Tuesday, 28 February, 2017
Sarah Cook gives her tips on creating the best vegan pancakes, from classic to crepes, American to gluten free.
Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Pancake day – whatever you want to call it, the plan is pancakes. With so many types and so many recipes I’ve sifted through my favourites to give you the best of the best.
What makes a pancake recipe ‘best’? Glad you asked. These recipes are all simple to make with as few ingredients as possible. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t cooked pancakes before, just check out the tips section at the bottom, pick your recipe and get going. I’ve picked standard versions of each pancake, nothing fancy: they are great as they are. They also don’t include any healthy recipes – this is a day for satisfying your inner glutton. Finally, this selection doesn’t involve any hard to get or expensive ingredients as everything should be available in your local supermarket.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with using egg-replacer or making a healthy version of a pancake, it’s just not my (strawberry) jam.
This is what most Europeans mean when they say “pancake” – for Stateside friends, look at the American Pancake section below. My favourite recipe uses this Yorkshire Pudding batter for pancakes. I like the option to either have savoury or sweet fillings so a plain batter, made with an unsweetened plant milk works really well. If you want to make a French style crepe you need thinner batter to make the thinner pancake so just add a little more milk to the mix. I put my batter into a measuring jug with a lip to pour more easily into the pan, or use a soup ladle.
This French savoury pancake is made with wholemeal flour or buckwheat and is great wrapped around a vegan sausage with some mustard instead of a hotdog bun (a common snack in parts of France). Just replace the flour in the recipe above with wholemeal (or half and half) and add half a teaspoon of baking powder for extra lift. There is also a super simple recipe from a Paris based blogger here. I think that these make an impressive meal in and of themselves and my favourite filling is leftover mushroom rice with some vegan cheese grated on the top, then grilled until bubbling.
These are taller, fluffier and sweeter than the classic. The batter is richer and usually contains sugar, raising agent and oil. You can use the classic recipe and just add less milk plus a bit of raising agent if you like, or try out this recipe, or this one if you like the classic blueberry pancake. The mix should be glossy and pour into round discs in the pan rather than spreading out to fill the pan. A bigger pan is useful here so you can make several in the same batch. As they cook, they will bubble in the centre and start to go firm: that’s when you turn them over with a spatula.
As well as the Breton galette made with buckewheat flour, here are some other great options for our gluten-free friends. Kick off with a bunch of these cute savoury mini chickpea pancakes and for those with a sweet tooth there are these lovely vanilla American Pancakes or these fab fluffy numbers made with apple sauce. For thinner pancakes, this banana based recipe is great.
• Melted vegan cheese
• Chopped up vegan hot-dogs and BBQ sauce
• Lemon and sugar
• Chocolate spread
• Orange juice and sugar
• Banana, peanut butter and maple syrup
• Chocolate chips
• Use a flavourless oil like sunflower or rapeseed
• Keep the pan greased, or the pancakes will stick – add a bit of oil in between pancakes if it is looking dry
• Use a non-stick pan
• Flip, if you feel brave, but equally you can turn them over with a wooden spatula
• Put the oven on a low heat and put a plate in the oven. Add your pancakes on the plate so they will stay warm and you can serve a big pile of pancakes all at once
• If you are feeling very fancy, you can put your batter in a squeezy bottle and make pancake art – send us your photos on Twitter!
By Sarah Cook