It’s Pancake Day, or rather Vancake Day! And what a perfect meal they make while you’re on the road. Tasty, simple and utterly delicious, our road trip recipes are inspired by flavours and ingredients we came across on our European tour.
First up is our Italian inspired duo. A tasty savoury followed by a mouthwatering sweet! Here are the ingredients for our Parma Ham and Parmesan Vancake inspired by our tastings of cured ham in Parma, Parmesan cheese in the Italian markets and beautiful fresh basil. We finished off with a delicious drizzle of Balsamic vinegar which we discovered in a visit to Modena. The result is our cover star in the image above.
For pud it just had to feature Limoncello. We are quite partial to this luscious lemon liqueur which just fills your mouth with zingy flavour. A scattering of vibrant green pistachios, a dollop of mascarpone and you’re good to go. We made a sticky syrup with 4tbsp Limoncello and 3tbsp icing sugar which creates a truly tasty topping.
Next up it’s a visit to Spain. Memories of spicy chorizo sausages suspended from shop ceilings, giant red peppers in the fresh food markets, tangy slices of Manchego cheese with a slathering of tomato salsa … all adds up to one satisfying, pleasurable plateful.
When travelling around the Seville area, especially Cordoba, we were constantly surrounded by oranges. Bright and fragrant, clustered on small trees, their sweet smell wafting in the air. And then there were the pretty pink almond trees in Antequera … We’ve used a buttermilk pancake batter here with the addition of orange zest, chopped almonds and a spoonful of almond essence for a real flavour hit. Oh, and we did add a bit of Cointreau to the caramel too. Yes it’s French but we’ll call it a hybrid!
In Avignon, France we ate our first ever Buckwheat pancakes with an egg on top. We’ve made our own version of them here with Brie, porcini mushrooms and shallots. If you can get fresh cep mushrooms, all the better. Cooked in the pan and then popped under the grill to melt the cheese, they’re a lunchtime winner.
For Germany we just had to go to the Black Forest for our inspiration! We can’t resist the incredible combination of dark chocolate and cherries. So, so flavoursome. We cooked our cherries in Cassis (actually French) which really highlights their flavour but you could use Kirsch and then sweeten it a bit. A dollop of whipped cream, yogurt or creme fraiche with another cheeky spoonful of cassis stirred in takes it to flavour heaven!
We didn’t quite make it to Portugal with our pancakes. There are only so many even we can eat! Watch this space though. They won’t be in time for pancake day but who says you can only eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. They’re so good and so easy we should be having them all year round!
150g plain flour
300ml semi-skimmed milk
2 medium eggs
Put the flour in a bowl
Make a well in the middle and mix in eggs
Add milk gradually to make a smooth batter.
Cook over medium heat in a thin layer 2-3 mins each side.
250g ricotta cheese
5 tbsp caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp melted butter
55g plain flour
Mix together the cheese, sugar and egg yolks, zest and butter.
Fold in the flour.
Whisk up eggs white to soft peaks and fold into mix.
Heat butter in pan on medium heat.
Spoon batter into pan in small heaps and cook til set and golden.
50g buckwheat flour
50g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
3g fast action yeast
1 medium egg
110ml warm water
160ml whole milk
150g porcini mushrooms, pre-soaked in hot water for 30 mins
75g chopped shallots
100g Brie or Cantal cheese
Add flours, salt and yeast to bowl
Mix up egg, milk and water and add to bowl gradually.
Leave to stand for 1 hour
Fry mushrooms and shallots in olive oil
Cook pancakes over medium heat 2-3 minutes on first side
Flip over and break egg onto centre of pancake, cooking until white goes opaque
Fold over sides to create a square and sprinkle with mushrooms, shallots and cheese
Put under grill to finish off cooking egg white
150 self raising flour
2 tbsp honey or caster sugar
1 tbsp oil
Whisk egg, honey, buttermilk and oil together.
Mix into flour.
Dollop into pan on medium heat cooking 2-3 minutes each side.
Add grated orange zest, almond extract and chopped almonds (as per our Spanish orange vancake)
Or add any of the following – grated lime or lemon zest, vanilla extract, cocoa powder