It has been such a lovely rainy weekend here in Rooibosch Hill, that the spicy-sweet smell of cinnamon is drifting through the entire villige...
Why cinnamon, you ask? Well, because everyone is baking pancakes of course! :-D In Afrikaans, we call them "pannekoek", and they are deee-licious!
For those who don't know, it is a rainy-day tradition in most of South Africa to bake pancakes and cover them in cinnamon and sugar. (LOTS of cinnamon and sugar!) In fact, no church bazaar, country fair or any other public gathering for that matter is complete without at least one pancake stand, regardless of the weather!
If you have a large family, and have to bake quite a few pancakes, the smell of cinnamon will waft through your house and leave everything smelling sweet for hours after! Baking pancakes on a rainy day is also a sure way to pave your way into your prospective husband's
Of course South African pancakes are very flat and very thin, and to the rest of the world, they are known as crêpes... So since real South African pancakes differ so greatly from pancakes in the rest of the world, I have decided to share my tried and trusted family recipe for anyone willing to try them.
You will need:
2 cups of cake flour
1/4 cup of sunflower oil
a dash of salt (Yes, I cook and bake with dashes!)
15ml white vinegar
Sugar (White / brown, it doesn't matter)
Cinnamon (LOTS of it!)
Add the cake flour to a big mixing bowl, then slowly stir in the milk. Then add the eggs, oil, salt and vinegar before stirring them through. Lastly add the water. Mix everything together until you have a lump free batter. (If you do have lumps, simply pour it all through a sieve! Grandma won't know!)
Your batter should now be quite runny and resemble a milkshake - we are not making flapjacks here, we are making "pannekoek"!
Put the batter in the refrigerator to rest for 10 - 15 minutes. Add a cup of sugar to a clean mixing bowl and stir in a tablespoon of cinnamon. (Or more if you like - If I had my way, I would reverse the proportions, or forgo the pancakes and just eat the cinnamon neat while I am at it!)
Dust the bottom of a serving plate with the cinnamon sugar mixture. (don't skimp!) This will form the base for your stack of pancakes and this first one will likely give you diabetes, but at least you will die happy!
Heat about a quarter of a teaspoon of oil in a non-stick pan. (Yes, I know it is non-stick, but just do it, because grandma says so!) Repeat this every now and again if your pancakes start to stick to the pan.
Once heated, scoop a large spoonful of batter into the center of your pan, and quickly swirl it around to cover the whole pan. (If you find the batter too thick, feel free to stir in a spoonful of water before baking the next one.)
Cook the pancake a few seconds until it turns light brown, then lift the edges with a spatula and flip it over to cook the other side. (Don't let them burn, you have to keep a good eye on them!)
Once done on both sides, turn the pancake out onto the prepared plate, then cover with a layer of cinnamon and sugar mix before adding the next pancake on top. Repeat until your batter runs out!
Serve your pancakes by rolling them up one by one and enjoy the spicy-sugary-goodness!
P.S - If a pancake flops, just scrape it out into a bowl, add some of the sugar mix to it and eat it with a spoon in front of the tv later. (No one has to know!)