Tell you guys a secret?
I’m really not fond of Pancake Day.
Don’t get me wrong: I love pancakes as much as the next person (unless the “next person” is my beloved co-worker, who informed me yesterday that he doesn’t like pancakes). I also like, um, days? But a dedicated day on which the internet tells me I must consume pancakes, and photogenic pancakes at that?
Now, as I grow older and increasingly grumpier, I feel the same about many of those special days on the calendar. The ones that, In My Day, we celebrated with little treats but when are now an excuse for cringeworthy attempts at viral content, seasonal supermarket aisles and yet more reasons to spend money. Plus I was raised Catholic, which means that to me the idea behind Pancake Day was as a means of using up all the sugar, butter and eggs in your house before the fasting and abstinence of Lent began. Yes, I’m aware that most of the Christian holidays were Pagan festivals before we came along. And don’t get me started on Easter hauls.
Besides, Greggs are almost always sold out when you want to pick up a wee packet of pancakes on your way home from work because people have been talking about them all day.
Necessary preamble aside, let’s sound the Trumpets of Hypocrisy because I’m doing things a little bit differently this year. And it’s all because Baileys Irish Cream offered to send me a bottle* if I would use it to create an “adult-alternative” pancake recipe.
Which is exactly what I did.
If the Greggs reference above wasn’t enough of a clue, I had somehow made it to my mid-30s without ever having made my own pancakes. With visions of cartoon frying pans and mis-handled flipping in my head, I wasn’t sure that I could pull it off – but this was ridiculously easy!
Baileys and chocolate is a classic combination, so I knew from the off I wanted to make a chocolate chip pancake. A quick Google later and I had tracked down a very simple chocolate chip pancake recipe, which I then modified for my purposes by replacing half of the stated milk content with liquor. I didn’t want to risk the mixture curdling, but I was also determined that you could actually taste the booze in the pancake – otherwise, what would be the point?
Mix 12oz of flour, one and a half teaspoons of baking powder and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add 4oz of milk, 4 oz of Baileys and combine. Beat an egg into the mixture just enough to get rid of the lumps, then stir in a bag of chocolate chips from the baking aisle at Tesco. That’s your batter.
I used a ladle, about three quarters full, to add the mixture to a hot frying pan; one pancake at a time, to give them time to spread out. The mixture made eight decent-sized pancakes – more than enough for a feast for two, or just enough for you to bring a Tupperware full of the things to work the next morning because Gail had been there when you got the email from Baileys and wouldn’t let you get away with anything else.
I was particularly impressed, given the booze content, that the pancakes kept so well: those that were brave enough to try them when I brought them into work said that they were really tasty (apparently the idea of Baileys in pancakes is divisive?). For my part, I loved them best straight from the pan, with the chocolate chips half-melted and a strawberry accompaniment – oh, and a cheeky wee Baileys over ice, of course. The bottle was open, and it would have been rude not to.
Enjoy your pancakes today, pals. I won’t hold it against you.
This post contains a PR sample, but all views are my own and unbiased.