France may have just celebrated Pancake Day on February 2nd, but for everyone else, Shrove Tuesday is just around the corner.
Yep, it’s almost time to refresh your pancake-flipping skills and start thinking about your favourite fillings before February 28th comes around… along with Lent, and the official end to joy and chocolate consumption for forty long and bleak days and nights 😔
But before we say goodbye to all things delicious, life-affirming and artery-furring in exchange for kale, goji berries and juice cleanses, we deserve one last hurrah. With the full works: meat, cheese, cream, butter, sugar, chocolate, alcohol… As a certain Holllywood star/macrobiotic food warrior might say, it’s all good. (As long as it’s before February 28th, of course).
So if you’re after some ideas for Shrove Tuesday filled with wall-to-wall yumminess and indulgence, why not take a look at these four French-inspired recipe ideas below?
And as I’m guessing you’re already a French food fan, why not have a look at my posts here, here and here on how to find the most delicious things to eat in Paris, where to get the best Paris hot chocolate and how to make delicious French hot chocolate?
All recipes below serve two hungry people! 😊
For the ‘galettes’ (a savoury pancake) and crêpes (sweet pancakes), I used Felicity Cloake’s brilliant recipe here.
Merci Felicity for these amazing crêpes!!
There’s a great crêpe recipe here that’s suitable for vegans – just leave out the brown sugar for the savoury version.
1. ‘Tartiflette’ pancakes
In case you aren’t among those lucky enough to have tried tartiflette (you have my sympathies), get ready for an insanely delicious introduction to French food that’s perfect for a chilly winter or, you know, for any other time you feel like indulging. There’s even a version you can make with pasta 👍
TLDR: if you’re a fan of cream, bacon, potatoes and cheese, this will be right up your street 😍😍
(If you’re making a vegan version, use soya cream instead of the crème fraîche, and of course steer clear of the pancetta 😉)
2 red or white onions
4 or 5 large potatoes
400g pancetta cubes (lardons)
300g mushrooms (use 400g mushrooms if replacing lardons)
200ml crème fraîche (soya cream for vegans)
1. Fry the onions in olive oil or butter until they’re translucent.
2. Put the potatoes on to boil in a separate saucepan and leave them to cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
Some suggestions to pass the time: get through about 5 pages of À la recherche du temps perdu, have a quick language-learning session on Duolingo, mix up a quick cocktail (or pour a cider) to have with your crêpes later..
3. Add the pancetta cubes to the onions, and cook then until they’ve browned into crispy nuggets of meaty deliciousness.
4. Check on the potatoes (you want them to be cooked but still firm). If they’re done, drain them in a colander and add them to the pancetta and onions.
At this stage, you can also be a renegade and add some mushrooms into the mix. (Especially useful if you’re vegetarian, and don’t want to miss out on the fun but can’t be tempted over to the Dark Side of meat-eating).
5. Cook the pancetta, potatoes and mushrooms for a few more minutes, and turn the heat down as you add the crème fraîche to the mixture.
6. Sprinkle as much black pepper on it as you can handle.
7. Give everyone around you instant food envy as you pile the tartiflette onto a pancake and tuck in 👌👌
Bon appétit! 😊
2. Goat’s cheese, walnut and honey pancakes
(The goat’s cheese can be easily replaced for vegan cheese in the vegan version of this recipe).
150g goat’s cheese, cut into small chunks (for the vegan version, try using this cheese instead)
3 tbsp honey (or maple syrup, for the vegan version)
1. Put a frying pan on a low heat, and put a pancake inside to warm up.
2. Place the goat’s cheese slices on the pancake, and leave them for a couple of minutes to melt slightly.
3. Resist the temptation, if you can, to sneak bits of the melty, gooey goat’s cheese from the pan. (I failed miserably).
4. Drizzle the honey (or maple syrup) onto the goat’s cheese, and top with the walnuts.
5. If you’re feeling fancy, flip half of the pancake over like a omelette, and sprinkle even more walnuts on the top for extra crunch.
5. Serve! 😀
3. Chocolate sauce pancakes with berries and caramelised almonds
(There’s also a yummy vegan version of this that’s really easy to make! 👌)
For the caramelised almonds:
100g flaked almonds
100g caster sugar
For the chocolate sauce:
150g dark chocolate chunks
150ml cream (if you’re making a vegan version, use 50ml maple syrup, 20ml water and 50g cocoa powder instead of the milk and cream).
A handful of blueberries and a couple of hulled strawberry halves
2 tbsp icing sugar.
1. For the caramelised almonds, lightly butter a deep baking tray and scatter the almonds inside it in an even layer.
2. Pour the sugar into a heavy frying pan, turn the heat up and inhale the amazing caramelly smells coming from the pan 😊
3. If the sugar crystallises, do some yogic breathing and thank your lucky stars that you’re not on Bake Off, under Paul Hollywood’s piercing blue gaze: stir the crystallised bits gently and turn the heat up slightly to melt the sugar again.
4. When the sugar’s melted into caramel and turned a lovely golden-brown, pour it over the almonds.
Back to Marcel Proust or Duolingo while you wait for the caramel to set over the almonds… or start on the chocolate sauce (which you can of course taste as much as you feel the need to. Chef’s perks 👩🍳)
5. To make the chocolate sauce, place a saucepan on a low heat, and add the cream and milk (or maple syrup, water and cocoa powder for the vegan version).
6. Add the chocolate chunks to the milk and cream (or to the maple syrup, water and cocoa powder), and stir them gently until they’re fully melted.
7. Lay the pancake out flat, and spread the chocolate sauce on it.
8. Fold the pancake in half. Top with the blueberries, strawberries and caramelised almonds, sprinkle with icing sugar… et voilà!! 😃
4. Salted caramel pancakes
(This can easily be adapted for vegan diets by substituting the cream and butter for medjool dates and almond butter, à la Deliciously Ella).
200g caster sugar
100g butter, cut into small chunks (for vegans, 400g medjool dates)
100ml double cream (2 tbsp almond butter)
2 teaspoons of salt
1. Place a frying pan over a low heat. Add the sugar by sprinkling it into the pan in an even layer.
2. Wait for a couple of minutes until the sugar has melted fully, stirring occasionally to break up any sugar lumps in the pan.
3. When the sugar has completely melted, take the pan off the heat to add the butter. The sugar will hiss and spit slightly, so it’s best to stand back a bit while you do this.
4. Stir the butter into the caramel, adding the cream once all of the butter has been incorporated fully.
5. Add the cream to the caramel, making sure it’s fully mixed in. Once the caramel is a golden colour (between light and dark golden-brown), it’s good to go 😊
6. Take the caramel sauce off the heat to let it cool for 5 minutes and so it can thicken slightly. Mix in the salt.
7. Spread the caramel sauce in the centre of the pancake, leaving space around the outer edges of the pancake. Fold over the pancake, and drizzle some extra sauce over the top of the pancake.
8. À table!! 😁
How about you?
What do you think of these pancake fillings, and what are your all-time favourite fillings?
And which places in France (and further afield) serve the best pancakes? 😊
Please do share these recipes on social networks, and tell your friends and family too – I’m looking forward to hear what you think about the recipes!