My social feeds have been crowded with pancake photos and recipes… indulgent stacks of American breakfast pancakes, wafer thin lemon & sugar pancakes and everything in between. I spent Tuesday evening at my best friend’s house enjoying her brilliant pancake dish: thin pancakes wrapped and filled with spinach & ricotta, topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella and baked in the oven. It was absolutely delicious and made me wonder why we don’t eat more pancakes year round.
The week before Shrove Tuesday I was invited by Great British Chefs to join a class of bloggers and journalists at the Cordon Bleu school to learn how to master pancake-making techniques. Here’s what I learnt…
Tom Brown, Head Chef at Outlaw’s at The Capital (Nathan Outlaw’s London restaurant) led the class, illustrating how to make the perfect fluffy thick pancakes with seasonal stewed fruit. We gathered round as Tom carefully mixed the ingredients, sifting the flour to add air and lightness to the batter. He then left the mix to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes, which ensures there is no chewiness to the pancakes.
The chopped rhubarb and apple was cooked down slowly with ginger beer and sugar to create a delicious sweet compote. The pretty pink compote was dolloped onto the stack of pancakes and finished with a spoonful of Cornish clotted cream.
Next up was Le Cordon Bleu’s patisserie chef Jerome Pendaries, who did a demonstration of his Blackcurrant crepe souffle, a French classic. The process seemed rather more complicated and Jerome showed that pancakes can be elevated to a fine dining dessert.
The thin crepes were filled with airy purple souffle mix and cooked in the oven for a few minutes before we got the opportunity to delve in and try the magical dish. Needless to say these pancakes were exemplary, perfectly presented and absolutely delicious.
Learn more about Great British Chefs here.