Oxo Good Grips Kitchen Tools have sent me their new Batter Dispenser to try. It's a really good 4 piece tool. A tall, lidded dispenser with a non-drip valve at one end to allow your mix out only when you want it, and they've even included a stand.
It makes a lot of difference when you're making several pancakes and keeps your worktop free from all the drips and smears of batter that I find usually cover mine! It's also got measurements down the side, and because you dispense with a little squeeze, you can make your pancakes similar sizes every time far more easily.
Making pancakes is really very simple, but requires a couple of easy techniques to make them right every time.
The batter is a standard batter which is incredibly cheap and easy to make. It's what you'd use toad-in-the-hole or Yorkshire puddings, but works slightly better when it's a little runnier, so has an extra 150ml of water added.
175g Plain Flour
2 Free Range Eggs
Pinch of Salt
Put the flour in a bowl and add the eggs, give it a mix and add the milk 1/3 at a time, mixing well with a whisk after each addition. Add the water and a pinch of salt.
Heat a frying pan and add cooking oil of your choice. Give the pan a good shake so that the oil covers the whole base of the pan and then pour out any all the excess into a heatproof container (such as a small saucepan). Your pan is now perfect for your pancake mix.
Add enough pancake mix that it covers the base of the pan when you again give it a good shake. Then leave it on a medium heat and watch. Don't fuss with it, you need to leave it alone until the bottom side is cooked. You can tell when it's done because when you shake it (again!), the pancake won't be stuck to the pan, it'll be free to move about, and the edges will have a lacy effect.
Flip it over and do the other side for few seconds.
Your first one will often be a bit of a failure, the pan always seems to perform better for the second one onwards.
I've been challenged by Oxo Good Grips Kitchen Tools to come up with an interesting and different pancake recipe. I'm not the most adventurous cook, and I like to share recipes that anyone can make and my teenagers will find useful, so here are a couple of ideas...
Pancakes are very much a 'bread', with a high percentage of egg. They're a breakfast food, so surely they're ideal to have with an English breakfast....
All Day Veggie Breakfast Pancakes
Pancake batter mix (shown above)
Cook bacon and sausage and cut into slices - I'm using vegetarian options as I'll be eating some myself.
Lightly fry sliced mushroom and red onion.
Add grilled sliced tomato if you wish.
Keep everything warm.
Add a little thyme and black pepper to your pancake batter and cook.
Roll the cooked breakfast ingredients into your pancake...
If you want to get a little more adventurous then you can add more ingredients to your batter itself before cooking. Cocoa or a little cinnamon are good, but my favourite is apple.
Apple, Banana and Cinnamon Pancakes
Batter mix (shown above)
Cinnamon Sugar (3 parts granulated sugar to 1 part ground cinnamon)
Whipped Double Cream
Stew some apple or cheat and chop it into small pieces, add a tablespoon of water and microwave covered for a minute.
Let it cool and then add it directly to your pancake batter before cooking.
Top with sliced banana and whipped cream, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
And of course pancakes can always be cut or stacked for another special effect...here with Duerr's strawberry jam and whipped cream....
The Oxo Good Grips Batter Dispenser costs £8 and really does make a much neater job of pancake making.