If there wasn’t a day dedicated to it’s cooking and consumption, how often would anyone make pancakes? And I mean crêpe pancakes – the thin, lacy articles reminiscent of minuscule underwear. We would demolish them while holidaying in France, stuffed with molten cheese and stringy ham, or from the crêperie in the local park with a generous spoonful of Nutella, but the homemade pancakes, some a little thick, a little greasy, some crispy, presented to eagerly waiting table of friends or family, would be no more. Eating pancakes is a treasured activity and reserved for today.
It is a day that should be celebrated – wildly, I hope, pancakes flipping with abandon, as it is our last chance to indulge until Easter when we can gorge on chocolate eggs by the fistful. But while we queasily wait for that happy time, Pancake Day is our solace as Lent starts tomorrow.
The challenge of surrendering a treat for forty days somewhat, irrationally, excites me. I think it’s the time limit which does it; that future goal is within grasp – for instance, the 30 day squat challenge worked a treat on my derriere. If you diet without a deadline, temptation quickly comes calling, as one small treat surely couldn’t hurt… Without sounding like a strict headmistress, there is enjoyable in disciplining myself to practice restraint. My belly and waistline will appreciate it after all. And, believe me, Lent is a great excuse to abscond from politely eating the dessert you don’t really want, or finally going to the gym as you’ve given up tediously scrolling Instagram, as people will accept your explanation, ‘Sorry, I can’t, it’s Lent!’ They expect you to drop off the wagon at Easter.
In the meantime though, it is Pancake Day. The last hurrah! To celebrate this final day of feasting, I concocted the naughtiest pancake with lashings of hot chocolate fudge sauce, which ooze out of its crepe cocoon as you take hearty bites. I then roasted a banana with a dab of butter and squeeze of honey, and it emerged from the oven golden and bubbling. I rolled the banana into my chocolate coated pancake along with crunchy walnut chunks, and devoured it in two bites. I licked the chocolate sauce from my fingers and went back for a second. Might as well go out with a bang.
Hot chocolate fudge sauce
Adapted from Leiths Cookery Bible
170g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
1tbsp golden syrup
- Put a pan of water on the heat and bring to a simmer.
- Put all the ingredients in a heatproof bowl and set over the simmering water. Gently stir as it melts until it becomes smooth and silky.