Tag Archives: pancakes

Cherry pancakes

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Back in Accra, counting down to holidays. It’s a nice cool Sunday and I have been doing some DIY, fastening the TV to brackets and hoping they hold. There are pillows strategically placed on the floor in case of sudden bracket failure… No need for much groceries as I leave again in ten days, though the thought of yet another overnight flight is not appealing. I had a small box of fresh cherries, brought from Rome, and had plans for a clafoutis today before they go moldy. However, a flatmate is roasting a chicken and it is resting in the oven while she is at yoga (as it is not quite done), so a tortilla-style cherry pancake was the solution. This was breakfast today, and will be dessert in my lunchbox the next few days.

Cherry pancakes (2 large ones)

Batter:
2 medium eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 pinch salt
1 tsp baking powder

1 cup pitted cherries
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp butter

Mix all ingredients for batter and let it stand for 10-15 minutes. I was hungry and did not wait, which made these a little rubbery. Next time, patience!

Tip half the cherries in a hot skillet with a teaspoon of butter and a teaspoon of sugar. Gently fry them for a few minutes, then pour half the batter over. Once the pancake is set and hopefully slightly golden, slide it on to a dinner plate. Quickly invert the plate and slide it back into the skillet. This was quite a robust pancake, easy to do. Cook until you think it is cooked through. Then repeat with the other cherries and remaining batter.

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Note: Not so pretty, and I had no icing sugar to tastefully dust over it, but tasty. These cherries are very sweet, otherwise you might want to add a bit of sugar in the batter. A little vanilla sugar or almond paste might be nice with these.

As usual I came back from Rome with well-packed suitcases: for friends, biscotti, parmesan, stroopwaffels. For me: ant traps, muesli, running shoes, olive oil, capers, migraine medications. Availability of items has gotten much better in Accra, by all means, but quality and cost of imported goods can be an issue. Now I’ll be looking for some nice Ghanaian products to take back on holiday: local chocolate, plaintain chips (Sankofa ones are very nice), and dried mango.

 

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Making munker (æbleskiver)

IMG_20180331_205645.jpgMore exciting cooking projects: making munker! These are Norwegian pancake puffs, though you might know them as æbleskiver, the Danish name. The cast iron pan was a birthday present from my mother, and it travelled Norway-London-Accra-Rome the last couple months. Realizing that Rome has better cooking conditions that sweat-dripping Accra, I took the pan back for Easter and tried it out at a friend’s house.  Often made with buttermilk or kefir and baking soda, but these were made with milk and yeast.

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Everything measured out and ready to go: this only needs 30 minutes to rise, so I assembled it on arrival at our friend’s house. Just whisk this together, cover bowl with tea towel and enjoy your dinner. I found this recipe on the always enjoyable Recipe Reminiscing: Maiden Draason’s Apple Slices (monks)

Munker (pancake puffs, with milk and yeast)

25 grammes fresh yeast (or 12.5 grammes dry)
250 ml milk
1 tbs sugar
60 grammes of soft butter
4 eggs
zest of 1/2 lemon (I skipped this, as I had none)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
300 ml plain white flour

Extra butter for frying
Jam or icing sugar to serve: we used crema di pistachio, which was gorgeous

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After half an hour, the batter was bubbly and frothy.  I heated the cast iron pan (9 holes) on the gas burner, brished the holes lightly with butter and spooned in about 2/3 hoe worth of batter. Very exciting! I did have several helpers. Here we are, turning them 3/4 with wooden skewers so the batter runs out to complete the sphere of pancake. We tried, we erred, we improved. We ate them all.

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Not quite spherical, but better: serve warm with jam and enjoy! These were very light and more-ish, and the batter made 3-4 rounds worth. Definitely to be explored with the sour milk variations, which would be tangier. The pan should also work well for takoyaki (octopus balls), which will be tried.

Banana oatmeal pancakes

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In honour of Shrove Tuesday, which is on February 13th this year: pancakes!  These were also a pre-travel, clear out fridge cooking effort (not much of an effort, really). I must confess, I do not particularly like bananas, but will eat them in banana bread and pancakes.  Freshly made pancakes with jam? Excellent start to the day! It really should be fastelavnsboller, Norwegian Shrovetide buns filled with whipped cream, but given the massive cost of whipping cream in Accra, this is close enough!

Banana oatmeal pancakes

2 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
2 small eggs
50 ml milk
1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla sugar
pinch of cinnamon
1/2  cup plain all-purpose wheat flour
butter to fry pancakes

Mix everything, beat with a fork until smooth. I had small sweet Accra bananas and small eggs, you might need more or less milk and flour depending on batter consistency. I made this the night before, and left batter in fridge so I could have pancakes when waking up with minimum effort.

Heat your frying pan, add a little butter and fry pancakes until golden and cooked through. Serve warm with jam (also very nice with Biscoff).

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Note: these were veering towards hockey puck firmness, after the batter sat in fridge overnight. Another small egg or a splash of milk might have lightened them. Very tasty though, and it made about 8-9 of these, so this will be another breakfast as well.  Last time I added sesame seeds to the pancakes, which was a good addition.

As another house move is coming up soon, my pantry is mainly in boxes or given away, but I am looking forward to unpacking in March and restocking at Relish (flax/sesame/chia seeds) and the Great Wall Supermarket (mirin, bok choi, rice noodles, soy sauce, good fresh tofu). Accra is OK for certain items, if you know here to go and can afford them. I just heard that Saagar (Indian shop in Osu) has frozen paneer, so that is also on my list. Given that it will be a shared kitchen, some discipline will needed for what can actually fit. Still, it will be nice to soon cook and not wonder which box the thyme/chili flakes/Worcester sauce/etc are stashed away in.