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South African Pancakes

Pancake, aka “pannekoek” is a traditional and very popular South African treat which can be found at fete’s, markets or sport events. It is also often baked when it rains. Not that one needs to wait for rain to enjoy this sweet treat! Pancakes are traditionally filled with cinnamon sugar, but can be filled with a variety of both sweet and savoury fillings. It can even be stacked as a cake! Pancakes are similar in taste and texture to the French crépe. The French serve their crépes with lemon and sugar, or with sliced bananas and Nutella. Not forgetting “Crêpes Suzette“, the popular French dessert where pancakes are served with an orange sauce and flambéd with Grand Marnier, Cognac or orange liqueur. South African pancakes are very different to American pancakes, which we know as flapjacks or crumpets.

Pancake Batter
500 ml cake flour
500 ml water
60 ml oil
30 ml white vinegar
10 ml baking powder
2.5 ml salt
2 extra large eggs

Cinnamon Sugar
5 – 10 ml ground cinnamon
250 ml white sugar

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until combined.
  2. Set the batter aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  3. To make the cinnamon sugar, combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small mixing bowl and mix well. Set it aside. 
  4. When ready to bake the pancakes, add 100 ml water to the pancake batter and mix well.
  5. Use a non-stick pan with a large base. (There are sometimes pancake pans available at supermarkets, but we did not see it here in Australia yet.) The pan must be quite hot too. When pouring the batter, swirl the pan so that it covers the full base of the pan. It should be a very thin layer too. Let it bake for a few minutes until you see tiny holes appear
  6. Flip the pancake and bake the other side for a few minutes until brown. Do not over-bake as it could become rubbery.
  7. Transfer the pancake to a large plate and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cover the plate with a 2nd plate or a lid to keep the pancake moist.
  8. Continue baking the pancakes until the batter has been used up.
  9. Roll the top pancake up and transfer it to a serving dish. Do the same with the rest of the pancakes.

Makes 1 liter pancake batter or about 16 pancakes (depending on the size of your pan).

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