For me the weekend means pancakes. I love love love classic pancakes and we often have them with bacon and maple syrup which feeds my sweet and salty cravings. But sometimes it good to shake things up and not only with fillings but with the flour and milk. I think my favourite variation on the classic pancake has to be banana pancakes made with soya milk – delish! Failing that I’m happy to give anything a go and so on Sunday I decided on cinnamon raisin – this choice was mainly determined by what I had in my cupboard but hey this is a blog about everyday eating. Because let’s be honest, not every meal can be planned and playing with what ingredients you have is fun and food should be fun.

I still had the remainder of that gluten free flour – the same one used in my lemon cupcakes – so whilst these are sans gluten all purpose flour is ideal. I should say at this point I won’t be using the gluten free sort again: I was less than impressed with the texture in general. Why did I buy it then? In short, I didn’t. I inherited it from someone who had been staying in our flat whilst we were in London.

Okay then, now that the flour issue has been addressed onto the pancakes. I adore anything cinnamon but find it is all too easy to overdo it. When this happens you lose the spicy sweetness and gain an overpowering powdery almost choking taste that is not pleasant. Therefore I’m always cautious when it comes to using the ground variety. The sesame seeds and raisins just add a bit of interest but are well worth including.

Unfortunately I only have one decent pancake pan that allows me to cook a single pancake at time. Plus I don’t own a pancake warmer (I desperately want one though!) so I line a dish and pre-heat the oven to the lowest possible temperature and it works just fine.

I could never get bored of pancakes, it’s just not possible. There are too many combinations begging to be made and eaten. They are also pretty much fool proof or at least that’s what I’d always thought. Recently I ordered some white chocolate, pretzel filled pancakes with a buttery caramel sauce (yeah, I know how good that sounds!) in a very popular Chicago bruncherie called The Bongo Room. I’d heard so much about this place and was ready to be impressed. Sadly, it was not to be. The pancakes were huge. Too huge. Ridiculously huge. This might not have been a problem had it not been for the fact they were uncooked in the middle – schoolboy error if you ask me. The chewy, salty pretzel chunks would’ve been wonderful but I just couldn’t get over the doughy raw pancake. Yes, I know, I could have sent them back but the place was rammed and frankly I couldn’t be bothered so I sucked it up and ate the edges. That was not the only problem. The sauce was too sickly sweet and as much as I love white chocolate I was overcome by the sugar. You get what you ask for, right? I disagree. Because the concept behind these pancakes is pure genius and I couldn’t help thinking the entire time: “I could make these better”. And I will. Watch this space.

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

tablespoon sesame seeds

handful of raisins

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

tablespoon melted butter

Pre-heat the oven to the lowest possible temperature – mine goes to 170 faherenheit. Line a dish with parchment paper.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. I use a spatula.

Add egg and gradually whisk in milk. You want a thickish batter so if it’s looking watery stop adding milk. If the batter does get too thin you could add more flour but the measurements should be entirely accurate.

Stir in sesame seeds and raisins.

Heat the tablespoon of butter in a pan and add to batter. Wipe the pan clean. On a medium heat pour a small amount of batter in the pan – a little goes a long way. When bubbles appear on top flip the pancake and cook for a few seconds on the other side. Transfer pancake to lined dish and pop in oven to keep warm. Repeat. You should get 8 medium sized pancakes out of the mixture.

Serve with maple syrup or dust with icing sugar or both:)

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