Shrove Tuesday falls on 25th February this year. Perhaps you are a traditionalist and insist your French style crepes are flipped on to an awaiting warm platter with a generous squeeze of lemon and vanilla infused caster sugar? Or you may insist that the beginning of Lent calls for a stack of fluffy Scotch pancakes drizzled with golden syrup.
We are happy with either, but for a real treat we love to sift cacao powder with nutty spelt flour to make our batter and then spoon directly on to the piping hot griddle or the AGA simmering plate.
A generous dollop of Greek style yoghurt and black cherries, warmed with a little amaretto makes the dish complete.
To prepare your own Black Cherry Compote
Open a tin of stoned black cherries and strain the contents in a sieve with a bowl beneath to catch the juice. Measure the juice in a jug and add a few drops of almond essence or Amaretto liqueur. For every 100 ml of syrup add one level teaspoon of arrowroot and combine well so no lumps remain. Pour into a small saucepan and place over a low heat, stirring all the time and bring to the boil until the sauce thickens. Add the cherries and taste, add a little redcurrant jelly or more liqueur if necessary. Set aside.
To make the Griddle Scones – plenty for two persons and some left over for tea!
175 g (7 oz) Spelt flour
25 g (1 oz) 100% cacao powder ( or good quality non alkalised cocoa)
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
300 ml (half a pint) milk
2 medium free range eggs – lightly beaten together
25 g (1 oz) melted butter
Greek Style Yoghurt
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and make a well in the centre.
Add the eggs and milk and mix well ensuring that there are no lumps remaining.
For a vegan alternative…
Sift an extra teaspoon of baking powder to the flour and cocoa powder. Omit the eggs and use your favourite nut milk. We like hazelnut milk with this recipe. You may like to smash a brown banana and add this to the mix. Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil and add to the batter before cooking on the griddle or a hot pan.
Serve with coconut yoghurt and berries.
Lift the lid of your boiling plate on the AGA and preheat a griddle. If you have a conventional hob, place a non stick frying pan over a medium heat. Using some kitchen towel, wipe a little sunflower or ground nut oil over the griddle or pan. Alternatively place a piece of Bake-O-Glide over the simmering plate of your AGA and cook directly onto this. Melt the butter and add to the batter. Stir well.
Pour a tablespoon of batter on to the griddle or frying pan and watch for the bubbles to appear on the surface of the griddle scone. Using a palette knife, flip over and cook the other side.
Remove to a plate and keep warm on the kitchen side in a clean tea towel or in the simmering oven or on a protected lid of your AGA, or a pre-heated conventional oven, at 75 C or Gas Mark ¼.
Continue to cook the remaining pancakes.
Serve with Greek Style yoghurt and fruit compote.