Tuesday 21 February 2012

Chocolate orange pancakes

Happy Pancake Day everybody!!!  As a food blogger, today wasn't really a day I could allow to go unnoticed, nor quite frankly would I wish it to go unnoticed; a genuine excuse to eat pancakes smothered with Nutella and topped with sliced banana, or pancakes doused with maple syrup and then sprinkled with a handful of plump blueberries, not to mention pancakes with that old stalwart, lemon and sugar, should be embraced wholeheartedly methinks.  So, to honour the occasion, on Sunday, I made the recipe below for a family brunch.

Now I know that in my last post, I warned that a high number of recipes on this blog would be likely to feature chocolate and orange together, but I didn't realise at the time of writing that I would subsequently be posting two such recipes in succession.  I'd apologise for the chocolate orange overdose but that would be disingenuous of me, as you and I both know, I'm not really sorry; the more chocolate orange there is in the world, the better for everyone as far as I'm concerned.

I've been thinking about how to successfully marry chocolate and orange with pancakes for a while now and what I came up with is a fluffy American pancake that contains a hint of orange and a lovely smattering of warm, just-melting chocolate chunks in each biteful.  You could add maple syrup or Nutella to these pancakes as they come off the frying pan, but honestly, I think they're great just as they are, without any topping.  Besides, it would be a shame to detract from the delicate flavour of orange with something that will more than likely overpower it.

Adapted from Nigella's American Pancakes

Makes approx. 15 pancakes

225g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
30g unsalted butter, melted and left to cool
300ml milk
Zest and juice of 1 orange
100g plain chocolate (50%), chopped
butter for frying

Combine the flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl.

Make a well in the middle of the bowl, then fill the well with the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk.  Whisk vigorously until all the ingredients are combined and you have a nice, smooth batter.

Add the orange zest and juice to the batter and whisk again, before stirring in the chopped chocolate chunks.

Heat a small frying pan (ideally non-stick) and plop a small cube of butter on it to melt.  Once the butter is bubbling, pour on some batter until you have a pancake about 10cm in diameter.  I use a ladle to pour the batter onto the frying pan, but a jug or a measuring cup would work just as well.  Cook the pancakes for a couple of minutes on each side, until lovely and golden.  Once all the pancakes are made, you can keep them warm in the oven until you're ready to eat, but ideally, they should be eaten hot off the pan!


  1. Although these look scrumptous, I must admit I have a bit of a love hate relationship with pancakes. It's all in the thickness. Since the flavours here are sooo tempting I am inclined to give them a try. Although I think I will go for a thinner variety which might create a problem with the chocolate chunks. I guess I would have to go for little choc chips? which doesn't seem as appealing - stella -

    1. Hi Stella,

      If you're making thin pancakes (French crepes), the batter is probably going to be too thin to hold even chocolate chips. I would suggest adding the orange juice and zest into the batter as per my recipe, and then either just sprinkling some chips over each pancake as they come hot off the griddle and you are ready to eat them, or alternatively, melt the chips and drizzle the melted chocolate over the pancakes once they're cooked. Hope this helps. Happy eating!