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How to make perfect pancakes

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For many students, this may be the first Pancake Day where you have to fend for yourself, and face the daunting task of flipping runny dough without coating the walls (and potentially the ceiling) with it. While perfecting the flick of the wrist is up to you, here is everything else you need for a delicious day.

The internet can give you many variations of the same recipe, but if you prefer to stick with the simplest option then whisk together a mug of plain flour, a mug of milk and an egg to make your pancake batter. To avoid a lumpy mixture, sieve your flour before adding to the other ingredients. If you’re on a budget, then this recipe is ideal as there really isn’t much to it; to save an extra few pence, try buying your flour from Lidl where you can get a kilogram for less than 50p.

Heat a drop of oil or a bit of butter in your frying pan before adding the batter; you may need to add more between pancakes. When heating the pan, I usually start on the highest setting so that the heat travels through faster and the top of the pancake isn’t runny, making it a lot easier to flip. After you’ve cooked a few pancakes, consider turning the heat down a notch or two to stop the bottom cooking too quickly and burning. Top Tip: Before you start, heat your oven to around 100 degrees and put your pancakes in to keep them warm whilst you cook the rest.

Toppings are the most exciting part of pancakes as you can throw almost anything on top and it will probably work. For a classic savoury topping, fry an egg and bacon, and then drizzle maple syrup over the top. This makes it a more substantial meal, and will help satisfy any Frankie & Benny’s triple layer pancakes cravings. For those who have more of a sweet tooth, try honey, lemon and sugar on top, or cover them in Nutella. If you’re cooking on a budget, then try switching out your brands for supermarkets own products; normal chocolate spread can sometimes save you pounds compared to Nutella.

For many of us, the New Year’s diet is long gone, so you could turn your pancakes into a tasty dessert by having them with ice cream and sprinkles. But, if you’re looking for a healthier and more colourful option, then simply chop up your favourite fruits and pop them on, maybe adding a dash of honey or squirty cream.

So whether you’re a chocoholic or a fitness freak, like them hot or cold, Pancake Day is for everyone. As well as enjoying good food, you have the perfect opportunity to take a break from the stresses of Uni and have a laugh as you add another meal to the repertoire.

May your hopes of a clean kitchen rest in peace.

Alex Waterson lives in Liberty Quay in Newcastle Upon Tyne. She is studying English Literature and Creative Writing at Northumbria University and is currently in her second year.

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