In hindsight, I should have made pancakes.
At 11pm on Tuesday I was ready to give up the baking game. On a wire rack in the kitchen sat two cakes; one not dissimilar to a rock bun, the other the look and texture of a pink rubber glove. I flipped out, poured a fishbowl of chardonnay and announced I was taking up sewing. I just can’t do this.
What I should have said was I can’t do everything. This week has probably been the most jam packed of my career so far. Each day after work I had something on – Monday I took a sewing class. Tuesday I threw myself off a cliff in the name of charity. Wednesday I had Bake Club and Thursday I finally got my hair chopped and went on a flat cleaning spree. By Friday I was utterly exhausted.
But it was Tuesday that had me denouncing flour and sugar and looking up bright jewel-like sewing machines on the John Lewis website. After my extremely nerve-wracking but rather enjoyable abseil, I rushed off home to whip up two genoise sponges that were set to form the base of my strawberries and cream themed bake for Pinnies and Petticoats this month. Alas my tired brain and half-arsed attempt at folding in flour at 10pm meant the kitchen became a cake disaster zone. Something had to give – and it was the cakes.
Luckily everyone at bake club was lovely about my cake disaster, and I soon decided that perhaps I wasn’t ready to give up the flour and sugar just yet. I began to plan my sweet strawberries and cream revenge – except this time around it would be to reward myself for my busy week with a lazy Saturday brunch.
Stacks of pancakes and buckets of black coffee are usually traditions reserved for Sunday morning. But after a long week of doing things, a lazy Saturday seemed the perfect opportunity to whip out some strawberries and cream cheese to make a delicious dessert-style brunch. Sweetened with a quick strawberry puree, these pancakes are light and fluffy with a sweet tang from the red fruit and a hint of warmth from vanilla. Stacked high with more fresh berries and a sweet cream cheese frosting, this is pancake-making that simply oozes class. And with Wimbledon just around the corner, gearing up to get the country tennis mad once more, there is no better way to celebrate than with a strawberries and cream inspired brunch. Game, Set and Match to pancakes – who wants cake for breakfast anyway?
Serves two (or one greedy person!)
You Will Need
100g self raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
1 large egg
¼ tsp vanilla paste
A knob of butter for frying.
6-7 strawberries, sliced
3 tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp icing sugar
¼ tsp vanilla paste
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and caster sugar. Crack the egg into the bowl and whisk together. Add the milk a splash at a time, whisking to a smooth batter. Whisk in the vanilla paste.
On a chopping board, cut the stalk off the strawberry then mash to a paste with the back of a fork. Scrape into the batter then whisk to combine.
Place a frying pan over a medium heat and add the butter. Once melted, add tablespoons of the batter to the pan. Once the pancakes begin to bubble, flip over and cook for a further minute. Remove from the pan and keep warm under a clean tea towel. Repeat until the batter is all used up.
To make the cream cheese frosting, beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla. To serve, spread the frosting on each pancake and stack, adding two sliced strawberries between each layer. Eat quickly before it topples over!