In our travels so far we had the pleasure to taste the delicious pancakes in many parts of the world. Be it Europe, Asia or America the recipe remains simple, but every nation is trying to add that special touch of their own cuisine – a secret ingredient here, a special flavour there etc.
Sweet ingredients like fruit jam, chocolate, cream cheese or powdered sugar can be added to the delicate taste of this dessert. Also, if you wish to serve the pancakes as an appetizer, you can fill them with various mixtures of minced meat and mushrooms.
If you go to France you can order “crêpe” – the traditional French pancakes. The look, smell and taste of French crêpes are unique. Crêpes are original from Brittany region (Bretagne), but have become very popular over the years throughout the country – you can taste them at a crêperie, terrace, French restaurant or bakery.
If you want to cook your own French crêpes you will need the following ingredients: 250 g all-purpose flour, 4 eggs, ½ liter of milk, 50 g butter, a half teaspoon of salt. For extra flavor you can add lemon zest, vanilla and a half teaspoon of rum. If you want to follow the original recipe of French crêpes, use a jam or chocolate filling, roll the crêpes and add a few drops of cider on top of them.
A special recipe that we first tried when we were at a terrace in Paris is mille crêpes: a cake made of many crêpe layers and vanilla cream in between each layer: it was a truly wonderful celebration of flavors!
Everyone tried at least once the American pancakes. They are fluffier and thicker than European ones because baking powder is added to the composition. American Pancakes can also be a well-deserved treat after a long walk on the streets of New York, for example.
The recipe is as short as that for crêpes but just as laborious as it involves cooking each pancake at a time.
American pancakes may have the following composition: 450 g all-purpose flour, 4 teaspoons of baking powder, 3 eggs, 450 ml of milk, 3 tablespoons of melted butter, 6 tablespoons sugar and half a teaspoon of salt – you’ll get up to 10 big and fluffy pancakes. Add fruit syrup, honey or chocolate topping, fresh fruits (such as cherries, raspberries, blueberries or strawberries) and whipped cream.
In North America, pancakes are usually served as breakfast rather than as a dessert after lunch.
In China, the pancakes recipe is a different story. Take for example the famous Mandarin Pancakes:
Ingredients – 2 cups of all-purpose flour, one cup of boiling water, half a cup of cold water and three tablespoons of sesame oil.
Mix flour with hot water, then add cold water until you have a smooth dough. Cover it and let it rest for 30 minutes. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough until it reaches about 1 cm thick, then cut into circles approximately 7 cm in diameter. Brush half a teaspoon of sesame oil over one circle of dough and place another circle on top of it to make a two-layer pancake. Use the floured rolling pin to roll the pancake until it is wide enough to fit into a frying pane. Repeat the process for the other circles of dough.
Bake the pancakes (one at a time!) in the hot pan and then detach the two layers.
Serve plain or filled with red bean paste.
Mandarin Pancakes have the advantage that can be stored in the freezer to be reheated and served later.
As you can see, the pancakes are quite easy to prepare, even when you travel away from your fully equipped kitchen back at home.
If you are a fan of pancakes, feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Enjoy the pancakes, wherever you are!