Some friends of mine came over from England last week and they spent a couple of days staying with me. I woke up one morning to find that they had gone out to buy breakfast. They had all the essentials; croissants, nutella, eggs and milk. However, the milk they had bought was not actually milk, it looked like a milk bottle and it did say LAIT on it but it was in fact ‘lait fermenté’; fermented milk which also called acidified milk and very similar to buttermilk. It has the consistency of cream, the taste of unsweetened yoghurt and does not go nicely in a cup of tea.
So, that was a bit of a fail, but seeing as the bottle was not in English, or even really in French and we don’t speak Arabic, they were forgiven. Not wanting to waste it, I got a-searching on marmiton.com for some way of using it; the easiest thing being pancakes.
480 mls of buttermilk or fermented milk combined with 2 eggs, 250 grams of flour, a teaspoon of baking soda, 60 grams of sugar, a pinch of salt and a large teaspoon of melted butter should do the trick! Mix the wet ingredients together.
I added a bit of cinnamon too.
Slowly add the dry ingredients, sift them to add fluffiness and combine until you have a mix unlumpy batter. Now take a moment to clean the kitchen slightly because it will probably be a mess.
This all seems pretty simple, but during the time I was making this I came up with a few tips to perfect the whole thing, and most of it can really be applied to life in general.
Here is what I learnt:
– Life is full of disappointments: This is probably something that a lot of people apply to a lot of situations, I am applying it to pancake batter. This recipe said that it would serve four, it did not. It probably created half a meal for three of us, so double or triple it, unless you are mice. It would probably be four servings for mice.
– Be prepared: Ingredients are important, having the right ingredients is also important so make sure you have the right ingredients before you begin. Because they are all relatively essential.
– Improvise when appropriate: If you were not prepared, don’t fret! adjust the recipe for what you have; sometimes you don’t have eggs, half a mashed banana will do almost the same job and will give it a nice flavour. And feel free to add flavours as you like; cinnamon, vanilla, rum, cocoa etc…
– Stay calm!: If it is all going wrong as you’re trying to flip them, if you can’t help but smoosh them up a little, don’t stress out or it will just go more wrong. Stay calm and cool, and that applies to the pan too, don’t make it too hot.
– Good things come to those who wait: Yes, I know, probably a little overused but it’s true. Having to cook one pancake at a time means that you’re going to be there for a while but don’t try and rush it. If you think that it’s time to flip it, it probably isn’t. wait until the bubbles on top have burst and then some. A little crispy on the outside is a lot better than raw on the inside.
Size DOES matter: A big frying pan on a small element is going to be a disaster, so use a big element, or a small pan. Actually a small pan is going to make the pancakes smaller and easier to flip, so maybe that’s better… The debate continues…
– Always own a good spatula: If your spatula is anything like mine you will want to punch yourself in the face. And that is a feeling you should always try and avoid.
After all this stress, you will hopefully be left with a nice batch of yummy goodness.
There was one other thing that I learnt in this experiment: I flippin’ hate making pancakes. So find someone who likes to make them, and is good at it, and keep them!