When I was growing up, hotcakes, or pancakes, were a breakfast staple. For some reason, my mom would almost always cook them on a Saturday. It was pancakes out of a packet but I thought it was the bees’ knees! How my mom could make so many pancakes from one egg and a smallish looking packet of dry ingredients was beyond me. I think all you had to add was either water or fat…I can’t remember now. But I know that the brands we used to have at home were Maya and White King. Eventually we did try to use Pillsbury…but I think Maya or White King was still the best.
When I was older, and fancied myself the capable cook, I experimented and tried making apple pancakes. It was a DISASTER with a capital D. My baby sister, Duckie, was ever so polite and she said it was okay…I don’t know if she remembers that day, but it was the first time I had given Duckie something to eat that she didn’t immediately finish (well that and anything aubergine!)! So for a while I stopped experimenting with pancake recipes. I’d given it up as a lost cause…for the meantime.
My favourite TV Chef is Nigella Lawson (stay with me, I’m not digressing! mentioning Nigella will eventually serve its purpose!). While a lot of her recipes are absolutely rich and wonderfully calorific, some of them are absolutely practical and really quick to do. Forever Summer is the Nigella series that, I think is, my favourite. It’s where I got 2 of my favourite recipes. A tamarind-based fish curry that’s absolutely deeee-vine over rice (ayayayayay!! over rice again! but then again, I am Filipino!) and pancakes from scratch. Here’s my version of her recipe. I’m finally learning to cook in smaller portions. Hurrah!
This version is made with cream cheese.
- 150 grams cream cheese (you can use full fat, low fat, non-fat)
- 200 ml skim milk (the fattier the milk, the richer the pancake! butter milk is the best! yum yum!)
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar (you can add more, but if you’re topping pancakes with syrup this is enough)
- 2/3 cup self-raising flour (I use this so I don’t have to add baking powder)
- 1 tsp vanilla (the better the vanilla, the better the pancakes 🙂 also, I’m very liberal with the vanilla!)
- butter for greasing the pan
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, and set aside.
- Add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat until the egg yolk and sugar mixture turns very pale yellow. Add the vanilla. Add the cream cheese and mix until well-incorporated. Add the flour slowly, making sure that there are no lumps. Add the milk. Set aside.
- Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until well incorporated and then fold in the rest of the egg whites gently
- Grease a non-stick pan with a little butter (don’t put too much butter as this will FRY the pancake—you don’t really want that). Ladel pancake batter. Wait until the larger bubbles burst before flipping over, this should take 1-2 minutes, depending on how hot the hob is. The pancake is relatively ready if you shake the pan and the pancake moves around relatively easily (if you’re not using a non-stick pan, you may have to check if the pancake’s bubble-side is cooked).
- You can garnish with whatever fruit tickles your heart strings and drizzle whatever flavoured syrup you want.
- You can also cook a non-cream cheese version and just do away with the cream-cheese. It still works! 🙂