Illustration by Jemima Storey.
Nothing quite beats a late-night snack–that’s what keeps Solomon’s, Hassan’s and the million other kebab vans in Oxford afloat. But if you can’t quite be bothered to trek to your nearest van, or are looking for something a little less heavy and a bit sweeter, then I raise to you the late-night pancake.
Discovered as a concept by my friends and I for the first time after a night out on Pancake Day, the pancake soon became a late night staple. Whether it’s after a night at the library or, more hopefully, a night of clubbing, a pancake fulfils all the requirements of a late-night snack. It’s hot, quick to make, and smothered in sauce.
It might seem a bit ridiculous to call a pancake quick to make–you do, after all, have to make the batter and fry it. However, if you have the batter made already, then it’s a simple process of heating up a pan with some oil, frying your batter, flipping it over, and then drizzling it with whatever sauce you prefer.
The making of the batter isn’t exactly a long process, but it is essential that, if you want to eat the pancakes late at night, you make the batter beforehand. Trust me, you won’t feel like whipping up a batter at 2 in the morning! What I often do is make some pancakes for breakfast or lunch, and then keep the leftover mix in the fridge. This recipe makes for about 7-8 pancakes, so you’ll have enough for multiple meals.
- Oil (sunflower/rapeseed are ideal, but any will do)
- 2 Eggs
- 275 ml milk
Making the Batter:
1. Put 4 ounces/110g of flour in a bowl (large enough to mix things in)
2. Make a well in the middle of the flour
3. Pour a very small blob of oil into the well
4. Crack 2 eggs into the well
5. Whisk flour and eggs together (I just use a fork for this)
6. Continue to whisk, whilst adding the milk bit by bit. Make sure to whisk very vigorously to prevent little lumps of flour forming in the batter.
7. Rest this mixture in the fridge for 5-10 minutes
Frying the Pancakes:
1. Put the pan on medium-high heat.
2. Pour in enough oil to cover the base of the pan.
3. Wait for the oil to get hot and then pour the oil into a mug/ramekin.
4. Pour some batter into the pan – enough to cover the whole base when swirled around the pan. Probably the equivalent of 3 tablespoons worth but do it by eye.
5. Flip the pancake over when the edges start to go light brown and crispy. If making more than one pancake, pour the oil back into the pan for about 30 seconds to 1 minute between making each pancake, making sure to pour the oil back into a mug/ramekin before putting the pancake mixture in.
6. Eat the pancake straight away, with whatever sauce you prefer.
– I’ve only ever made this recipe with cow’s milk, but it should also work with a plant-based substitute.
– Obviously, this should really be whisked with a whisk and not a fork… but what student has a whisk in their kitchen?