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5 alternative toppings for Pancake Day

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Why we don't have more pancake appreciation days than once a year we will never know. They're quick, cheap, easy and tasty. What more could you want from a meal?

Maybe it's because when we think of pancakes, we think lemon and sugar and not much else. The traditional Shrove Tuesday topping is a classic, but the pancake is so versatile, so forgiving, that it will take almost any topping you throw at it and work as a great base. We've put together five alternative fillings for your pancakes this Pancake Day so why not try one out?

 

The Churros

Given that pancakes and churros share the same basic batter ingredients, it's surprising that more of us haven't tried this. Cinnamon sugar is so easy to make and keeps forever in a sealed container. A ratio of 4:1, sugar:cinnamon is commonly recommended, but it really is a personal choice.  Mix the two together and you've got a perfect topping for porridge or a staple ingredient of lots of recipes such as snickerdoodles (which you have to try sometime).

For your pancakes, after cooking to perfection, drop your pancake onto a plate lightly sprinkled with your cinnamon sugar. Spoon on some melted chocolate- my preference is always dark, but milk would work too and then roll up. You get the churro experience without the need for deep-fat frying, which has to be healthier and is certainly a lot safer!

 

The Berry Nice

Another great kitchen staple to have available, especially in the winter, is a bag of frozen berries. All the major supermarkets sell these and they're a fantastic way to get some fruit into your diet. If you're a smoothie fan, you can throw a handful into the blender. My personal recommendation would be warming some of the berry mix either in the microwave or on the stove and serving it with ice-cream-a brilliantly warming and reasonably healthy dessert.

For Pancake Day, try heating the berries through before draining some of the juice off and spooning onto your pancake. Roll your pancakes up and serve with a generous helping of vanilla ice-cream.

 

The Happy Apple

If you've never stewed fruit before now it's the time! It's a great way of using up apples, pears or plums that have seen much better days. Stewed apples also conjure up memories of childhood apple pie and apple crumble and are such classic comforting desserts. Believe me, this topping draws upon all of those feelings.

Stew some apples by peeling and chopping them, and cooking them on a low heat on the stove. Add some sultanas: as many or few as you want. When your pancakes are ready, place a generous helping in the middle and fold your pancakes in half. You could add some crumbled up shortbread to the top of the mixture for a crunchy edge, or some cinnamon sugar to the top for some sweetness.

 

The Abscurdly Good

Lemon is the classic pancake flavour, and as far as we're concerned, it's one of the best flavours around. Cake, macarons, cheesecake, muffins all of them are made at least fifty-percent better when lemon is involved. That's the vibe we're going for here.

Roughly mix together some lemon curd and some mascarpone if you still want to see the curd swirl through it. If you wanted, you could add some biscuit or meringue crumbs to add some crunch. Place a dollop in the middle of your pancake and fold it over.

 

The You Can't Have a Savoury Pancake, You Monster

I have to admit that I am a dessert kind of girl, but there's no reason why pancakes can't be a savoury dish - they do, after all, come from the same batter as both Yorkshire puddings and waffles. Whilst I'm not suggesting serving up a roast dinner wrapped in a pancake. though let me know how that goes if you do it. Believe it or not, however, a pancake could be the ideal accompaniment in place of pasta, potatoes or rice.

For this one, take your favourite chilli or bolognese recipe. You can approach this two ways. You can put a good quantity of your meat or vegetarian filling on one side of the pancake, fold it over and dig in. For something a bit more foodie-inspired, roll up several filled pancakes and place in a baking dish with a very generous sprinkling of cheese over the top. Grill until the cheese is melted, bubbling and golden, then serve up in all its gooey goodness.

And don't forget, whatever topping you choose to put on your pancakes- share it with friends, for instant better flavour! 




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