Pancake Tuesday with an Herbal Twist
Updated: Feb 27
This Tuesday February 21st is National Pancake Day and we thought we’d get in on the celebration by creating some unique and delicious pancake treats featuring some of our organic herb & spice blends and our organic flavour extracts. Pancakes are a great base for incorporating herbs in your cooking. Simple additions such as mint and chocolate chips, orange and rosemary, lemon and lavender, dill and smoked salmon, and even curry powder and serve them with chutney, yum yum.
For those of you who don’t know about Pancake Day, a brief history…
Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day and Mardi Gras, is historically a day for feasting in preparation for the sacrifice and fasting period of Lent, which begins the following day with Ash Wednesday. Pancakes were traditional in a number of European countries because eggs, sugar, and fat, were commonly forbidden during the Lenten fast, so they were used up so as not to go to waste; and this is why the day is known as Pancake Day. Carnivals are common during the Pre-Lenten Season, known as Shrovetide. Street parties, carnivals, and parades are also common. Throughout the world celebrations continue into the night of Shrove Tuesday as people engage in eating rich, decadent foods and participating in a festival atmosphere, all of which traditionally must be finish by midnight. In the UK, pancake races form an important part of the Shrove Tuesday celebrations – an opportunity for large numbers of people, often in fancy costumes, to race down streets tossing pancakes. The object of the race is to get to the finishing line first, carrying a frying pan with a cooked pancake in it and flipping the pancake as you run.
National Pancake Day Facts
According to National Geographic, the first recorded mentioned of pancakes came from a poem written in ancient Greece during 600 BC.
The word shrove is past tense of shrive, a verb meaning to confess and be absolved of sin.
Rich foods such as meats, fats, eggs, milk and sugar were restricted during Lent. Therefore, to use up all of the milk, eggs and sugar, pancakes were made and have since become a tradition for celebrating Shrove Tuesday.
A 15th century English cookbook is to thank for the first written pancakes we now enjoy today, as the recipe spread throughout the world and resulted in the .
Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. The term originates from the tradition of eating rich and fatty foods before fasting for Lent.
According to the Guinness book of World Records, the world's largest pancake made measured 15.01m in diameter and 2.5cm thick. The pancake weighed more than 3 tons and was created in Rochdale, Manchester UK in 1994. The record for the highest stack of pancakes is 60 – 5 inch/13cm and it came in at a whopping 76cm or 2 ½ feet tall
In Britain Shrove Tuesday pancake making is so popular that they are estimated to use 52 million eggs on that day. That’s over 22 million more in comparison to a normal day. Now that’s a lot of pancakes!
Recipes to Celebrate Pancake Tuesday
To help you celebrate we thought we’d take you to two different ends of the pancake spectrum – from savoury and spicy, to sweet and chocolatey. If you’re going to go all out on “Mardi Gras” festivities then these two pancake recipes certainly will be the way to celebrate.
Matcha Green Tea Pancakes with Thai Spice Shredded Chicken
This unique recipe combines many layers of flavours from spicy, sweet and pungent in the chicken filling to a deep earthy taste in the pancakes. The different tastes dance on your taste buds creating a memorable food experience.
Thai Spiced Chicken topping:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup rice or white wine vinegar
½ cup honey
½ cup chicken broth
1 ½ teaspoons Tilia’s Thai spice blend for marinade plus an additional ½ teaspoon reserved
1 small sweet red pepper, seeded and finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
1 to 2 stalks celery, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
3 green onions, chopped (including green part)
¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper
1 cup whole milk
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 ½ Tablespoons Tilia’s organic matcha powder
2 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the topping: Combine the vinegar, honey, chicken broth and 1 ½ teaspoons of the Thai spice blend together, whisking to incorporate the honey in fully. Place the chicken in a non-metal baking dish (single layer) and pour the marinade over the chicken. Cover and put in the fridge for at least an hour or longer.
Preheat oven to 375F. Cook the chicken in the marinade until cooked through (about 20 minutes/ internal temperature 160F). While the chicken cooks sauté the red pepper, celery, green onions, ½ teaspoon Thai spice and salt & pepper in a small amount of olive oil over low heat. Once the vegetables are soft and just lightly browning remove them from the heat and set the frying pan aside.
Remove the chicken from the cooked marinade and put on a plate or cutting board and place the liquid in a small saucepan and heat on high bring to a full boil to reduce the marinade until it thickens and is somewhat syrupy in texture.
While the marinade reduces cut chicken in half horizontally and then with two forks shred the chicken. Add the shredded chicken to the pan with the vegetables and once the marinade has reduced stir it into the chicken mixture and then serve this hot with the pancakes.
To make the pancakes: In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together the egg and milk. Set aside. In a large bowl, sift and stir together the flour, matcha powder, baking powder, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center and pour the egg mixture in and then the melted butter and stir the ingredients until just well combined. There will still be a few lumps, this is fine. Do not over mix or the pancakes will be tough. Set the batter aside for 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are a light golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter, brushing griddle with more oil if necessary. Serve while still hot. Makes about 8 pancakes.
Variation: These matcha pancake are equally good with a sweet topping and we serve them up with a warm berry compote and cream to rave reviews!
Peppermint Patty Chocolate Pancakes with White Chocolate Ganache Drizzle
When we originally created Tilia’s “Peppermint Patty” spice blend it was with cookies and cakes in mind and these pancakes came about as one of those serendipitous moments that can happen in the kitchen. Rachel was making pancakes at home when she accidently spilled a tin of our peppermint patty spice in her spice drawer. She could smell the chocolate & mint aroma of the spice and the delicious aroma of fresh baked pancakes and she just knew these where meant to be together. These pancakes are truly sublime and celebrate Pancake Tuesday like a party in your mouth. This amazing pancake takes breakfast or brunch to a whole new level or you can even serve this decadent chocolate minty pancake as a dessert, that’s how good they are.
2 cups unbleached white flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
¼ cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
White Chocolate Drizzle:
½ cup good quality white chocolate chopped into small pieces
½ cup whipping cream
¼ teaspoon Tilia’s organic peppermint extract
Mint leaves and dark chocolate shards, for garnish (optional)
To make the chocolate drizzle, heat the whipping cream in a small pot or in the microwave until small bubbles form around the sides of the pot and the cream is steaming but not boiling. Remove from the heat and add the white chocolate and gently stir until chocolate fully melts and mixture is smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract and then allow to cool completely. If desired the mixture can be cooled in the refrigerator.
For the pancakes, sift together all the dry ingredients making sure to break up any cocoa clumps. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and buttermilk and then add to the dry ingredients along with the melted butter. Stir until just combined. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle to medium-high heat. Cook the pancakes until bubbles appear. Flip and continue to cook until cooked through. Serve hot with the white chocolate ganache drizzle. If using, garnish with mint and chocolate shards.
Have fun this pancake day and let us know what you think of these recipes in the comment box below. We’d love to hear from you!