This coming 17th February on Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day, we’ll see the nation go ‘flipping’ mad for pancakes in every shape and form.
Shrove Tuesday is historically known as the day when perishable ingredients had to be used up before the fasting period of Lent began and so for many of your customers, this will mean over indulging in pancake treats before giving up their favourite things for Lent. Since then, pancakes have become a firm favourite on many menus, in their many varieties. From classic French crepes, to thick American pancakes stacked high, there is a pancake for everyone’s palate.
Most commonly associated with France, crepes are popular all around the world. Usually made from wheat flour, these extra thin pancakes are created by pouring the batter onto a circular hot plate or frying pan. Quickly swirling the mix around the hot plate with a unique shaped spatula is what makes this pancake characteristically thin.
Served any time of the day with sweet or savoury fillings, these are sure to be a hit on your menu. How about trying a savoury crepe filled with ham, eggs and cheese at lunchtime? Or tempt your customers with the retro classic – Crepe Suzette; served warm and soaked in a sticky orange based sauce and then flambéed with orange liqueur – this makes for a deliciously grown up dessert.
Alternatively, if you want to keep things simple but still tempt your customers, spreading a thick layer of chocolate spread across the crepe whilst it’s still cooking will add an indulgent melted chocolate treat, ideal for all ages.
The traditional English pancake
Traditionally made from perishable everyday goods found in your kitchen cupboard; eggs, flour and milk – these pancakes are thicker than a crepe but just as scrumptious nonetheless.
Often eaten as a sweet dessert with a nostalgic topping of lemon juice and sugar, or drizzled with golden syrup, these classic creations are always a firm favourite. They also pair perfectly with savoury ingredients; experiment with wrapping pancakes around savoury fillings or mixing into the batter. Why not try creating both a sweet and savoury option for your menu – how about a chocolate and banana vs bacon and scrambled egg?
The possibilities are endless, so why not let your customers create their own by allowing them to choose their own toppings, flavoured sauces and syrups? Offering customers the choice of a range of toppings, from sweets and chocolate to fruit and nuts, means that there would be something for everyone on the menu this Pancake Day.
Although similar to English pancakes, American pancakes have a lighter, fluffier texture due to the addition of baking powder and butter in the batter. Buttermilk can also be used to create a slightly sweeter flavour to your pancakes. Typically fried in smaller circles, they are slightly thicker and are famously prepared in stacks of at least two or three.
Delicious served with a generous coating of maple syrup with a side of bacon, your customers will find these American treats hard to resist. Other popular American toppings include egg, jam, peanut butter and whipped cream topped with fresh fruit and nuts.
The thick batter makes it ideal to add ingredients to the mix before cooking – chocolate chips are sure to go down well with your customers; as they slice their pancakes open and the chocolate temptingly oozes out. Or for a lighter option why not try including fruit in your batter such as blueberries or bananas?
What pancakes are you planning on whipping up for your customers this Pancake Day? Will you be sticking to the classics or embracing more unusual flavours? We’d love to hear all about what you plan to create on Twitter.