The world is full of different cuisines and almost every culture will have its own version of a pancake. Sammy and Bella share their top 5 delicious pancake discoveries from around the world.
This month Sammy has been obsessed with making her grandmother's crepes as a mid-afternoon snack and as a dessert. While enjoying her freshly made crepes with caramelised peach, yoghurt and local honey, she had begun to think about the pancake and its many variations not only within western cultures, but also its delightful eastern cousins.
The best pancakes are both sweet and savoury. Here are Sammy's top 5 delicious pancake discoveries from around the world.
1. My Grandmother's Crepes
Now there are many reasons why I love these pancakes other than the fact that I grew up on them. My grandmother's recipe is based on a classic French crepe batter, and anything even slightly resembling French food is bound to be good, right? This pancake can be enjoyed sweet or savoury. My favourite sweet way is simply with a good spread of Nutella. That’s what my childhood Sundays were made of! For a savoury twist I enjoy it with some smoked salmon, chives, dill and sour cream. Enjoy the recipe below:
Crepe batter recipe
1 cup plain flour
2 cups of milk
2 Tbsp unsalted butter melted, extra for melting on the pan
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar (optional for sweet pancakes)
1. Blend all ingredients together to form a smooth batter.
2. Heat a non-stick fry pan or crepe pan to medium high heat, once hot add ¼ tsp of butter to the pan and melt.
3. Pour in just enough batter to make one thin crepe. Tilt pan to spread batter evenly.
4. Once the top is cooked, allow approx. 1 min, then flip and cook for another 30 seconds.
5. Set aside and repeat with remaining batter. Crepes can be stored in fridge covered with cling film for 1 -2 days. Enjoy with desired filling.
2. US and Canadian Fluffy Pancakes with Maple Syrup
America sure loves its pancakes with the dish being served in every diner across the country, and not to mention the endless list of pancake houses. These pancakes are perfectly fluffy and buttery. They are usually served with a minimum 3 pancakes that can range in size from a 10cm diameter to a whopping 20cm+. They are made extra fluffy by adding a bit of baking powder to the batter and are always served with a knob of butter and a very generous drizzle of maple or golden syrup. For those wanting a few more calories and a salty hit, grilled bacon rashers are added atop these fluffy masterpieces. Although delicious and a culinary icon, it's probably best to enjoy these pancakes sparingly due to their uber high fat content!
3. Chinese Spring Onion Pancakes
The Chinese spring onion pancake is slightly different to most other pancakes. There is no batter but rather a dough that is made and rested, before being rolled out into a pancake shape, then sprinkled with sliced spring onions. Next it's rolled and then turned into a snail shape before being flattened again, back into its original pancake form. The reason for this is to create layers on the dough and spring onions mix. That way when the pancake cooks in oil on the pan, the outside becomes flaky and crispy while the inside is deliciously soft.
4. Thai Style Fried Mussel Pancake
This is a fantastic savoury pancake which I enjoyed in Bangkok on a trip last year. This dish takes the meaning of pancake to the next level by the amount of skill and many layers of flavour that it's made with. It's made with arrow root and rice flour, which is poured onto a flat plate to begin the pancake, then layered with par cooked mussels and a layer of beaten eggs. This is all topped off with bean sprouts and spring onions and accompanied with a sweet chilli dipping sauce.
5. Dutch Poffertjes
These miniature fluffy pancakes with a spongy texture are popular at many festivals and food fairs. You’ll first recognise the plates piled with these cute little pancakes and with a decent dusting of icing sugar. Half the fun of eating these pancakes is watching them being made in custom poffertjes fry pans. These custom pans look like reverse jumbo bubble wrap, made with very non-stick steel. The chef is usually a pro at pouring the perfect amount of batter into each round and then flipping them with a long wooden skewer. Then in no time you'll be enjoying your own plate piled full of little dutch pancakes. You can now purchase dutch pancake pans at good food stores and online.