In Australia, it is traditional for some Christian groups to eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. This tradition is said to be based in the Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras custom of using up all of your fats and indulgent foods before the beginning of Lent.
Although strict adherence to religious practices might be becoming less popular, many people still hold onto cultural practices of religions, especially those surrounding special days in the calendar.
Regardless of your religious convictions or opinions, doesn't everyone love a holiday or seasonal food?
Tonight, to mark Shrove Tuesday in our household we enjoyed some delicious homemade pancakes. It was nice to think of these as an indulgent special treat, as we sometimes forget how lucky we are in our wonderful abundant life here in Australia. Only two generations ago ice cream itself was a rare and expensive treat, not something just kept in the household freezer (what freezer?) to grab a scoop any old time. And of course, many people around the world could never dream of eating such a beautiful and superfluous meal. But I think that is a discussion for another time.
Onto the recipe.
Vanilla and Cinnamon Pancakes with Maple Syrup, Burnt Butter and Vanilla Icecream
Makes 2 generous serves
1/4 light sour cream
15g butter, melted
2 eggs, separated
1/2 Tbs vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup Natvia for Baking
Extra butter, margarine or olive oil spray for greasing
20g butter, made into beurre noisette or burnt butter
2 Tbs pure maple syrup
Connoisseur Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
1. Prepare your beurre noisette for your topping in a very small pan (like a single egg pan). Beurre noisette or Burnt butter is butter that is cooked over a medium heat until it is just brown, giving a wonderful rich and nutty flavour. Place aside.
2. Combine milk, sour cream, melted butter, 2 egg yolks and vanilla bean paste in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
3. Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon together into mixture, add Natvia for baking. Whisk to combine.
4. In a small glass bowl, whisk egg whites until they form a thick foam. Fold into the mixture until even. Transfer to a jug.
5. Heat a small non-stick pan on a medium heat. Add a small amount of butter or alternative.
6. Pour batter into the pan and then gently tilt the pan to spread evenly. Cook until bubbles and wholes start to form on the top. Flip and then cook for 20 - 30 secs until just brown on the other side. Remove onto a small plate covered in foil.
7. Continue with remaining batter. Makes 6 small pancakes 12 -15 cm in diameter.
8. Plate 3 pancakes into each bowl. Top with a scoop or quenelle* of ice cream, drizzle with maple syrup and burnt butter.
*I served Mr Canbella his pancakes with 2 delicate quenelles of ice cream. My serve, as seen int he photographs was a rather more robust sculpted scoop. Quenelles are a great technique, but I find they melt really fast, ruining the effect.
If you want to use quenelles for your presentation I would recommending preparing them, placing on greaseproof paper in the freezer while you cook the pancakes and then placing them on top and running to the table. Although your guests might be freaked out at the sight of you running at them with dessert.... On second thoughts who wants guests who freak out at dessert?