I’ve been on a massive pancake kick recently. It’s probably because I associate pancakes with the comfort food of my childhood and right now, I seem to like the idea of getting a bit of comfort through food. Analyse that how you will.
Other foods in my comfort food list include French toast, macaroni cheese, spaghetti, roast chicken, chocolate cake, reuben sandwiches, guava duff and conch fritters. Every time I eat any of these foods, I get a burst of nostalgia and craving for the comfort of family and friends. What feelings do comfort foods give you?
I’m sure there’s lots of science behind why we choose particular foods as our designated comfort foods – the dopamine hit that these carbohydrates, fats and sugars give us, along with the soothing levels of satiety, probably give us the first hint!
Do salad or fruit ever factor into someone’s definition of comfort food? I would like to meet you if this is you!
As part of my pancake kick, I’ve been trying to create more nutritious versions that give you all the comfort with all the healthy benefits. And I love these chestnut pancakes. Adapted from an old recipe for Italian chestnut flour crepes, I love topping them with caramelised fruit. Recently, I’ve been doing a mix of pears, apples and plums – generally going for whatever is seasonal.
What you need:
180g chestnut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 large free-range eggs
250ml organic whole milk / almond milk
2 small apples / pears
a pinch of cinnamon
a tab of unsalted butter
How to make it:
- Sift the chestnut flour and the baking soda into a medium sized bowl.
- Crack the eggs and separate the egg yolks and whites, adding the yolks into the dry mixture.
- Whisk the egg whites until they are frothy.
- Slowly fold the milk into the dry mixture, then add the egg whites.
- Fold the mixture until the wet and dry ingredients are combined. Do not over fold!
- Leave the batter to stand for at least 10 minutes so the milk and baking soda have enough time to interact.
- Chop the fruit into small wedges.
- Put a small non-stick pan on the stove on low-medium heat and add a tab of butter.
- Once the butter starts to bubble and go brown, add your fruit and cinnamon.
- Stir your fruit occasionally and remove from heat once it has gone soft and a bit sticky.
- After ten minutes has passed, put another non-stick pan for your pancakes on low to medium heat so it has time to warm up.
- Once your pan is warm, use an ice cream scoop to drop the batter in. I like to make pancakes on the smaller side so they are easier to flip.
- Once bubbles start to form on the edges of the pancakes (normally after a minute or so), flip them over. Chestnut flour tends to cook a bit faster than wheat flour so you’ll need to keep a close eye so they don’t burn. I learned this the hard way!
- Once you’ve made all your pancakes, top with fruit. You can also add raw cacao and enjoy!