By Claire Smail
Since moving to North Devon Pancake day has become an important day on the calendar. Every year I meet up with friends to celebrate a truly delicious day! Now even though the choice of toppings might vary every year, one thing has stayed the same year in, year out and that is that the pancakes need to be gluten free. After a lot of taste testing only one conclusion can be made and this is that the best gluten free pancakes are made with buckwheat flour; it is naturally gluten free and can be found in most health food or well stocked shops. This form of whole grain can be used as an easy alternative to normal (gluten filled) plain or self-raising flour. It is slightly more expensive but does make the most scrumptious tasting and smooth textured pancakes (unlike some other gluten –free flours that can have a distinctly ‘granular’ feel).
When making breakfast pancakes I do like to use a recipe that includes raising agents to create more American style ones, however for Shrove Tuesday I always like to make the thinner more crepe like pancakes as I always think you can fit more fillings in them! Last year I chose a Banoffee inspired filling (you can find the recipe here), which was so good. This year I have been inspired by Saltrock’s chocolate range and decided to make rich Raspberry and Dark Tokolate pancakes. I am using the Raspberry Dark Tokolate as the velvety 89% dark chocolate goes really well with the sweetness of the pancakes and vanilla ice-cream and I love the texture of raspberry pieces in the ganache, especially when they are paired with fresh raspberries. However due to the raspberry pieces this bar of chocolate is not gluten free, so you could use the milk Tokolate or another make of dark chocolate instead.
You will need:
(Makes 4 Pancakes)
- 50g Buckwheat flour
- A pinch of Salt
- 1 Eggs
- 150ml Whole Milk (you can use a dairy free alternative like soya, almond or coconut milk)
- 1 tsp Butter (to grease the pan with)
- 1 bar Dark Tokolate and Raspberry chocolate –(not gluten free)
(If you want to make a ganache you will need one part chocolate to one and a half parts cream to make a ganache that will set, I like to use the same of each as this makes a runny ‘sauce’ like ganache.
- 1 punnet fresh Raspberries
- Vanilla ice-cream
How to make:
Firstly make sure you have a good quality non-stick pan at the ready, otherwise pancake making can become a nightmare. Place it ready on the hob.
In a large bowl add the flour and salt, and then make a well in the centre of it. Fill the well with the eggs and milk and whisk until you get a smooth batter (you could let the batter rest for an hour or so to ensure there is no lumps in the mixture but I am always too impatient for this).
Melt a teaspoon of butter in a medium sized non-stick pan, making sure the whole pan is coated evenly (don’t let the fat get too hot at this stage as the butter will begin to burn or could start to spit when the pancake mixture is added). Now ladle in one spoonful (about 4 tablespoons worth) of batter. By lifting the pan and angling it you should be able to evenly spread out the batter so the whole of the bottom of the frying pan is coated with a thin layer of the mixture. Return the pan to the heat and allow to cook. After a couple of minutes the bottom of the pancake will have cooked (you will know because it will easily lift way from the surface of the pan). Now is the time to flip it over to cook the remaining side.
Once the pancake is cooked on both sides I like to place it on a plate and put into the over just to keep it warm, whilst I make the rest. (I put the oven onto a very low heat, just enough to keep them warm but not cook them further).
When the last pancake is cooked I can then think about the fillings.
I am just going to melt the chocolate to drizzle ever the pancakes (if you want to make a ganache take a look at how to make it in the Tokolate Mug-Cakes blog) .
To the melt the chocolate, I break up the majority of the bar into blocks and place in a heat proof bowl over a pan of boiling water. Keep stirring the chocolate until it has melted into a smooth sauce, then it can be taken off the heat.
To add extra texture, chop up the remaining chocolate into chunks.
Now comes the best part; take the pancakes out the oven and fill up with fresh raspberries, a drizzle of dark chocolate sauce, a sprinkling of chocolate chunks and a large scoop of vanilla ice-cream…Happy Shrove Tuesday to you!