Monday, 7 March 2011

Cant help lovin´ dat pan

My faithful pancake pan

The secret to making the perfect pancake is the pan and the temperature at which you have it when you tip the batter in. "A bad workman blames his tools", and no wiser word said than when applied to the cook. When it comes to Shrove Tuesday, pancake day, I have a pan that is only used for cooking pancakes. My mother gave it to me as part of a set of six assorted cast iron pans when I left home. It is cast iron and shallow and has never been washed in the 35 odd years I have had it. I have always just rinsed and wiped it. A pancake is for life, not just Shrove Tuesday. I merely grease the pan with a small amount of butter, when it foams I wipe the excess with kitchen paper towel, lower the heat and pour in an amount of batter to create the first pancake. The first pancake is always the test and is then discarded before you continue with the rest of your batch.Once your happy with the quality of what your pan is producing, maintain that heat and regrease the pan before cooking each pancake. I have always found this method foolproof and of course, have never used anything other than my trusted pan.
Since I posted my alternative pancake recipe for carnival on Saturday I have discovered a very popular recipe that originates from Argentina but is ever popular in Spain and Portugal
Dulce de Leche is a rich, milk-based caramel sauce. Now, Dulce de Leche is available packaged in bottles, but nothing compares to the richness and density of homemade Dulce de Leche. 

Even Haagen Daz have been inspired by Latin America's treasured dessert.

Pancakes with Dulce de leche
(dool-say deh lay-chay)
This is easy peasy to make, but keep your eye on the tin while boiling. if the water is allowed to evaporate the tin can explode.
Submerge a can of leite condensao, condensed milk, in a large deep saucepan ( about 6-litre capacity, if possible)full of water. Bring to the boil and and bubble for 2 hours, topping up the water level with boiling water from the kettle. The water must cover the tin at all times.When the cooking time is over make sure not to open the can immediately, else you just might have some hot Dulce de Leche in your face.The dulce de leche should have a rich, deep caramel colour.


I wondered how something as simple as condensed milk could be transformed to such a tasty caramel sauce, with just a little heat and a lot of time. I had read about it being extremely easy to make; simply plonk the can of condensed milk in a vessel of simmering water or microwave it (in a non-metallic bowl, of course) for 10-15 minutes, and there you have it.From being just condensed milk, it undergoes a metamorphosis into a thick, creamy and rich dessert in its own right. Its one of those desserts where you must be careful not to feed your clothes too.  It can be used in cakes, as a topping for muffins and ice creams, spread over bread and cookies, or swirled into brownies but on its own Dulce de Leche sounds pretty darn addictive don´t you think? Once addicted why not try......

Pancakes with Dulce de leche and goats cheese
Bannofee pancakes

1 comment:

  1. Agreed a good pan is so important! Yum! Have a great pancake day!!!

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