The Fête lady.

As far back as I can remember, the one stall that was always present at a fête, whether it be a church fête, a school fête or a fête in aid of a local charity, was the pancake stall.

The image of, up to six, ladies standing in a row behind fold-up tables, gas stoves hissing away, for once not talking, except to shout at their husbands or children to bring them more batter, will always stay in my mind.

A very good friend of mine, was one such lady. If you visited her on a Friday evening, when her church fête was the next day, it was quite an experience. She wouldn’t chase you away, she was much too sweet to do that, but would tell you on arrival that you must come sit in the kitchen, and not in the lounge, as she was preparing for the next day.

Immediately she would order her husband to make coffee for ‘the people‘. We were close friends but in this situation we were referred to as ‘the people’. The husband would dutifully answer, ‘Ja Marina’ and proceed to make the coffee. Marina would rush around gathering the ingredients and utensils that was needed for making pancakes. She would order her husband to take the things, piled high on the kitchen table, to the car. “Ja Marina” came the expected reply.

This continued most of the evening. At long last, wiping the sweat from her brow, Marina would throw herself in a chair exclaiming, “OK I’m finished, now we can chat.” Looking at our watches we would try and excuse ourselves by saying, we should go, it’s getting late. Marina would have nothing of the sort. She would respond by saying, ‘You can’t go now, I haven’t had coffee yet’, and with that she would turn to her husband and before she could say anything, he would answer, “Ja Marina!”

Easy Pancakes

Have pancakes for breakfast, but we wouldn’t say no to indulging in pancakes for lunch or dinner too! This easy recipe for pancakes is fail-proof and works…


  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 small eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • sunflower oil
  • cinnamon sugar to serve


Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs with 1 cup milk and add to the dry ingredients. The batter should be quite runny, like pouring cream, so add more milk if you need to.

Let the batter rest in the fridge while you heat ½ tsp oil in a non-stick frying pan on high.

Ladle some batter into the pan and quickly swirl it around to cover the surface. After about 30 seconds bubbles will start to appear on the pancake’s surface and the batter will no longer be runny. Flip the pancake and cook for 30 seconds on the other side.

Slide the cooked pancake onto a plate and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Repeat with the rest of the batter, stacking the pancakes and adding some cinnamon sugar to each layer. The sugar will dissolve into a thin, cinnamon-rich syrup. Roll the pancakes when you are ready to eat.


Add a dash of lemon juice for a rather surprising taste explosion!

Puffed pancakes with bananas and Horlicks ice cream

If lazy weekend brunches are what you are all about, then these puffed pancakes with bananas and Horlicks ice cream will be right up your alley.


  • Horlicks ice cream
  • 350ml milk
  • 300ml fresh cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 75g castor sugar
  • 100g Horlicks powder
  • Puffed pancakes
  • 37g cake flour, sifted
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 60ml (¼ cup) milk
  • 2,5ml (½ tsp) vanilla extract
  • 15g butter
  • 2 bananas, sliced, to serve
  • honey, to serve
  • icing sugar, to dust


For the Horlicks ice cream, heat the milk and cream in a saucepan over medium heat. In a mixing bowl, beat together the egg yolks and castor sugar, using a whisk, until light and creamy. Stir in the Horlicks. Pour the hot milk and cream into the egg mix and whisk to combine. Return to the heat and cook over low heat until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Pour into a freezerproof container and freeze, whisking thoroughly (or use a hand blender) every 30 minutes until frozen.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place a 10cm cast-iron skillet (pan with an ovenproof handle) or round ovenproof dish in the oven to preheat, at least 20 minutes.

For the puffed pancakes, combine the flour and sugar in a bowl. Add the egg, milk and vanilla and whisk together to form a smooth batter. Once the pan is preheated, remove it from the oven. Coat the pan with the butter then immediately pour in the pancake batter and place back in the oven. Bake until the pancake is puffy and golden brown, 20 – 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately topped with slices of banana drizzled with honey and finished off with a dusting of icing sugar and a scoop of Horlicks ice cream.

Pancakes with salted caramel and chocolate fudge sauce.


  • Pancakes
  • 600g flour
  • 60ml (¼ cup) castor sugar
  • 10ml (2 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 2,5ml (½ tsp) each nutmeg and
  • mixed spice
  • 2 x 10g packets yeast
  • 10ml (2 tsp) salt
  • 1L (4 cups) milk
  • 180ml (¾ cup) butter, melted + extra,
  • for frying
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Caramel sauce
  • 200g (1 cup) sugar
  • 60ml (¼ cup) water
  • 50g butter, diced
  • 80ml ( cup) fresh thick cream
  • sea salt flakes
  • Chocolate sauce
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) warmed cream
  • Caramelised hazelnuts
  • 100g (½ cup) sugar
  • 100ml water
  • 100g hazelnuts


Sift together flour, sugar and spices in a large bowl then add yeast and salt.

Whisk together the milk, 180ml (¾ cup) butter and eggs in a separate bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the milk mixture while stirring. Mix well.

Cover the batter with plastic wrap and rest for 20 minutes. The mixture can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Melt a small knob of butter at a time in a medium pan, and spoon 80ml (1/3 cup) pancake mixture into the warm pan. Fry for 2 – 3 minutes on each side and keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.

For the caramel sauce, place the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat and heat until the sugar has melted, brushing the sides down frequently with a wet brush. Increase the heat and boil until the sugar becomes an amber colour. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and cream. Add a pinch of sea salt flakes. Set aside to cool.

For the chocolate sauce, place the chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the cream and slowly melt the mixture. Stir until glossy and set aside to cool.

For the caramelised hazelnuts, spray a cooling rack with non-stick cooking spray and place on top of a baking tray. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat and heat until the sugar has melted, brushing the sides down frequently with a wet brush. Increase the heat and boil until the sugar turns a deep caramel colour. Remove from the heat and add the nuts. Toss to coat and spoon onto the prepared cooling rack. Separate the nuts using two forks and set aside to cool.

Layer the pancakes with caramel and chocolate sauce, and top the stack with the caramelised hazelnuts.

Cheesy ham, leek and asparagus pancakes


  • Pancakes
  • 120g (1 cup) cake flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 190ml (¾ cup) milk
  • 100ml water
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) sunflower oil, for frying
  • Filling
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) butter
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 6 leeks, well washed and blanched
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 slices (200g) country ham
  • 200g fresh long-stemmed asparagus, blanched
  • 200g mozzarella, grated


For the pancakes, sift the flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the egg, milk and water. Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Strain to remove any lumps and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.

Heat a little of the oil in a small, nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Pour in a thin layer of batter, rotating the pan to spread it evenly. When bubbles appear, flip the pancake and cook for a few seconds on the other side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Repeat until all the batter is used, adding a little more oil only if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

For the filling, melt the butter and oil in a pan and sauté the garlic and leeks for a few minutes. Season and set aside.

Place a slice of ham on each pancake.

Top with the leek mixture and a few asparagus spears. Neatly roll the pancakes up and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake until hot and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

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