Try it yourself ...

Arlene Thompson, Sainbury Try Team member. INLT-11-11-10 600-CON

Arlene Thompson, Sainbury Try Team member. INLT-11-11-10 600-CON

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AFTER Valentine’s Day the next culinary date in the calendar is Shrove Tuesday, which this year falls on March 8.

“Making pancakes is great fun and they are so popular with all the family no matter what age,” says Arlene Thompson of Sainsbury’s Try Team.

“They are delicious with both sweet and savoury fillings. Have a go at this basic recipe and then experiment with your fillings - there are loads of pancake recipes to inspire you online www.sainsburys.co.uk”

Arlene will be practicing her pancake flipping skills on March 7 for Sailability, Sainsbury’s Carrick chosen charity.

Did you know? The tradition of cooking pancakes on Pancake Tuesday began as a great way to use up rich foodstuffs such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent.

Pancakes with toffee bananas, ice-cream and chocolate sauce

Basic pancake recipe:

100g plain flour

Pinch salt

1 egg

250 ml milk

10g butter, melted

25g vegetable oil for frying

50g caster sugar

1. Sieve the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre.

2. Add the egg and milk gradually incorporating the flour from the sides, whisk to a smooth batter.

3. Mix in the melted butter.

4. Heat the pancake pan and add a little oil and heat until almost smoking

5. Add enough mixture to cover the bottom of the pan thinly.

6. Cook for a few seconds until brown.

7. Turn and cook on the other side and turn on to a plate, keeping the pancakes flat.

8. Sprinkle with a little of the caster sugar.

9. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.

For the toffee bananas and chocolate sauce:

Try peeling and slicing 2 bananas on the diagonal. Put 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar in a frying pan. Gently heat stirring for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the banana slices and cook for 1 minute. In a small saucepan heat together 4 tablespoons of Nutella and 2 tablespoons crème fraîche, stirring until combined. Put a warm pancake on to each plate, top with a spoonful of the banana mixture, followed by a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle each with the warm chocolate sauce and finish with a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts or almonds.

Eat as soon as possible, without an inkling of guilt.

TIP: For extra flavour add a splash of dark rum to the butter and sugar mixture and allow to bubble for 30 seconds, before adding the bananas.

For a healthier alternative: Try warming Sainsbury’s frozen basics red berry mix in a pan, then serve on warm ready-made pancakes along with a dollop of Be Good To Yourself Greek yogurt and a dusting of ground allspice for a breakfast treat or a dessert.