The Power of Pancakes – Shrove Tuesday (Chef Scotty B)

Who doesn’t love pancakes? Unless you were born so horrendously ugly that your poor parents, faced with a life of shame and public derision, were forced to abandon you in the woods where you were raised by all manner of woodland creatures who found you too repulsive to eat, we all have fond memories of golden discs of butter soaked excellence. Summer saturday mornings on the rare occasion that we had let our parents sleep past 9am, we were rewarded with the promise of pancakes. The spell of civil obedience was however short lived as the morning ticked past 10.30 and we still hadn’t been fed. Our patience, and our parents’, began to wear thin. As the babysitter (television) failed to distract us from the growing pain in our bellies, a ingenious new strategy would be implemented in an attempt to extract nourishment from our parents, we would hang out by the stove and complain! Strangely enough this would more often than not have the opposite of the desired effect, in fact provoking a much larger primate wielding hot steel was impossibly counter productive to our needs. Eventually, having dodged hot fry pans and the occasional swinging back hand, and on the verge of collapse from severe malnourishment we were ushered outside to the old picnic table and presented with our prize. A foot high stack of steamy, buttery disks of perfectly browned pancakey glory. In our family we never really had maple syrup, we were all about golden syrup, and white sugar and lemon. All sorts of experimental filling ended up in our pancakes (and on our shirts) including jam and whipped cream, even creamed corn and cheese found its way onto these sun soaked mornings of glorious gluttony. Every family has their time honoured recipe, and everyone’s own recipe is the undisputed king of pancake recipes. I’d like to make note that I got the inspiration for this particular adaption from one of Melbourne’s best breakfast spots, “The Kettle Black”

Pancake day is upon us! Shrove Tuesday (known in some countries as Pancake Day) is the day before the start of lent. When I was told about this concept, I at first found the whole idea absurd, but the more I thought about the overall absurdities attributed to religious beliefs, the idea of ‘Pancake Day’ started to seem like a great idea after all. Renee G has a full explanation of Shrove tuesday and why bacon pancakes are great…

Nowadays churches and religious organisations produce baked goods (including pancakes) to sell on the Tuesday before easter for fund raising and charitable purposes. To me its just a great excuse to eat some fucken pancakes! Like I need a reason…….

Liquids for pancakes

Strawberry Balsamic Sauce

  • Servings: 250g
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 200g fresh strawberries cored and halved
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 20g water
  • 15g balsamic vinegar

Combine everything into a small pot and cook over a moderate heat until a thick syrupy consistency is achieved. Blend until smooth and store in a warm place until required.

Cooling the cream anglaise
Cooling the cream anglaise

Vanilla Anglaise

  • Servings: 300g
  • Difficulty: med
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  • 130g milk
  • 100g cream
  • ½ vanilla bean split lengthways and scraped out
  • 70g castor sugar
  • 2 egg yolks

Combine the milk, cream and vanilla bean in a pot and heat gently, keep warm for around 30 minutes to properly infuse the vanilla flavour into the milk. Whisk together your yolks and sugar in a metal bowl until well combined and slightly lighter in colour. Bring a medium pot of water to the boil. Slowly pour your warm milk into the yolk/sugar mix while whisking constantly. Once all the milk has been incorporated place the bowl over the boiling pot of water and stir gently with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until it begins to thicken. You will know when your anglaise is ready when you can draw a line on the back of your spoon with your finger and it will hold its line, just….. Be very careful not to over cook your anglaise as it will be lumpy and taste of cooked eggs. Cool immediately by placing your bowl into a larger bowl half filled with ice water. Stir occasionally until cool, pass through a seive and retain until required.

Pancake batter
Pancake batter

Buttermilk Pancake

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: med
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  • 160g flour
  • 8g baking powder
  • 4g baking soda
  • 2g salt
  • 30g castor sugar
  • 60g butter melted
  • 350g buttermilk
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 70g blueberries

Preheat your oven to 200ºc. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in all the other ingredients except the blueberries. Martha Stewart insists that you should not over mix your batter as the minute lumps are what makes it fluffy, while this seems counter-intuitive in my mind, I bet Marthas hot cakes were the baddest on H Block in the big house. Heat a small pan and drop a knob of butter into it, brown the butter, this will give you a wonderful nutty, earthy flavour, but be careful not to burn the milk solids too much. Pour your batter into the pan until it is 2/3 full. Drop you blueberries into the batter and put the pan in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Whipped Cream

  • Servings: 100g
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 100g whipping cream
  • 15g icing sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod

Because who wants pancakes without whipped cream??? Combine all ingredients and whisk until thick. Refrigerate to set.

Ready to plate the pancake
Ready to plate the pancake
To Assemble:
  • 4-5 strawberries
  • 10 blueberries
  • 6 leaves assorted mint
  • 1 nasturtium flower
  • 1 nasturtium leaf

Once the pancake is cooked flip it onto your plate and decorate with strawberry sauce, whipped cream, berries and leaves. Finally pour your anglaise around the edge of the pancake so the bottom of the pancake soaks up that delicious shit while the top remains crispy. Finally thanks the good lord Jesus for inventing pancakes and smash that shit while it’s still hot. Amen!

Pancake ready to eat
Pancake ready to eat

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