Pancakes at Le Cordon Bleu with Great British Chefs
So what makes the perfect pancake?
Here are some tips from Chef Tom Brown’s masterclass where he made some fabulous pancakes with forced Rhubarb.
Chef Tom Brown is head chef at Nathan Outlaw’s London restaurant- Outlaw’s at The Capital.
He made some thick American pancakes, absolutely fluffy and light and then topped them off with a superb compote made from forced rhubarb and apple.
I must confess I have never ever loved Rhubarb so much. The compote was delicious. The pancakes then topped with clotted cream were absolutely gorgeous.
So what is the secret then, to these superb pancakes?
- Whisk– make sure there and no lumps at all or bits of yolk floating around. The mix should have some froth in it.
- Resting the batter- While most of us rest the batter for 20 minutes, Tom said that 20 minutes is the very minimum. Ideally, the batter should be rested for an hour in the fridge and then whisked lightly again to make the pancakes.
- Right temperature. The pan should be hot and lightly coated with oil. When you see the oil spreading and looking lighter, turn down the heat and then cook the pancake on a lower heat. This ensures a properly cooked pancake.
- Flip over and press down to ensure thorough cooking.
And now let’s make these lovely pancakes.
Pancakes with rhubarb, almonds and clotted cream
Serves 4-5 Prep time: 5 minutes Standing time 20-60 minutes
For the Pancake batter
- 200g plain flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 large egg
- 300ml milk
For the Rhubarb compote
- 500g forced rhubarb, washed and trimmed ( Use regular rhubarb if forced rhubarb is not available. It just might need some peeling.
- 1 large Braeburn apple, peeled and cored
- 50ml ginger beer
- 50g butter
- 50g caster sugar
- Toasted almond flakes
- Clotted cream
- Sieve the dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl. This helps the mixture rise better, adds air into the mix and removes lumps if any.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the milk and eggs.
- Slowly, whisk it into the dry mix. Ensure that it is smooth and there is some amount of froth.
- Cover and leave to rest in the fridge for an hour. This will help the gluten relax and you will have fluffy pancakes every time.
- To make the rhubarb compote, roughly chop the rhubarb and apple into 2cm chunks.
- Melt the butter in a pan and add the rhubarb, apple, ginger beer and sugar. Gently cook down until thick and sticky. Once cooked, the mixture should slide easily off the spoon.
- Heat the pan, When hot, grease with a little amount of oil. Tom recommends using oil unlike the traditional use of butter. He believes that it is much lighter and healthier.
- Pour a ladleful of the batter onto the hot pan to make small pancakes. Reduce the heat. When the sides of the pancake look slightly brown, flip over and cook the other side on low heat.
- When nice and fluffy, take them off the pan.
Serve hot with a big dollop of the compote cascading down and topped off with a big spoonful of clotted cream.
Then Chef Jerome Pendaries, the pâtisserie chef from Le Cordon Bleu’s demonstrated and treated us to a delightful French classic crepe souffle.
They say, ‘ It’s all in the wrist’ and Chef Jerome proved that he had certainly mastered that skill as he deftly beat up the blackcurrant souffle mix.
He had already made the crepes to save time, and then he filled them up with the souffle and baked them for a few minutes.
The crêpes were finished off with a mascarpone coulis, and a dusting of icing sugar made it look very attractive.
It was a fabulous masterclass with some very unusual fillings and lots of tips and tricks from two very talented chefs.
This event was organised by The Great British Chefs at Le Cordon Bleu. All views and opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.