This year, I thought I’d make my first attempts at making pancakes, but in typical fashion, I wasn’t prepared to just settle for any old plain type, so here are my experiments for this year’s Pancake Day. I think they turned out okay for a first attempt!
Idea #1 – Banana Milkshake and Glace Cherry Pancake
This is regular pancake batter, flavoured with a couple of spoonfuls of Banana milkshake powder, and with a couple of finely-chopped Glace Cherries mixed in. It’s the latter part that I wasn’t certain would work, but it mixed and cooked just fine, though I didn’t quite get an even spread.
Idea #2 – Chocolate-Orange filled Pancake (well, Clementine segments and Bourbon Biscuit Chocolate spread, to be exact)
Regular batter, covered down the centre with Bourbon Biscuit Chocolate spread, on tip of which I placed some Clementine segments, as I personally prefer them over regular Oranges usually. I’d never tried fruit in a pancake before, and I’d definitely try it again sometime.
Idea #3 – Strawberry milkshake Pancake
Again just regular batter, but flavoured with a few spoonfuls of Strawberry milkshake powder. Out of the two milkshake flavoured pancakes, I prefered the Banana flavoured one (as did my family); not to say that it was bad, but it needs some tweaking.
Inspired by a recent video posted online by the people at SORTED Food (posted below), I thought I’d try making popcorn with a twist too – Rocky Road popcorn. This was my first attempt, and I followed my own improvised method, rather than follow any already online.
2 ounces of popcorn kernals
2 ounces of butter
Glace Cherries, chopped
2 ounces makes a nice bowlful.
In a large pan, melt your butter over a high heat, swirling around to make sure the bottom is completely coated.
Add the kernals and cover the pan, swirling closely over the heat. Ensure the cover is on firmly (use a teatowel to hold in place) as you do this. You may find it useful to use a glass saucepan lid. Keep it on the move to avoid burning any popcorn.
Once popped, turn off heat and add in the rest of the ingredients and mix whilst still warm, then transfer to a bowl – a microwaveable one if you wish to add in further ingredients to mix in, as I did, though this will come down to personal preference. An additional 40 seconds in the microwave should suffice, should you wish to add in more; just coat with further marshmallows and chips, then stir in after heating again.
Looked nice, but I decided further Rocky Road ingredients were required….
….so added more on top, microwaved for 40 seconds and mixed.
This went down well with everyone who tried it – turns out it works well as a handy snack on a night out!
It was ‘National Cupcake Week’ last week apparently, but to be honest I was in the mood to try something new anyway. Already being a fan of the banana cake recipe (originally found online but modified by myself a couple of times since), I thought I’d try to twist it again. I decided to split the mixture into two portions (I spooned roughly one third into another bowl) and added glace cherries to the larger mixture, and chocolate powder to the smaller, then layered them. Here’s the method I used.
230 grams (1 3/4 cups) self-raising flour
150 grams (3/4 cup) granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
120 grams (1/2 cup) melted butter or margarine
3 large bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Glace cherries, chopped
Chocolate milkshake powder
A splash of milk
This mixture will yield 18 cupcakes.
In one bowl combine your flour, sugar & salt. In another combine your eggs, butter, mashed bananas & vanilla. Tip one into the other and mix together, but don’t worry so much about making a smooth mix – it still needs to be lumpy ideally.
Spoon roughly one third of this cake mix into another bowl, and put the smaller mix aside for a moment. Add the chopped glace cherries to the larger bowl and mix in. Going back to the smaller mix, spoon in about half a teaspoon of chocolate powder mixture, and add just a splash of milk, to help mix it in. Continue stirring until it starts taking on a chocolate colour and the milk has been absorbed, adding in a little more chocolate powder as you stir to help this along.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 (180C or 350F). Spoon the banana and cherry cake mixture evenly into your cake cases, then spoon the chocolate-banana mixture on top of each. Place in the oven to bake of 25-30 minutes.
I was quite happy with how these turned out, and they definitely went down well with everyone. I didn’t really know how to name them, but ‘Banana-cherry-choc split cupcakes’ seemed the most precise!
After recently discovering that a certain well-known supermarket has launched a Bourbon Biscuit Chocolate Spread, I couldn’t resist the idea of seeing what I could do with it – I opted to go back to the old tried and tested pastry swirl recipe. It’s simple and doesn’t take long to prepare and cook.
– 1 sheet of puff pastry (I used a pre-rolled sheet)
– Bourbon Biscuit Chocolate Spread (though I’m sure regular Chocolate Spread and Bourbon biscuits will suffice!)
– A handful of crushed Hob Nob biscuits
– Mini marshmellows
Lay out the pastry, and apply a layer of spread, allowing for space to fold, as demonstrated.
Sprinkle the crushed Hob Nobs (as generous as you choose to be) and the marshmellows on top, fold and repeat.
Continue until you’re just left to fold the final pastry layer to cover. Apply a milk wash, then place in the oven, pre-heated at gas mark 7 for 15-20 minutes.
When ready, it’ll look something like this.
It’s nice to eat either warm or chilled, as a sweet snack or dessert.
Thought I’d share this again, as I’ve introduced this idea to a few people recently and they’ve all liked it. Plus, my previous entry on this vanished! Just a simple layering of Boursin cheese spread and mixed fruit jam – it’s quick, tastes great and suits any moods.
I can’t quite remember how this idea came to me – might seem strange to some, but given that many people already enjoy grape and cheese, and all the fruit-infused cheeses, consider this a variation on a theme.