Pancake Cake/ Shrove Tuesday – 21st February 2023 – Every year, the city of London turns into a pancake haven, with restaurants and homes cooking up delightful variations of the highly addictive batter cakes and crêpes. However, given that this day changes date every year according to Easter, it can be hard to remember when it is, and why exactly we celebrate it. It takes place 47 days before Easter Sunday and pancake races have been going around for years. London has a number of famous ones.
The Parliamentary Pancake Race starts from the Victoria Tower Gardens and has probably the most high-profile participants which feature three teams made up of MP’s, Lords and members of the press to help raise funds for the charity ‘Rehab’.
Shrove Tuesday (or pancake day) marks the last day before lent when people eat pancakes before the start of Lent. It is traditionally a period where you stop eating certain foods i.e. sugar, fats, flour and eggs. They would empty their cupboards of these products and make lots of pancakes before lent started.
Other pancake races that take place in London are the ‘Great Spitalfields Pancake Race, from the Old Truman Brewery, The ‘Inter-Livery Pancake Race foam Guildhall Yard and Better Bankside Pancake Day Race from Borough Market.
A few simple tips with your baking can make your food a little bit more healthy.
Avocado is a healthy fat and can be used to make a frosting, pudding, or replace butter in recipes for cakes, brownies, bread, and other baked goods. Peel, pit, and mash them to make a puree.
Use apple sauce instead of oil. Apple sauces are made with heart-healthy apples and they can also be low in sugar and high in fibre. Try making your own apple sauce. It acts like fat because it keeps the flour protein from mixing completely with the wet ingredients and forming a rubbery texture.
Paying a little extra for high-quality products, like premium chocolate and pure vanilla extract, can pay off. More-flavorful ingredients make you less likely to miss any calories you’ve cut”.
Beets add sweetness and moisture without taking away from the flavour,” says pastry chef Marisa Churchill, the author of Sweet & Skinny. Add two-thirds of a cup of finely grated raw beets to brownie batter and you can reduce the sugar by a quarter cup.
For a lighter spin on cream cheese frosting, typically made with full-fat cream cheese and butter, beat together with an eight-ounce block of reduced-fat cream cheese, one cup of powdered sugar, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. The fluffy icing contains a mere 59 calories and three grams of fat per tablespoon.
Eat This also says when you’re baking try substituting the recommended oil or fat in the recipe with Greek yoghurt. You won’t lose any flavour and still have plenty of moisture in the consistency.
The British Heart Foundation says using an unsaturated spread instead of butter has more benefits than simply reducing the amount of saturated fat: it actually gives a lighter texture, especially if you’re making an all-in-one sponge cake.
Also, try using a drizzle of glacé (water) icing rather than butter icing for cake toppings. Or, a light sprinkle of icing sugar may be all you need to give your bake the final touch.
Try a Whole-Grain Flour. White whole-wheat flour can be substituted one-for-one for all-purpose flour in most recipes. You can also replace up to half the all-purpose flour in a recipe with whole-grain flour without making any significant adjustments to the recipe.
Significantly reduce the sugar in a cake by adding naturally sweet spices such as cinnamon, mixed spice, and vanilla, says Inman, or drizzle a small amount of honey or maple syrup over the top when serving. It fools you into believing it is sweeter than it is.
Make your own bread to use less salt says The British Heart Foundation. Bread is probably the bakery product we eat the most, which means that, while it might not be the saltiest food you can think of, it can make a significant contribution to the salt content of our diet.
A banana is a great substitute that mimics butter’s texture in chewy baked goods like brownies, says Wright. “It lends both moisture and sweetness as well as acts as a binding agent.” Plus, bananas are a nutritional powerhouse: They contain heart-healthy potassium, immune-boosting vitamin C and fiber — three nutrients that butter is missing.
Find ways to incorporate shredded veggies into baked goods.” You can add fiber-rich dates or protein-packed black beans to brownies, Roszkowski suggests, without compromising flavor. Switch out part of your recipe fat for pureed black beans, and your taste buds will be none the wiser. This surprise ingredient also brings fiber, potassium, and protein to your brownies and chocolate cakes. For lighter-colored foods, try cannellini beans or chickpeas (garbanzo beans).
Use chia seeds or flaxseed meal instead of eggs. For baking, these stand-ins won’t bring the leavening (volume and puff) that eggs do. To fix this, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder or soda to the recipe. It may take some trial and error to get just the right combo, but start with: 1 egg = about 2 teaspoons chia seeds + 1/4 cup water (let sit for 5 minutes) 1 egg = about 1 tablespoon brown or golden flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons water (let sit for 5 minutes)
Cut the sugar your recipe calls for in half (or 1/3 if you don’t want to go that far). Just double up the spices. If your recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, add 2. Do the same with vanilla extract.