Chickpea pancakes with spicy egg, ham and chard

With Pancake Day on Tuesday, magazines and the internet are awash with pancake recipes, so do forgive me for jumping on the bandwagon and sharing yet another one. But this one is a keeper and makes an ideal brunch, light lunch or supper dish at anytime of year.

So no pressure. Stick to your favourite pancake recipe on Shrove Tuesday (hopefully liberally doused with lots of lemon and sugar), but maybe give this a go some other time you’re in a pancakey kind of mood? Continue reading “Chickpea pancakes with spicy egg, ham and chard”

Apple, raisin and cinnamon pancakes

apple cinnamon and raisin pancakes3

The world and his wife are going crazy for crepes at the moment, and we’re no exception here at Chez Bangers where pancakes are always a regular feature on our menus.

Just in time for tomorrow’s Shrove Tuesday aka Pancake Day, I thought I’d share with you my apple, cinnamon and raisin pancake recipe, which is one of our favourite weekend breakfasts and very quick and easy to rustle up. Continue reading “Apple, raisin and cinnamon pancakes”

16 sensational sweet and savoury pancake ideas

Pancake Collage

Pancake Day might well be a distant memory now, especially since we’re practically into Easter, but, as I’ve said before, pancakes are just too delicious to only eat one day a year. Sweet and savoury, healthy and indulgent… this round-up of perfect pancake recipes from the last Family Foodies challenge is sure to get you reaching for your frying pan. Ready? Steady? Toss! Continue reading “16 sensational sweet and savoury pancake ideas”

Crispy Chinese duck with pancakes

Crispy Chinese Duck Pancakes3 web

It’s the start of the Chinese New Year celebrations tomorrow, so what better reason to have a go at making my favourite must-have dish whenever I find myself in a Chinese restaurant?

Crispy Chinese Duck Pancakes text

I absolutely adore Chinese crispy duck. It’s that irresistible combination of soft, succulent meat; crispy, spicy skin; crunchy vegetables (I added rocket to the usual mix of slivers of cucumber and spring onion); rich, sweet plum sauce; and the DIY joy of wrapping it all up in paper-thin pancakes. It’s why children love this dish so much too – anything they can make up themselves, putting them in control of what they put in their mouth as well as a great excuse to get all sticky and messy – it’s just such delicious fun. Continue reading “Crispy Chinese duck with pancakes”

Chocolate pancakes with berries & rose-scented yoghurt

Chocolate pancakes2 web

Pancakes are always a popular weekend breakfast in our house, and then when you go and add chocolate into the mix, well, who doesn’t love chocolate? So these bad boys are always a winner.

Served with juicy berries (I always keep a stock in the freezer so we can them all-year-round) and a heavenly perfumed rosewater yoghurt and drizzled with syrup or honey, these simple pancakes are elevated to celebration status, perfect for Valentine’s Day, Shrove Tuesday and birthdays. Continue reading “Chocolate pancakes with berries & rose-scented yoghurt”

Family Foodies: make every day Pancake Day

pancake text
We adore pancakes in our house and eat them all year round – no waiting for Shrove Tuesday to come around here!

But since it is that time of year with Pancake Day coming up on Tuesday 17 February, it seemed like a jolly good excuse to have all things pancakey as our theme for the Family Foodies challenge.

So, how do you eat yours? Sweet or savoury? Healthy or naughty? Thin crepes with lemon and sugar? Fat, fluffy American pancakes with bacon, smothered in syrup? Asian-style banana pancakes as devoured by backpackers? Chinese pancakes filled with lotus paste? Indian dosa stuffed with spicy lentils, pickles and chutneys? Or maybe Russian blini with smoked salmon or even caviar is more your thing?

However you do pancakes in your house, we want you to share your recipes in this month’s Family Foodies. And, as ever, the more family-friendly they are the better. Link up your entries by Saturday 28 February 2015. I’m preparing to salivate!

Family Foodies entry guidelines

  • You may submit any recipe on your blog that fits this month’s theme, new or from the archive, although there is a limit of three entries per blogger. You’re also welcome to submit the post to other challenges too. If the recipe is not your own, please give the appropriate credit.
  • Send your recipe URL to me at bangermashchat-at-gmail-dot-com, including your own email address and the title of your recipe or post. The closing date this month is Saturday 28 February 2015.
  • Display the Family Foodies badge (below) on your recipe post, with a link back to both Eat Your Veg and Bangers & Mash, as well as details of this month’s challenge.
  • If you’re on Twitter, then please tweet your post to myself @BangerMashChat and Lou @Eat_Your_Veg and include the hashtag #FamilyFoodies. We’ll retweet all that we see.
  • You may enter from anywhere in the blogosphere, but prizes can only be posted to UK addresses.
  • At the end of the month a guest judge will choose a winning recipe. The winner will be announced in a monthly round-up of all the entries. Winners will get to display a Family Foodie Winner annotated badge on their blog if they wish and their recipe will go through to the Family Foodies Hall of Fame on each of our sites.
  • All entries will be added to the Family Foodies Pinterest Group Board.

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February’s entries

  1. Crepe Cake from Caroline Makes
  2. ‘Findus’ Style Ham & Cheese Crispy Pancakes from Caroline Makes
  3. Vanilla Buttermilk Pancakes with Berries & Freshly Made Chocolate Sauce from the Gluten Free Alchemist
  4. Chocolate Pancakes with Berries & Rose-scented Yoghurt from Bangers & Mash
  5. Savoury Kale & Mushroom Pancakes from Eat Your Veg
  6. Spiced Kefir Pancakes with Manuka Honey and Crème Fraîche Chocolate Sauce from Chocolate Log Blog
  7. Little Green Kale Fritters from Allotment 2 Kitchen
  8. Banana Oat Pancakes from Green Gourmet Giraffe
  9. Chocolate Pancakes with Berries and Chocolate Sauce from Green Gourmet Giraffe
  10. Almond-Spelt Pancakes from The Lass in the Apron
  11. Orange Pancakes with Turmeric from Spicy, Quirky and Serendipitous
  12. Crepes with Ham, Baked Leeks and Tallegio from Foodie Quine
  13. Grandma Monearn’s Pancakes from Foodie Quine
  14. Grain-free Almond Pancakes from Elizabeth’s Kitchen

Drop scones

drop scones

One of the best things about owning an Aga is being able to cook drop scones at the drop of a hat. Of course you don’t need an Aga to make drop scones, a frying pan will do, but there is something so very satisfying about making them direct on the hot plate itself, which of course is always hot and ready to go.

These drop scones are incredibly easy and take literally minutes to prepare. They’re just as good for a teatime treat as they are a weekend breakfast, and the children adore them.

The recipe I use here is from The Aga Book by Aga supremo Mary Berry, although she calls hers Scotch pancakes.

Aga drop scones

Drop scones

Makes around 20

100g self-raising flour
25g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
150ml milk
Sunflower or vegetable oil for greasing.

Place the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the egg and half the milk. Mix well until it forms a thick batter and then mix in the rest of the milk.

Lightly grease the Aga simmering plate with a little oil, or grease a frying pan and place over a medium heat. When the fat is hot, use a tablespoon to carefully spoon the batter onto the plate or pan, spacing well apart. Cook for only around 30 seconds until tiny bubbles form on the surface, then use a spatula to turn them over. Cook again on the other side for another 30 seconds until golden brown.

Keep the drop scones warm until you’ve worked through all the batter and serve with whatever takes your fancy. We like ours with berries and either honey or golden syrup, or you might prefer a little butter and jam.

drop scones

Round Up: March’s Recipes for Life Challenge

Beetroot, carrots and cheese. Those were the three ingredients selected by the cookery club at SWALLOW for this month’s Recipes for Life challenge. And they did indeed present quite a challenge.

But I should have known I could rely on you food bloggers to deliver the goods. We received a surprisingly diverse range of recipes this month, showing just how versatile these humble ingredients can be…

Sarah from The Garden Deli got the ball rolling with this sumptuous Carrot and Beetroot Soup with Cheesy Croutons. Featuring garlic and cumin, this beautiful soup is a proper winter warmer and I love the croutons for dunking topped with one of my favourite cheeses, Wensleydale.

I experimented with some Beetroot and Carrot Pancakes for my first entry and, while they tasted pretty good – particularly with the herby mascarpone on the side – I was a bit disappointed the pancakes didn’t turn out pink like the batter!

Last month’s challenge winner, Chez Foti came up with this fantastic Roasted Roots and an Easy Roasted Roots Pizza. Louisa’s dish brings together sensational seasonal roasted root vegetables on top of a quick and easy wholemeal scone pizza base, not forgetting lots of lovely mozzarella. Yum!

Helen from The Crazy Kitchen really did go crazy with not one, not two, but three entries for Recipes for Life. Anyone who was stumped by the three set ingredients this month – look and learn! First up were these incredible Baked Cheesy Meatballs with Beetroot Sauce. Now don’t they look good? And a crafty way to sneak vegetables into unsuspecting children…

Another fiendishly clever way of disguising veggies comes in this gorgeous Two-of-your-five-a-day Chocolate Cake – the second entry from Helen at The Crazy Kitchen. “It’s sooooo good!” was the verdict of Helen’s 10-year-old, beetroot-hating daughter! Say no more!


There’s been a lot of talk on Twitter and food blogs recently about the 5:2 diet. So much so, my husband and I are both giving it a go. This Beetroot, Carrot and Cottage Cheese Salad, the final entry from The Crazy Kitchen’s Helen would definitely make a delicious lunch for a 5:2 fasting day and I plan to give it a try very soon.

I love the look of this Roasted Vegetable and Goat’s Cheese Risotto from Under The Blue Gum Tree. It sounds so simple to make but you just know it’s going to be absolutely packed full of flavour, with the gorgeous creaminess of the goat’s cheese a perfect partner for the earthiness of the root vegetables.

I wish I could bring you pictures of this Beetroot, Carrot and Goat’s Cheese Tatin from Martin at The Tempest Arms as it sounds simply divine and should look stunning. But I promise to make it very, very soon and I will post photos when I do.

Meeting the lovely Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog was one of my highlights from the Bristol Blog Summit earlier this month, which also gave me the perfect opportunity to persuade her to enter Recipes for Life. She promised she’d try, and I was very pleased to see she was true to her word with these ingenious Beetroot, Carrot and Goat’s Cheese Muffins. As with all Choclette’s recipes, there’s some chocolate in there, as well as a little kick from a touch of cayenne pepper. I look forward to trying them out.

This is a dish we eat quite a lot in our house, so I just had to enter it – my Beetroot, Carrot and Feta Cheese Salad. It’s ever so simple and ever so tasty, and a great way to create a summery-feeling salad with winter vegetables.

The final entry came in at the very last minute but I was so glad to see it – a Carrot and Beetroot Cake with a Cream Cheese Topping from Lucy at The Bell Inn. Again I sadly don’t have photos of this one but when you read the recipe you just know it’s going to taste good and I absolutely adore beetroot and carrot in cakes. Another one to try very soon.

But of course, what you’re waiting to hear is who did the SWALLOW cookery club choose as this month’s winner? Well, Lucy at The Bell Inn came a very close second with her Carrot and Beetroot Cake but first place goes to… Helen from the Crazy Kitchen for her scrumptious Baked Cheesy Meatballs with Beetroot Sauce. The group said they particularly liked the sound of the oozy cheese in the middle of the meatballs. Me too!

So a huge congratulations to Helen for her well deserved win – a small prize will be arriving in the mail very soon. Thank you so much to everyone who entered their wonderful recipes this month, and watch this space for the next set of three ingredients for April’s Recipes for Life challenge.

Beetroot and carrot pancakes with herby mascarpone

What is it about pancakes that makes them just so popular? Whenever I announce to my brood that pancakes are on the menu, there are always shrieks of excitement. They don’t seem to care either what the pancakes are made from, so if you’re finding it tricky to get certain foodstuffs, such as beetroot, into your youngsters, pancakes could be the ideal way to sneak it past them.

These pancakes are made from beetroot and carrot, although I’m sure if you did a blind taste test no-one would be able to guess. They simply taste good in a savoury, wholesome kind of way. I was rather hopeful the final pancakes would be pink like the batter. My girls would have loved that. But unfortunately the colour changed as the pancakes fried. Perhaps if you use only beetroot you end up with a stronger colour? I need to experiment some more, I think.

I came up with these pancakes as my entry for this month’s Recipes for Life challenge. The three set ingredients for March, you see, are beetroot, carrot and cheese. So the beetroot and carrot are in the pancakes, while the cheese comes in the form of Italian mascarpone cheese combined with Greek yoghurt, lemon juice and lots of fresh herbs for a very delicious topping.

I’m running the Recipes for Life challenge in partnership with Somerset charity SWALLOW which works with adult with learning difficulties. Over a six month period we’re challenging food bloggers to come up with a whole host of tasty, healthy and easy-to-cook dishes and the best of these will appear in a new cookbook to raise money for the charity. So if you have your own ideas of what to cook with beetroot, carrot and cheese why don’t you get involved?

But for now, back to my pancakes…

Beetroot and carrot pancakes with herby mascarpone

Serves 4 to 6

250g self-raising flour
50g beetroot, scrubbed and grated
50g carrot, scrubbed and grated
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
salt and pepper
2 eggs
90g melted butter
420g milk
vegetable oil for frying
200g mascarpone cheese
200g Greek-style yoghurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
large handfuls of fresh parsley and mint (or whatever herbs you fancy), roughly chopped

For the pancake batter, put the flour, beetroot, carrot, bicarbonate of soda and a generous grind of both salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix together well.

Gently beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then add the melted butter and milk and mix. Add this to the beetroot and carrot mixture and stir until everything is well combined.

Heat a spot of oil in a heavy-based non-stick frying pan. When it’s hot, drop in spoonfuls of the batter and cook your pancakes for a minute on each side. Keep your pancakes warm in the oven until you’ve worked through all the batter.

To make the herby topping, simply put the mascarpone and yoghurt in a bowl with the lemon juice and throw in the chopped herbs. Mix it all together and season to taste.

Serve your pancakes with a good dollop of the herby mascarpone on top.

As this dish features lots of lovely fresh herbs, I’m also entering it into Lavender & Lovage’s Herbs on Saturday blog challenge, which this month is being hosted by London Busy Body. Lots of lovely recipes featuring herbs as a star ingredient have already been entered, so do take a look. I’m sure you’ll be inspired!

I’m also entering it into Turquoise Lemons’ fantastic No Waste Food Challenge where food bloggers are asked to share recipes using a particular ingredient in a bid to prevent food waste. This month the challenge is hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen. Do pop over and take a look. A great resource if you’ve got lots of eggs to use up!

And finally as beetroot and carrot are both in season, I’m entering the pancakes into this Fabulicious Food’s Simple and in Season challenge, which this month is being hosted by my fantastic Food Blogger Connect buddy Chez Foti.

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Chocolate pancakes for Shrove Tuesday

Normally I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to pancakes: I like mine made simply from eggs, flour and milk, and served with nothing more than sugar and lemon. But when you start writing a food blog, some kind of transformation happens and you get all adventurous and creative, looking for new twists and takes on the old standards.

Last Pancake Day I made some sublime Lemon & Ricotta Pancakes adapted from a recipe in The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook by Mireille Guiliano, which helped me realise that change can be good.

I am currently in training for the Bath Half Marathon. (It takes place on 3 March, I’m running it for SWALLOW Charity and you can sponsor me here! Apologies – public service announcement over!) And because I’m in training I bought a copy of Runner’s World magazine about a month ago in the hope it might inspire me. Naturally, I turned directly to the recipe section and haven’t looked at another page.

I discovered in the magazine a wonderful array of healthy pancake recipes. Runner’s World food writer, Pam Anderson shares her basic virtuous pancake recipe, the perfect blend of carbs and proteins required by runners containing wholewheat flour, rolled oats and buttermilk, and then goes on to offer a whole host of variations on the theme.

I was rather intrigued by the chocolate version and so cooked up a batch last week. I made a few tweaks to the recipe, mainly to make them a little sweeter and lighter. Admittedly we ate ours as a pudding, topped with vanilla ice cream and winter berries, but we all thought they were absolutely delicious, if not quite as healthy as they really ought to have been. And if you’re looking for something different on Shrove Tuesday, particularly if you’re giving up chocolate for Lent, well this could be just the thing. Take a look too at the Runner’s World website where they have 40 more delicious pancake concoctions based on this same recipe.

Chocolate pancakes

Makes 16 small pancakes – serves 8

150g plain flour
100g wholewheat flour
30g rolled oats
75g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
20g cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
285ml buttermilk
195ml milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for frying
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Combine the two flours, oats, sugar, salt, baking powder, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl.

Gently whisk together the buttermilk, milk, eggs, oil and vanilla extract, pour into the dry ingredients and mix everything together well. Finally stir in the chopped chocolate.

Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, pour in a small amount of the batter – to form a small pancake roughly 10cm across. Depending on the size of your pan, you’ll probably be able to cook two or three at a time.

Fry the pancakes for around two to three minutes on each side, and then keep warm while you continue working your way through the remaining batter.

I served ours with winter berries and vanilla ice cream. Whipped cream, chopped nuts, sliced banana, honey and maple syrup would all make scrummy alternatives.

If you liked this, you might also like:

Lemon and ricotta pancakes
Lemon and ricotta pancakes