The Fluffiest American Pancakes

The hunt has been on going to find the fluffiest American pancakes out there. After many weekends, usually Sunday mornings, of trial and error, making stacks upon stacks of fat pancakes of varying success, I can finally put down the recipes books. I have found the recipe for the lightest, fluffiest most joyful pancakes out there. Continue reading “The Fluffiest American Pancakes”

Brunch at Montys

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A decent breakfast cafe on your doorstep is essential for good weekend living, and where better to brunch than Montys in Bruntsfield.

First thing – make sure you book, Montpeliers is always packed at the weekend, but they are great at squeezing you in if they can.

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Recently refurbished, Montpeliers is now a very lovely, bright space with a French cafe feel – lots of light wood, huge windows, wrought iron features and exposed lightbulbs. The crockery is cute and cool at the same time, and the breakfast menu is delicious.

For a really serious brunch you can choose The Fully Monty – ‘the biggest brunch in Bruntsfield’. However this time we stuck to what we know best.

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Perfectly poached eggs benedict with really crispy bacon and a good hollandaise sauce….

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And an indulgent stack of banana pancakes with butterscotch sauce and creme fraiche.

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Looks tasty right? Next time we go I’ve got my eye on the Mexican tortilla or the french toast, but that’s all for now.

Enjoy brunchers. x

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Flipping good summer crepes

Seeing as we are having an amazing summer so far, we need to get some cracking desserts on the go too.

Enter The Raspberry and Nutella Crepe!

Sweet, easy and so flipping good you’ll wish you’d made a second batch. Plus, for such a quick and easy pudding they look quite impressive if you are serving them for friends and not just scoffing them all yourself…

So, what do you need? Well, the obvious part, some raspberries and nutella. I absolutely adored nutella growing up (read: still love the stuff) and I really hope I never feel to old to enjoy it.

Nutella and raspberries

For the crepe mixture, I used Nigella’s crepe recipe which worked a treat. However, I have it on good authority that two cups of milk, two cups of plain flour and two eggs works well too.

For Nigella’s recipe you’ll need:

  • your chosen pancake pan, flipping device and a ladle
  • 30 grams unsalted butter melted (plus more for frying)
  • 150 grams plain flour
  • 325 ml milk
  • large egg

As this doesn’t take long, first thing to do is get your pan on the heat. I use a proper pancake gridle (oooh la la), one that looks like this, but a normal, shallow frying pan will work too. Even though mine is probably now well seasoned and has built up a good non stick coat, I still wipe a very teeny, tiny amount of oil over the surface. Just blot some oil on a piece of kitchen roll and wipe across the surface of the pan before putting it on the heat. Top tip, use oil in your pan, not butter – the crepes are less likely to stick.

Melt the butter and put it aside – a quick 30 seconds in the microwave will do the job. Then, put the flour in a bowl, and whisk in the egg and milk. Once the butter has cooled a little, whisk that in too. The mixture should now be slightly thicker than single cream.

Ok…it’s crepe time, grab your ladle and take a deep breath! Pop about 3/4 of a ladle full of mixture into the pan. Either swirl the batter round in the pan by picking it up using the handle, or use the ladle to spread the mixture out – small, circular motions pushing the ladle into the mixture on the pan, starting in the middle and getting bigger, will give you a good crepe shape.

Leave the crepe to cook for a minute or so and do a decent, dramatic flip when you start to see bubbles appearing…

crepe cooking

crepe bubbles

Once flipped (hopefully in the pan and not on the floor) cook the crepe on the other side for another minute or so, then take off the heat. This amount of batter will give you 6-8 crepes, I always discount the first one or two, and my last couple are always the best in shape, size and colour.

plate of crepes

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last few crepes

And onto the main event – the filling. So easy and yummy! Spoon half a teaspoon of nutella on the crepe, sprinkle a few raspberries and roll. Repeat.

teaspoon of nutella

crepe filling

Drizzle a little nutella over the rolled crepes and for a final touch, sieve a tiny bit of a icing sugar over the whole lot. Top tip number 2 – pop a little nutella in the microwave for 30 seconds to loosen it up for drizzling.

Now, simply serve us a watch them disappear!

Crepes rolled

Crepes

close up crepe

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Happy Pancake Day!

American style pancake skillet in action
American style pancake skillet in action

I’m always delighted when Pancake Day comes around, this year especially so as I have a proper American pancake skillet. No excuse for rubbish pancakes! If you are at all into pancake making, I can’t recommend one enough. It’s particularly fantastic for making crepes with – so much so I am now tempted to buy one of those little wooden things you see the folk in crepe huts using to spread out the batter!

Of course to avoid rubbish pancakes you need a fool proof recipe and this year I decided to give Chef Chris Thompson’s method a go. He is Head Chef at The Pantry, a lovely little cafe on the way to Stockbridge in Edinburgh. You can read my review of The Pantry here.

This recipe makes smaller and slightly thicker, sweet pancakes, aka dropped scones.

Ingredients:
50g caster sugar
100g flour
1 egg
1tsp
Whole milk (Enough milk to turn into a batter with the consistency of lightly whipped double cream)

In case you haven’t made pancakes before, it’s as simple as mixing everything together in a bowl! When following recipes I often find that the quantity of milk can leave your mixture too runny, and I really like Chef Thompson’s description – I knew exactly what consistency I was looking for and I just added the milk bit by bit until my mixture was similar to “lightly whipped double cream”. I made sure my skillet very hot and spooned on a ladle full of mixture. It didn’t take long at all (1 min at most) to see little bubbles forming on the top of my pancake – time to flip! The same amount of time  on the other side and et voila, pancakes are ready.

Happy Pancake Day!
Happy Pancake Day!

As you can see, for my topping I stuck to Nutella (in my eyes, classic and delicious), but if you are feeling more adventurous Chef Thompson suggests Banoffee Split pancakes, look delicious. Recipe below. Enjoy pancake lovers!

Chef Chris Thompson's Banoffee Split Pancakes
Chef Chris Thompson’s Banoffee Split Pancakes

Bannoffee Split Pancake Topping

  • To a heavy bottomed pan add 75g of caster sugar, once the caster sugar has melted down and taken a lovely golden brown colour add 75 ml of double or whipping cream, keep on stirring until you have a thick brown butterscotch sauce, throw in half of the banana and set aside
  • Whip up some double cream and toast off some flaked hazlenuts (any nut will do)
  • On top of the pancakes add alternate pieces of sliced banana and butterscotch banana, top with whipped cream and drizzle some sweat, unctuous sauce over the top and scatter toasted nuts on top…enjoy

A weekend wandering around Edinburgh

One of the reasons I love living in Edinburgh is being able to walk everywhere, and after a night out on Friday a little stroll around the city is just what I needed to blow the cobwebs away.

Friday night’s dinner at Time 4 Thai on Friday night was excellent and was followed by cocktails at Lucky Liquor on Queens Street. First time there, I had a Blue Steel, vodka based with an interesting peppery after taste, and my friends opted for the Megawatt. After admiring the cool presentation we decided was a bit gimmicky and tasted a bit like a Smirnoff ice – taking us back to our younger drinking days!

A Megawatt, £6.50, at Lucky Liquor Co.
A Megawatt, £6.50, at Lucky Liquor Co.

On to Saturday. Pancakes, streaky bacon and maple syrup, russelled up by my other half, was the perfect start and good fuel for my wanderings.Pancakes, Bacon & Maple Syrup

Cakes (say hello, she’ll probably feature on here quite a lot) and I set off from Bruntsfield and walked down to Stockbridge where we joined the Water of Leith walkway all the way down to, you guessed it, Leith. We walked at what I like to call a gossiping pace and it took us just over 1 ½ hours.

Cakes wandering along the Water of Leith Walkway
Cakes wandering along the Water of Leith Walkway
Arriving down at The Shore, Leith
Arriving down at The Shore, Leith

We rewarded our efforts with some food and drinks at Bond No. 9. Sitting in the conservatory looking out at the sunshine and the canal was great, and their light bites deal was just what we were after. Two “light bites” and a cocktail for £12. We enjoyed haggis balls with mustard mayo, pitta breads and humus, lemon chicken skewers, and some more warm breads and oils.

A French 72 and a Bramble at Bond No. 9
A French 72 and a Bramble at Bond No. 9
Light bites at Bond No. 9
Light bites at Bond No. 9