Banana pancakes

A very good evening to all!

Today I am going to teach you a recipe that is really good and that you will surely never forget; a recipe for learning how to make banana pancakes.

Pancakes are also known as "tortitas" in Spain and "panqueques" in South American countries. They are very similar to the typical French crêpes, but the difference is the proportions of the ingredients that you use for the mix and the flour.

The flour is what makes the pancakes spongy in comparison to crêpes, which normally tend to be finer and flatter.

You could also use cornflour, but I wouldn't trust the recipe if it includes cornflour in it.

In my opinion, I think that to make pancakes, the best thing is to use flour because it doesn't give it as strong a flavour as cornflour does, and you also use less of it. But anyway, this time we're not going to use flour.

This finalised recipe is really simple and you only need two ingredients, no more and no less: eggs and bananas (and a dash of vanilla extract for those with more of a sweet tooth).

At some point I will upload another recipe with the instructions for making original American pancakes and I will post the link here so that you can have a look, and you will see how easy it is;).

I discovered this banana pancake recipe one day when I was in Germany for an Erasmus work placement and I didn't know what to have for breakfast one Sunday and there was not a lot in my fridge. If I remember correctly, the ingredients I did have in my fridge didn't give me a lot to play with in regards to cooking, I think I remember having a couple of eggs, butter, mandarins and bananas, grated Gouda cheese, soy milk, marmalade and vanilla extract.

The worst thing was that in Germany (and I think in the majority of European countries), everything is normally closed on a Sunday. Absolutely everything. The supermarkets don't even open for a couple of hours in the morning. In Madrid, however, the little Chinese shops stay open throughout the day on Sunday, but everything is very expensive and, honestly, it's not worth buying from there.

Which is why people normally do their shopping on Saturdays because, unlike Sundays, everything is open all day long. But, unfortunately, I hadn't know about this "norm" until I had to go shopping on a Sunday. And all because in Madrid the supermarkets tend to open on Sundays in the mornings for those last few stragglers that forgot to do their shopping during the week. People like me, Which is why it was quite difficult for me to adjust to the German shopping timetables.

But in the end, the best thing is being creative with what little you have and focusing on finding something to cook.

So, once I realised how little I had in my fridge, I searched online what I could cook with what few ingredients I had that day, and I found banana pancakes. It's funny because I remember waking up that day with a craving for pancakes, but as I didn't have flour or yeast I has thrown that idea in the bin. It had never occurred to me that I could make pancakes without those ingredients.

Who knew I could make them with two of the ingredients that I had. What a pleasant surprise!

From that moment on, banana pancakes became a must for breakfast on weekends, and even after returning to Madrid from Germany after my Erasmus, I still prepare pancakes for breakfast on Sundays at around brunch time. It is a little custom that I have come up with. A small but good custom.

I don't know if all of you know about brunch, but it is an English term that refers to the time between breakfast and lunch: breakfast + lunch = brunch. Get it?

Well, it is what would be lunch for a Spaniard, around 11:30 more or less; the time to have some tapas with a soft drink or coffee.

These pancakes are usually accompanied with butter, which you would usually put on top of the hot pancakes so that they absorb the butter better, and then you would also add the typical Canadian maple syrup, which is great, although I love add fruit jam or strawberry yogurt on top.

The truth is that maple syrup is quite difficult to find in Spain, if you can find it, it will be in El Corte Inglés but it is quite pricey, so you could substitute it with caramel syrup or, as I do, with fruit jam. It depends on your tastes and preferences :).

There are many ways to make banana pancakes, but I will explain to you how to make them in the simplest way possible, which makes them very quick to make! You will be eating them in less than 15 minutes. Trust me.

I know that I keep repeating a lot that they're really quick and easy to make, but it's because it's true. You only have to blink and they're ready.

The ingredients that I will list are for two or three pancakes, depending on how big you want the pancakes to be, which is normally sufficient for one person if you accompany them with a tea or coffee.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana that is already quite soft so it is easy to squash (the more black the banana skin, the better).
  • 2 medium-sized eggs.

Method:

Take the ripe banana and crush it with a fork in a bowl. You have to crush it well, ideally until it has a gelatine-like texture. It doesn't really matter if there are little pieces left after crushing it, neither does it matter if it's quite liquidy.

I, personally, like it more when I crush the banana with a fork than with a blender because little pieces of banana remain, and then when I go to eat the pancakes I love finding those little pieces and getting to chew them.

I don't know, perhaps it is a strange thing of mine, but if you prefer to crush the banana with a blender then the result will be the same.

Anyway, once you have crushed the banana, add the two eggs and stir until the eggs and banana have mixed together well. It should be a consistent mix, not too liquidy but also not to thick and heavy.

Finally, add a pinch of salt and, if you like, also add a dash of vanilla extract to bring out the flavours. But, these are optional; the banana is already quite sweet whether or not you add vanilla extract or sugar. But I have quite the sweet-tooth, so I like to add sugar to everything.

Afterwards, put on a frying pan over the maximum heat/ flame, so that it heats up quickly. When you can see that it has heated up, reduce the heat a little, to about the midpoint.

If the pan you have is a non-stick pan, it won't be necessary for you to add butter or oil into it first, but in case it is not non-stick pan, I would suggest that, instead of using oil to ensure the mix doesn't stick, you use a little butter. That way the pancakes are juicier.

If you wanted, you could also add a little butter to a non-stick pan. We all need to gain a little weight when we're on Erasmus, right?

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After having added a thin layer of butter to the pan, add the banana and egg mixture.

Then, when you add the mix, do not move the pan so that the pancake takes up more space, just press down a little on the mix so that it is not too thick and that's it. You also don't want them to be too small, but you don't want them to be big and thin as though they were crêpes.

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Another thing that you could add is chocolate chips. You could either add them when the mix is in the frying pan, or into the bowl with the mix before pouring the mix into the pan.

When you can see that the edges have dried (a minute and a half, more or less after pouring the mix in) flip the pancake so that the other side can cook. And, just as before, wait for a minute and a half, more or less, before taking the pancake out and putting it onto a plate.

Repeat with the rest of the mix.

Once you have finished all of the mix, serve immediately with Maple syrup or jam over the pancakes so that they absorb them better.

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*Tips:

It is better if the banana you are going to use is large. If you use a little one then the mix will end up quite liquidy and instead of making pancakes, you will make crêpes.

Try to get eggs that are medium-sized. If you use small eggs, the mix will end up quite thick and there will be a lot of lumps in the pancakes, or they'll be deformed. But, if you use large eggs then the mix will be too liquidy and instead of making pancakes, you will make crêpes. So the best eggs are the medium-sized eggs, although to tell the truth it also depends a little on the size of the banana.

Crêpes and pancakes are very similar things, the only difference is that pancakes tend to use baking powder to make it more spongy, whereas crêpes do not use this.

As these pancakes do not use baking powder, you need a fair quantity of banana to give the mix its consistency and so that it thickens when you cook it.

But do not worry if the mixture is quite liquidy. For example, I once didn't have any bananas apart from one small one that I used, so the mix was quite liquidy. But, instead of throwing it away, I cooked the mix in the same way and I ended up with some really good banana crêpes :P.

Then I put one crêpe on top of the other and between them I spread a kind of Philadelphia and slices of fruit. Delicious! You should try it.

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Then another day, when I made the banana pancakes again, the mix was a little liquidy so, much to my regret, I decided to add a little baking powder (less than a small spoon's worth). And well, the result was much better than what I had expected. However, they weren't very spongy like normal pancakes, but they also weren't quite banana crêpes.

I will leave a photo here for you of the result. Even so, the flavour was just as good as always.

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And finally, enjoy!

I hope that you have liked this, and I assure you that it will come out first time, it is super quick and easy, even for those that are not as handy when it comes to cooking;).

Thank you for reading, and I will continue to upload quick and easy recipes!


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