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.

50g caster sugar
100g flour
1 egg
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

The Pantry

The Pantry, Circle Place, Edinburgh

Until last weekend I have often passed The Pantry on Circus Place on the way to Stockbridge and thought, due to the steamed up windows and packed tables, it looks like the type of cafe I could happily enjoy some food, a large pot of tea and have a good natter! After a lunchtime visit on a particularly blustery Edinburgh afternoon I am pleased to report it was exactly that. Inside there is a lot of exposed wood and tartan pillows on benches and the walls are littered with cute sayings and interesting posters – the type of posters in frames I lust after on Not On The High Street.

It’s always great to see independent cafés full at the weekends, and my friend and I were lucky to get a table as soon as we walked in. If you’ve read my blog before you might have picked up that I’m a bit of brunch fiend. Usually when confronted the option for an all-day breakfast, I find it hard to deviate from eggs or pancakes, however The Pantry menu had me fully engrossed in the sandwich options. I went for pulled pork sub with homemade slaw and home cut chips, and my friend had the roast beef on rye bread.

Pulled Pork Sub with homemade slaw
Melt in your mouth pulled pork sub!

Our chatter stopped for a full five minutes when the food arrived – always a good sign! The pulled pork was melt in my mouth delicious and the fresh sub was packed with salad leaves and a lovely bbq relish on the bottom which had quite a kick. The star of the plate was the home cut chips, they were so light and crispy I could have eaten a whole plate full. On to my friend’s plate – she said the roast beef on rye was not at all dry (she worried after ordering it might be) and like the pork, melted away.

Pulled pork sub with homemade slaw and chips
Pulled pork sub with homemade slaw and chips
Roast Beef on Rye Bread
Roast Beef on Rye Bread

What would have made it *absolutely perfect* was if there had been some mayo to dunk the chips into. There was mustard mayo on offer (it came with the roast beef), but for the non-ketchup lovers out there, how good is mayo with your chips?! Perhaps that’s just my mayo addiction coming through there. That aside, there were lots of interesting options on the menu, and you really could have had breakfast, lunch or even an early dinner. I’d happily sum The Pantry as one of those places where there is something for everyone.