Tuesday is pancake day. I actually should be posting Chinese New Year recipes as it is on Friday. But I have posted most of my recipes, I have only a few more left unless I experiment more with new recipes. I now post this pancake recipe and will get to my Chinese New Year stuff soon.
Pancakes or Crepes
This recipe is a pancake recipe as we know it. However, it is also known as crepes. So, what is the difference? Well, the main difference is that pancake has a raising agent like baking powder in it, while crepe does not. Pancakes are thicker and fluffier. American pancakes are even thicker and fluffier as it is made with buttermilk.
I normally (read almost always) make my own pancakes using 4 tbsp (100g) flour, 2 eggs, water, and a pinch of salt. I don’t event weigh the flour, I just use the spoon. In a bowl I sift all the dry ingredients, make a hole in the centre and crack the eggs into it and add some of the water. I carefully beat the eggs incorporating the water and flour in a circular manner until a smooth batter is formed, adding in more liquid when necessary. The batter consistency is that it thinly coats the back of the spoon. I give it a rest while I gather my pan and the pancake fillings. Interestingly, I tried to measure the water used and it is around 250ml to 300ml. The recipe in my head is not very far off from most of the recipes that I got when I searched on-line.
I used to do this when the girls were little, giving them a quick breakfast or a quick tea when they return home from school. The usual fillings are: Nutella, banana, strawberries and the savoury ones are ham, cheese, eggs, mayo and chicken. And not forgetting chicken or pork floss, which is very delicious. Actually, it depends on what I have in my fridge or cupboard.
I also have a recipe for street-vendor pancake which I love in Malaysia. It has peanuts, sesame, sugar, and at times sweet corn, coconut and more.
Since this Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday, or pancake day in the UK, I am experimenting with a new recipe. I have seen similar pancakes (I don’t think it is called pancakes) being sold in Hong Kong when I visited 3 years ago. It is sold in supermarkets and bakeries, as well as in stores in the food courts.
Here is the recipe.
It is sometimes referred to a ‘Pancake Pillows’ as it is folded in the shape that represents a pillow. There is a fair bit of ingredients in it. Hong Kong flour is normal flour that is bleached and it is used to make Baos. This is the reason why Baos are white compared to bread. Boas made from normal flour appears brownish and is not so appetising in the looks department. Custard powder is used to give the batter a yellow colour. The corn flour and potato starch (flour) is to reduce the protein content. The crepe will be light. If you don’t have potato starch, just replace it with corn flour
Ingredients for the Crepes:
100g Hongkong flour (or regular flour)
20g Potato starch
10g Corn flour
10g Custard powder
¼ tsp Salt
10ml Flavourless oil
- Sift all the flours into a mixing bowl. Add in the salt and sugar.
- Make a hole in the centre and crack in the eggs and add in some of the liquid. With a whisk, slowly stir from the centre to incorporate the flour until it is all mixed, and there are not lumps. Add in the rest of the liquid.
- Strain the batter (to remove all lumps) into a clean container and set aside.
Prepare the fillings:
Ingredients for fillings:
I use several fillings today, so the amount is not the amount for the whole crepe recipe.
I use mango, and strawberries. You can use whatever fruits that you like or are in season.
1 tub Double cream ( around 300 ml)
This will be the base for your sweet fillings.
Fruits of your choice
Method for fillings:
- Whisk the cream until peaks form. Set aside.
- Chop the fruits. You will need about 1 to 2 tbsp of fruits for each pillow.
Pumpkin/ butternut squash
This is enough for 3 to 4 pillows.
200g Butternut squash – nett weight, chopped
1 Tbsp Chopped shallots
1 Tsp Chopped garlic
¼ Tsp 5 spice powder
½ Tsp Corn flour for thickening
A few Leaves of coriander and spring onion – chopped
½ cube Vegetable stock cube ( optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat up a frying pan and spray with calorie-controlled spray.
- Add in the shallot and garlic and fry until lightly brown.
Add the squash and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add in enough water to cover the squash. Crumble in the stock cube, if used.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes until it is cooked and a fork can prick through. Check that the water has not dried up. And if it does, add a bit more.
- After the squash is cooked, it should be quite dry. Simmer a bit more if need be.
- Season with salt and pepper. Then mix the corn-starch with 2 tsp of water and thicken the squash mixture. Dish out and leave to cool.
- Mix in the chopped onion and coriander when cooled.
Make the crepes:
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium to low heat.
- Fold half a kitchen towel to use as a brush. Dampen the paper with oil and rub the base of the pan with it.
- Pour in a ladle (about ¼ cup ) onto the pan and swirl the pan to coat the base. Leave it to cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. It is important that the heat is low as we do not want a crepe with brown lacy marks like the normal crepes that we get.
- Leave the batter to firm up and the side slightly dry. Remove the crepe and place it onto a plate.
Repeat until all the batter is used up.
Yield: I got 11 crepes from the recipe. My pan is a bit big, about 28cm with a base of 19cm. You will get more crepes if your pan is smaller, say 15cm.
Putting it together:
- For 1 pillow:
On a plate, place a crepe with the fried-side up.
In a separate bowl, mix the chopped fruits with 1 tsp of icing sugar and mix well.
- Place the fruits onto the centre of the crepe neatly in a rectangular shape.
Top with 1 tablespoon or more of the whipped cream and layer it evenly.
- Fold the left and right side of the crepe towards the centre. Then fold the lower flap of the crepe over the filling. With both hands, gently fold the top flap over the filling to get a neat rectangle, gently shaping it with your hands. Roll it over away from you. Trim off excess crepe so you get a neat pillow.
- Place on a serving dish and garnish with the fruits and sauces of your choice.
Do the same as the sweet filling. For extra taste, add a blob of the cream onto the savoury filling before folding.
That is my whole day experimenting with the pancakes!! I am also seriously, this time, experimenting with my photography!! I still have a lot to learn!!!
I hope you like the pancakes and try them out. You can also use the pancakes as normal, like spreading with jam or melted butter or, make crepe suzette.
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Until the next post… happy cooking