The best part of cooking is having the confidence to experiment, and all of my recipes start out as experiments. Just because you are gluten or perhaps dairy free don’t be afraid to experiment, because it’s a great way to learn what works and what doesn’t.
Gluten free American style pancakes recipe
With fresh raspberries, homemade chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream
This recipe makes 21 medium sized pancakes. If you can’t eat them all, cook them and pop them into the freezer for a rainy day. Just make sure that you defrost them before re-heating in either the microwave or a frying pan.
Ingredients for the batter:
- 225g gluten free plain flour
- 60g corn flour
- 2 teaspoon of gluten free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 3 tablespoon of caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 600ml of buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons of melted butter
Ingredients for the chocolate sauce:
- 50g plain gluten free chocolate
- 50g milk gluten free chocolate
- 3 tablespoon golden syrup
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons of cold water
- 200g fresh raspberries
- Vanilla ice cream
- Vegetable oil for frying
1. In a bowl add all the dry ingredients – flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar. Then add the eggs, melted butter and butter milk and whisk all the ingredients together until you have a smooth batter. This will be quite a thick batter.
2. Heat a frying pan and add a little oil – use a flavourless oil such a vegetable or sunflower. Using a ladle, spoon in a little of the batter into the frying pan. Don’t use a whole ladle full as the batter will spread. It should be about third full. Alternatively use a tablespoon, as this will make the perfect size pancake.
3. As the pancakes cook, bubbles will start to appear. When most of the pancake is covered in bubbles you will know that your pancake is ready to turn. Flip over and cook on the other side for approximately 1 minute. Put your pancakes in a warm oven to keep warm while you make the rest of the pancakes and the chocolate sauce.
4. To make the chocolate sauce – break up the chocolate into a small saucepan and add the golden syrup, sugar and water. On a low heat, melt the chocolate and other ingredients. Keep an eye on it and stir as the chocolate begins to melt. If the sauce is too thick add an extra teaspoon of water and stir into it. Remove from the heat and pour into a jug.
5. Remove the pancakes from the oven and stack three of them into a plate. Now pour over some of the chocolate sauce and sprinkle over the raspberries and top with some vanilla ice cream.
Alternative topping ideas:
Homemade blueberry sauce – heat a 200g of blueberries in a sauce pan with two tablespoons of water over a low heat and wait for the blueberries to soften. Pour over a stack of pancakes and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Whether you are Christian or not, have a great gluten free Shrove Tuesday!
Sam Pidoux is a multi-award winning journalist and part-time lecturer at the University of Lincoln. Her passion for baking was nurtured by her grandma and since being diagnosed with a wheat intolerance in 2007, Sam loves experimenting in the kitchen and creating delicious gluten-free savoury dishes and cakes.