I had to pinch myself last Wednesday as I couldn’t quite believe that one of my ultimate foodie dreams was coming true. I was heading up to London for a pancake and crépe masterclass at the world famous – Le Cordon Bleu. For those that are unfamiliar with Le Cordon Bleu, I’ll give you a brief overview, just to set the scene and explain why I was so excited.
Established in Paris in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu is one of the oldest and most respected cooking schools in the world. It has some of the most advanced facilities and equipment and a team of classically trained Master Chefs, lecturers and wine experts which have been responsible for training many top chefs.
My invite to the masterclass came from the Great British Chefs team, which were hosting the event with the help of Tom Brown, head chef at ‘Outlaw’s at The Capital‘ and Le Cordon Bleu’s pastry chef Jérôme Pendaries.
The evening began with a glass of fizz and a tasty appetiser of Smoked Cod’s Roe on Oat Cakes with Paprika & Seaweed prepared by Chef Tom Brown, serving as a delicious teaser of what was to come. Tom then welcomed us into the Le Cordon Bleu kitchen and set about giving us a demonstration of how to make scotch pancakes with a rhubarb compote to boot. What I found most useful during this were Tom’s pancake tips along the way.
Tom’s Tips for the Perfect Pancake
- Prepare the pancake batter before any accompanying topping to allow time for it to rest before cooking. This prevents the pancake from being chewy
- Sift the flour to aerate and make light and fluffy pancakes
- Chill the pancake batter before frying so it’s less runny
- Heat the oil so it runs freely around the pan, that’s when you know it’s hot enough
- Make sure the oil sizzles before adding the full pancake mix to the pan (do a test with a small amount of batter to check first)
- Don’t rush the cooking of the pancakes. Do two pancakes (in separate mini saucepans) at a time and set aside (somewhere warm) whilst you finish cooking the remainder
After the demonstration, it was time for us to get into pairs and recreate the dish ourselves. I paired up with fellow blogger Thoroughly Modern Milly and the creator of Weekend Journals (a beautiful travel book about Cornwall, that’s worth checking out) and we set to work. Luckily the school had made it simple for us to follow, with a step-by-step recipe card and pre-measured out ingredients. If only all recipes could be recreated with this ease. And when Tom came to inspect our work, he said our pancakes were “perfect” – the teacher’s pet inside me was utterly thrilled!
The final part of the event was a demonstration of how to make a Blackcurrant Crêpe Soufflé from Chef Jerome Pendaries. This french style pancake was a slightly trickier recipe, owing to the soufflé element but it’s sure to make you say “Ooh-lá-lá” when you taste it. Look out for the recipe for this, which I’ll be posting on the blog on Monday, just in time for Pancake Day.
Now you’ve seen how easy scotch pancakes are to make, I’m hoping you’re going to be tempted to try it out for yourself. If you are, here’s the recipe.
Did Tom’s tips help you flip a better pancake? If so, please leave a comment and let me know or show it some love by clicking on the little heart button below – thank you!