It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to sit down and write something. My husband had surgery recently, and as soon as Christmas was over we were busy talking about making sure the house was spotless so that he could get around once he got home so there really was no time to do anything else. He’s home now, and the house is still a kip.
While he was dealing with lukewarm milk on his cereal in hospital, I treated myself to some pancakes. I’ve always kind of tolerated pancakes without really liking them that much. I love crepes, but American style pancakes always seemed a bit bland and dry to me. I’m not enough of a fan of maple syrup to use it on pancakes, so I think that was the problem. It was all just a bit meh.
These vanilla oat chocolate chip pancakes with caramel sauce and a scattering of salted peanuts though are anything but meh. A gooey puddle of caramel sauce solves the moisture issue, while the peanuts add a savoury break from all that sweetness.
I’ve gone for a 2:1 ratio of flour to oats here. This keeps the pancakes nice and light, but feel free to experiment with different ratios. I make my oat flour by blitzing porridge oats in a food processor. Make more than you need and keep it in a jar so you always have some at hand for pancakes. (Unless you like playing with sharp blades the Sunday morning after a night out. Knock yourself out!)
My one piece of advice is to cook the pancakes over a low heat. The chocolate can burn easily and nobody wants burnt chocolate!
Shout out to Nigella for the caramel recipe. It never lets me down.
60g oat flour
½ tsp salt1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
20g butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the caramel sauce
25g soft light brown sugar
25g caster sugar
25g golden syrup
60ml double cream
Small handful salted peanuts
Start by making the caramel sauce. Melt the butter, sugars and syrup over a low heat. Bring to a simmer for 3 minutes, swirling every once in awhile. Remove from the heat and add the cream. Swirl until it has combined and then return to the heat for 1 minute. Set aside.
Put the peanuts into a small pan and toast over a medium heat for a few minutes, shaking so that they don’t burn. To crush them, put them in a sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin, or use a pestle and mortar.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Mix in the oats, salt and sugar. In another bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Heat a tablespoon of oil and a knob of butter in a pan over a low heat. Dollop in the batter to create 4 pancakes. (You may need 2 pans.) Cook until bubbles start to appear on the top, then carefully flip over. Cook for a few minutes more until they feel spongy when you press down on them.
Transfer the pancakes to 2 plates, drizzle (or drench!) with caramel sauce and scatter the peanuts on top. A dollop of cream will lighten the whole dish up while making it extra decadent.
These make a fantastic breakfast for when you want to treat yourself, and they’re just as good without the chocolate chips. My husband loves them with pan-fried banana and a drizzle of maple syrup.