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Everything's Better With Batter

Posted by Nigella on the 18th February 2012

As far as I'm concerned, everything's better with batter - so I am much looking forward to what we in England call Pancake Day, aka Shrove Tuesday and abroad as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. The background to this is simple: load up with rich ingredients just before the fasting of Lent commences. But those of us who don't fast or observe the paschal pieties, still enjoy Pancake Day.

Nigella cooking a pancake

Now, I do rather like the Scandi-celebrations - instead of pancakes, they feast on buns with their innards taken out and filled with whipped cream - but very little can really compete with a pancake. For me, Pancake Day means thin, french-style crepe-pancakes with granulated sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice; my children, vulgar sybarites obviously, prefer theirs slathered thickly with Nutella. By tradition we eat them at after-school time, but I can see a fine argument for starting the day off with pancakes, too, in which case I suggest perhaps the American pancakes with wafer bacon and maple syrup or luscious-but-light Ricotta Hotcakes. I also have a nostalgic fondness for Scotch Pancakes which we used to eat on non-pancake days as children. Strange though it may sound, this make a great afternoon tea with butter and jam.

If you're thinking dinner desserts, then it is surely Arabian Pancakes with Orange-Flower Syrup that's calling to you. And - this is, truly, pancakes-a-go-go - if you still haven't tried the Red Velvet Pancakes I wittered about last week, then now's your chance!