A few years ago, whilst single and working from home, I intentionally didn’t buy chocolate, sweets, or similar.
Pancakes were therefore my ‘go to’ option for those times I really wanted a sweet fix. I’d always keep powdered milk, lemon juice, and the like in the cupboard ready (I can’t eat eggs, so I modified my own version with mainly just equal volumes of milk to flour, which worked pretty well by itself).
This is the latest incarnation of the recipe, that’s now vegan. It also recently proved particularly popular to the build crews at kiwiburn, where there were a good dozen or so vegans (hence the group measurements).
This makes those smaller, slightly thicker, American style pancakes.
If you’d like to make them more like the French Crepes style thin large ones, add a little more oil, a bit more ‘milk’ liquid, and use something to spread the mix gently around your pan as it starts to cook to help it get nice and thin.
Ingredients (to feed four, or there abouts):
1 cup (250ml) plain flour
1 1/3 cups (330ml) soy milk (or other milks)
2 level teaspoons baking powder
about 3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 tablespoon rice bran oil (or other oils)
1/2 tsp salt
A little oil for frying (depending on your non-stick pan)
Ingredients (to feed around 12-15 people):
3 cups (750ml) plain flour
3.5 cups (875ml) soy milk (or other milks)
4 heaped tsp baking powder
1.5 heaped tsp bicarbonate soda
3 tbls rice bran oil (or other oils)
1 large pinch salt
A little oil for frying (depending on your non-stick pan)
Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl
Whisk thoroughly with a fork (or an egg whisk if you have one).
The consistency should be similar to double cream.
If you can, leave the mix to stand for 20 minutes (or ideally much longer like a few hours, for the best results leave the mix overnight. This helps the mix gel together better).
Have a pre-heated non-stick fry pan, medium hot.
If it’s not that good a non-stick pan, add about a teaspoon of oil before cooking (you don’t need much). Otherwise ideally no extra oil in the pan.
Pour a little of the mix into three ‘corners’ of the pan (a couple of tablespoons per pancake).
Fry until the bubbles burst on the uncooked top, and the base is a nice brown cooked colour (if the bubbles burst before the base goes brown, turn the heat up. If the base goes brown before the burbles burst, turn the heat down).
Flip over, and cook for about 30 seconds to a minute more.
Stack on a plate, put in a pre-heated oven at about 70 degrees Celsius, and eat with whatever you like!
Some great toppings:
Maple Syrup (the genuine stuff, not ‘maple flavour syrup’)
lemon juice and sugar
bananas and chocolate spread
chocolate spread and cream
fruit purée / compote
finely sliced apple & cinnamon
slices of butter
everything else you can think of!
You can also use Buckwheat flour instead of the regular flour (although baking powder normally contains gluten too) I’m still playing around with my favourite variations to the gluten free option at the moment.
This is my favourite cookie recipe, modified and improved over the years. For a while it was sold commercially as the base of the ‘cookie dough’ dessert option at the luxury boutique hotel I owned/managed for three years. These days is a very popular choice for Pot Luck events.
Makes about 12 good (big) sized cookies, or 18-24 or so regular cookies.
180g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
300g plain flour, sifted
5 tsp baking powder
200g Chocolate chunks (easy to make totally vegan using vegan chocolate)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
Cream margarine and sugar together in a mixer, until light and fluffy
Slowly add sifted flour & baking powder to the butter mix, to form a dough
Add the chocolate chunks to the dough, and mix slowly and carefully
If making larger cookies, roll into golf size balls, arrange on paper on a cookie tray, and press down slightly. Otherwise divide the mix into about 12 – 18 cookies.
Cook for 12-15 minutes in the middle of the pre-heated oven.
Transfer to a cooling rack, and then store in an airtight container when cool.
In my experience, the best chocolate chunks are actually half a ‘square’ of regular chocolate bars, like ‘Whitakers, Dairy Milk, etc.’. This way you end up with cubes of chocolate around 1cm square (which are much nicer to eat within the cookie). Chocolate drops are just a bit too small, melt too much during cooking, and so become more of a background total flavour rather than a satisfying chocolate hit in most bites of the cookies. The chocolate doesn’t always break evenly, so don’t worry about the irregular sizes, just put it all in the bowl.
The cookies do not need cooking for quite as long as you may expect. If they’re just going golden brown, they’ll still be quite soft when getting out of the oven, but they’ll firm up nicely when cooling after a few minutes out of the oven on a cooling tray. So also don’t try and take them off the hot baking tray too quickly. Just give it a few minutes on the tray, before moving onto the cooling rack.
You can prepare larger amounts of ingredients in advance, and then freeze the raw cookie dough in batches to bake later. To defrost, just move it from the freezer to the fridge the day before baking, and use as you would normally. Or if you just want to make giant cookies one at a time on demand, just freeze individually wrapped portions, pre-flattened to size & shape. You can also just make it up to a couple of days in advance, and store in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
Particularly when you’re making multiple batches of cookies, always place the raw dough onto a cool baking/cookie sheet, rather than one recently fresh out of a hot oven. If you put it onto a hot baking tray, it starts to melt the margarine element before the flour starts cooking and binding, so you end up with very thin merged cookies that really aren’t so good in my opinion.
These times are based on a regular thin metal baking tray, lined with baking parchment / paper. If you use one of those thicker reusable silicon baking sheets instead of the paper, the cooking time may need to be extended by up to 5 minutes (depending on your oven and the silicone sheet) and this slower cooking time will also result in drier and flatter cookies.
Cookie Dough to Share – Boutique Hotel Style
‘Cookie dough to share’ at the hotel was around 100g of raw mix, topped with four balls of ice-cream, about half a tub of then freshly whipped cream, fresh chocolate shavings, and a quick decorative lattice of melted chocolate as a type of sauce and decoration.
Each ‘cookie dough’ was cooked from frozen (a pre-wrapped portion, made in advance, weighed, shaped, and then individually wrapped in clingfilm before freezing), for 12 minutes into a commercial pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C.
It was pulled out just before it started going brown, transferred to a cool deep serving plate, topped quickly with the cold ingredients in a stylised way, and then served immediately.
It was always greatly enjoyed by the hotel guests.