Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nothing says love like banana pancakes

I am not going to lie to you - Rachel Allen's Fruity Pancakes from Rachel's Food for Living makes for a seriously delicious stack. In the spirit of all things lovey dovey, I made them for Stu yesterday morning (an no, I didn't even think to attempt the heart shapes!)

Fruity Pancakes - makes about 12 pancakes

150g plain flour (about 1 cup)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
25-50g caster sugar
2 eggs
125ml buttermilk (I add about 1 tbsp lemon juice to regular milk. I also added a bit of extra milk at the end to get the batter to the right consistency.)
25g butter, melted
fruit of your choice, about 150g in total, or 2 small bananas, mashed
sunflower oil

Step 1: Sift the floour, baking powder and soda together in a bowl. Add the caster sugar and mix.
Step 2: In another bowl whisk the eggs, then add the buttermilk and melted butter. Pour this into the dry ingredients, whisking as you add it in. The batter is ready to use now or may be stored in the fridge overnight.
Step 3: If you are using mashed banana, fold it in just before you want to cook the pancakes.
Step 4: Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and oil it very lightly. Drop large spoonfuls of pancake batter into the hot pan. Leave plenty of space between them as they spread while cooking. If you want to add other fruit, such as berries, do so now. Don't mix it in, just place it on top of the cooking batter.
Step 5: Cook for 1-2 minutes on the frist side until bubbles appear on the upper surface, then use a fish slice or something similar to turn the pancakes over and finish cooking on the second side for another couple of minutes until golden brown. Cook all the pancakes this way. Serve wisth sliced strawberries, maple syrup and bacon!

While we're at it, I would also like to give Rachel (I'm a bit of a fan) mad props for the Mediterranean Pasta Bake in her new book Bake. I made it last week (extra points for getting all the right cheeses and some nice chorizo from Sawers) for dinner one evening and it was very tasty, not to mention super easy.

Mediterranean Pasta Bake - Serves 6

100g chorizo, finely sliced
1-2 tbsp olive oil
500g penne pasta
2 x 400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
175ml boiling water
175ml double cream
50g chopped spring onion
2 tbsp chopped basil
50g capers
100g olives, pitted and chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper
1 tsp caster sugar
75g soft goat's cheese, crumbled
150g Gruyere cheese, grated
75g cheddar cheese, grated

30cm x 23cm oven proof dish

Step 1: Preheat oven 200c
Step 2: In a frying pan set over a high heat, cook the chorizo with the olive oil for 2 minutes and drain.
Step 3: In a large bowl, mix together the dried pasta with the tomatoes, the boiling water and cream. add the chorizo and then the spring onion, basil, capers, olives and garlic. Season with salt, pepper and the sugar.
Step 4: Place the mixture in the ovenproof dish and scatter over the three cheeses, making sure the pasta is completely covered, then bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until the pasta is cooked and the sauce golden and bubbling. Cover with foil after 30 minutes if it begins to dry out.

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