Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Banaspberry Pancakes

Gluten freedom is hard to have, hardest when it is forced upon you and you don't really want to accept it (in my case), but also half but also very brave to take on as possibly a sympathetic arm around a shoulder (in Alex's case when we cook together). There's a lot to consider and when you throw veganism into the mix sometimes its sort of like "why bother?".
we shall perservere.
Because that's what you do, y'know. Just go with it. Options keep opening up to people with gluten intolerances, more cafes and restaurants are providing alternatives, some have tkaen the option of not charging extra to provide for those who have dietary requirements and that is pretty awesome. Once upon a time, pancakes that I could eat (gluten free and vegan and not disgusting, thanks) and enjoy eating seemed quite far-fetched and a lot of wasted batter were chucked in attempts to make something that might do for particular cravings, at whatever hour of the day. For some reason, this seemingly simple dish baffled us. Was it because of the gluten free? Was it because of no eggs? we couldn't figure it out.

A very simple recipe from Tony Weston and Yvonne Bishop's "Vegan: Over 90 mouthwatering recipes for all occasions" sent us on the right trail. Their recipe gave us ideas for a very simple fail-proof formula for the vegan pancake, that is easily transferrable to gluten free flours, if you make the adjustments to liquid and flours as you see fit whilst combining.
The recipe in the book says to cook them with rapeseed oil but as the idea of that seems just way too healthy for me, I tend to go with a dairy free margarine if I have it around in the fridge. Apologies for being a bit 'tradish'. This recipe makes HEAPS but sent us on our way.
The next trick was getting a handle on how hot the pan should be and how much oil/marg should be on the pan before/whilst cooking each pancake. Go with your instinct and like Pip's said:
Remember to give the first pancake to the dog. Them's the rules. Which I don't 100% agree with, maybe because I don't have a dog - but I do have the powers of the deduction required to see what alterations need to be made after the first pancake if it isn't a success. and sometimes I'll eat anything, god damn.

The self raising flour is optional but offers a fluffly pancake and the aeration in the batter provided from the baking powder or bicarb or whatever seems to work in favour for the gluten free flours I use. It's easy to go without, for a thinner pancake, but I'm already using margarine to cook them with, so I'm going to stick with my nostalgia, thankyouverymuch.

I'll make a goddamn crepe when I feel like it, but these are banana and raspberry pancakes for lovers who are not concerned wit
h risking diabetes or belly-expansion.

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup plain flour

1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

1 healthy pinch of salt

1.5 cups rice milk mixed with 2 teaspoonse apple cider vinegar and left to curdle

.5 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 overripe banana

and as many frozen raspberries as we thought seemed to be reasonable

Combine flours, Baking powder and salt.
In a seperate bowl mash your banana (the riper, the easier to do this. my favourite trick is to pre-mash the banana whilst it's still in it's skin by gently squeezing it from either side till the firm fruit becomes (he he he) a floppy phallus and then peeling it into a bowl and finishing it off with a fork.
To the banana, add the vanilla essence, curdled milk+vinegar mix and sugar.
Make a well into the flour mix bowl and combine well. Add more flour or milk as you see fit, if necessary. When you're happy with the consistency, throw in the raspberries and fold.

I feel like I need to stress the importance of coverage with the oil base you're using in the pan for this recipe. I've had way too many "scrambled" pancakes to not be paranoid. When melting the margarine into the pan, make sure you're oiling up the whole pan and not just spots. When you're happy with the coverage and the heat of the pan, its time to get to work.
Ladle out the mixture into the pan (I like to see how far one batch of batter can go and do half-ladles of it and tip the pan from side-to-side to spread out the batter), when bubbles start to surface, this is when i start lifting the pancake, so we know it's time to get going.
The second side of the pancake should take about or even less than 2 thirds of the time it took to get the first side cooked, depending on taste and heat variables.
It's good to be careful not to burn the pancakes but too much urgency can weild a mushy inside pancake, which can be tastey but is not what you should be aiming for.

This should make a moist pancake that you can taste the banana from (some vegan banana pancake recipes ignore the flavour of the banana and use the fruit solely as an egg subsitute which I find disappointing) and are completely deserving of the impending heart attacks that Alex and I are likely to suffer from if we keep up the marg/sugar kick. If we hadn't spread the batter on the pan and left them thicker they would have been quite delightful as pikelets, but we were pancaking.


Mandee said...

Léna, they look delicious! My face cafe (ore-vegan) used to do banana in pancakes and you could actually see the pces of banana, anytime I try to replicate it I burn the 'narna.

And I have some of that Rowie's pastry mix in the cupboard! I've had it for months but was hesitant to use it with Orgran Egg Replacer. I will give it a go next time we do pie/crumble, ta!

Mandee said...


Amira said...

those pancakes looks sooo good, i just got that Vegan book for christmas but haven't tried any recipes yet, those millet burgers have been looking mighty tempting lately thought. Any advice on another really good recipe from this book?

I'm Philippa O said...

nice. maybe you should have a fairwell breakfast???