American-style pancakes with bananas and maple syrup

These are a great instant pancake that children seem to adore. You can make the batter in the amount of time it takes to heat up the frying pan, and as the amount of batter isn't too much you can use a cereal bowl and fork for perfect results every time.

  • 100g (4oz) self raising flour pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • about 6 tbsp buttermilk butter, for frying
  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • 2 large bananas, sliced
  • about 4 tsp maple syrup icing sugar, to dust
  • FOR THE VANILLA AND LIME YOGURT: 4 tbsp vanilla yogurt finely grated rind of ½ lime

Method

1 Place the vanilla yogurt in a bowl and stir in the lime rind. Set aside while you make the pancakes.

2 Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Sieve the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a bowl and make a slight dip in the middle with a fork. Break in the egg and add a little of the buttermilk, then beat until smooth, adding enough of the rest of the buttermilk to make a smooth, thick batter.

3 Add a knob of butter to the heated frying pan with a tiny splash of sunflower oil, then spoon in heaped tablespoons of the batter. Once bubbles begin to appear on the pancakes, turn them over using a metal spatula and cook for another minute or so, until golden. Keep warm on a plate while you cook the remainder.

4 Arrange the pancakes on warmed plates in stacks with the sliced bananas and then drizzle over the maple syrup. Add a dollop of the vanilla and lime yogurt to each one and give them a light dusting of icing sugar to serve.


Crêpes with fresh berries and yogurt

The most important piece of kitchen equipment you’ll need to make perfect crêpes every time is a really good non-stick frying pan, as it makes flipping so much easier. Make sure your frying pan is properly heated before you star t cooking too. You can test this by putting a small spoonful of the batter into the frying pan – it should turn golden on the underside after about 30 seconds.

MAKES 12

  • 100g (4oz) plain flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 300ml (½ pint) milk, plus a little extra if necessary
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for cooking
  • fresh berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and halved strawberries
  • thick Greek yogurt, to serve
  • honey, to serve

Method

1 Put the flour, eggs, milk and sunflower oil in a bowl and whisk to a smooth batter. Leave it to rest for 30 minutes if time allows, but up to 2 days is fine, covered with cling film in the fridge – just give it a good stir before using, and if you find it has thickened up a little, then loosen it with a splash of milk. But if you’re in a hurry, you can cook the crêpes straight away.

2 Place a medium non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and wipe it with some oiled kitchen paper. Once hot, ladle in a thin layer of batter and cook for 1 minute, until golden. Once the crêpe is cooked underneath, give it a little shake and it should move easily. Tip the crêpe to the edge of the frying pan and three, two, one, flip! Remember, practice makes perfect – it’s about having a confident flick of the wrist (the same action as you would use when making a stir-fry in a wok). Cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, keeping the crêpes warm in a low oven as you go. Repeat until all the batter is used up.

3 If you’d prefer to make the crêpes in advance, allow them to cool and then layer up between non-stick baking or greaseproof paper and wrap in cling film. They will keep happily for 2 days in the fridge, then reheat later in a low oven or in the microwave (they can also be frozen for up to 2 months).

4 Fold each crêpe into quarters and arrange on plates with the berries and a good spoonful of the yogurt, then drizzle over the honey to serve.