This week I’ve been making a very easy and delicious pancake recipe from Jamie Oliver. It’s one of the easiest and best ones I’ve come across, most of which take ages to make and then the prospect of cooking them, especially for a late weekend breakfast seems a world away. In general I give up in desperation and reach for a piece of toast, but this beauty of a recipe is quick, it’s simple. I can make it off the top of my head as well because there are only five ingredients. I’ve probably become a bit carried away with making them as last Sunday was the fourth time last week. But at least for you, the reader who has not yet made this recipe I can tell you all the mistakes I have made so you don’t have to. Below is the recipe and also a link for the video where Jamie made them with his daughters Poppy and Daisy so you can see how they’re supposed to look like and for further tips. Enjoy! Note, I’ve made them with banana and with pear, 2 small or 1 large banana mashed with a fork should do or 1 – 1 1/2 grated pears (I found 1 pear from Jamie’s video didn’t convey enough flavour), also if you decide to make these with gluten-free flour whether for people with coeliac’s disease or who are gluten intolerant then the pancakes will taste of rice. So it’s essential to eat them with maple syrup or honey. Chocolate sauce is inadvisable as a condiment.

Super Easy Pancakes (from Jamie Oliver’s foodtube) –
1 breakfast cup of self-raising flour and of milk
1 free-range egg, preferably at room temp. as you get more volume
Pinch of salt
Fruit of your choice, e.g. banana, strawberries, apple, pear (go wild!)
Some butter to cook with

Start by getting out a large mixing bowl, whisk, breakfast cup and a baking spatula. Add first your flour and then milk (if you don’t have self-raising flour then add 2 tsp of baking powder to your empty breakfast cup and top it up with plain flour) then crack in your egg and add the salt. Slowly bring together with the whisk then quicken your movements till you have a smooth batter. Now take out your frying pan and put it on a high heat to warm up and add your fruit to the batter quickly mixing it in. After you have done this your pan should be ready so turn it down to a medium heat, bring your mixture over to the stove and slip a large knob of butter into the pan. Put generous dessert spoon sized dollops of mixture in and leave to cook till you can see a multitude of tiny bubbles on the surface of the pancakes and when they are of a very golden brown on the bottom. Flip over and continue to cook till done the same then remove from the pan. I suggest that you add more butter for each batch even if you are using a non-stick pan as it contributes to the taste and colour of the pancakes. Serve with your choice of condiments but I reccomend you serve them with maple syrup or honey and yoghurt, I do not reccomend you eat them with chocolate sauce.

Note – You can make this batter a day ahead of time but using plain flour instead of self-raising and adding the 2 tsp of BP on the morning you’re making them. This is to ensure your pancakes will be fluffy. Also, this recipe isn’t great for cooking large pan sized pancakes as they won’t hold together very well, perhaps because when I tried it this way I made them with grated pear which could have made them fall apart. Do try it with banana though and tell me what happened.

Most peanut butter these days is horrible! Has anybody noticed this?

Some people like it but maybe that’s because they haven’t tried real peanut butter and so don’t know what to compare it with. I however cannot bear some of the peanut butters in the supermarket, especially those budget/homebrand ones that don’t taste anything like peanuts. The expensive peanut butters are lovely though and that’s because they use actual peanut oil instead of extracting the oil from the peanuts , selling it separately and replacing it with sunflower oil. I however refuse to buy those pbs as they are far too expensive and I don’t want to have to pay $5 – $7 for a small jar of it. As a solution to this problem I now have to make my own and have done so with great success. It is surprisingly simple to actually make and all that is necessary is a food processor which most people already own. If you don’t have one though then I’m sure you’ve got a friend you could borrow one off or you could invest in purchasing a decent one from a department store. I recommend a Kenwood as I have never had a problem with mine and they’re easy to use, especially because they don’t blow up.

All you need is some peanuts for this recipe but I also add a small spoonful of sugar and maybe salt if necessary. It’s a good idea to make this in large batches as well as it will keep for ages (at least 3 months) in the pantry and will mean you won’t have to heave out the processor again for a while.

750g peanuts, Spanish ones are the best for this as they exude more oil, but I generally use roasted salted peanuts as they are easy to find
Scant tsp white sugar

Pre-heat your oven to 110°C/230°F. Pour all of your peanuts onto an oven tray and put into the oven when hot. I recommend that you sterilise your jars at the same time. Check each five mins and when they are close to brown, watch them until they are amber in colour then immediately remove.
Allow your peanuts to cool then put into a food processor and blend on full whack until all of the oil comes out, this should take about 5 mins. Once that has happened you should continue to blend it until it is of a soft, silky texture. It should not be runny nor paste-like. Taste and decide whether salt and/or sugar is required then put into sterilised jars. The peanut butter should last for at least 3 months in the pantry. P.S. If you prefer crunchy peanut butter to smooth, then I would suggest you hold back 100-150g of peanuts, roughly chop them and add to the blended peanuts.

Note – I toast the peanuts as slowly as I do because I find it very easy to burn them and because I don’t want to burn them I cook them at 110 degrees celsius/ so I have heaps of time to catch them before they’re blackened.

HOW I STERILISE JARS – Pre-heat your oven to 110°C/230°F on bake. Get out two preserving jars or saved jam jars and wash them thoroughly in warm, soapy water, focusing particularly on the lids. Put the lids into a small pot and cover with cold water then bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 mins leave a pair of tongs inside the pot. When the oven is heated, put the jars onto a tray and put into the oven for 15 minutes. Do not touch the inside of the lids or jars and use the tongs to remove the lids from the water.