*collaborative post featuring gifted items
***KLAXON*** Pancake day, or Shrove Tuesday, is next week guys. That’s Tuesday 5th March 2019. Had you remembered? Well NOW is the time to add flour, eggs and milk to your shopping list, or an ‘add milk and shake’ jobby, or even check out some of the super easy and delicious options that require a simple prick and ping for the ultimate in pancake convenience.
As a kid, shrove tuesday meant pancakes for dinner with a bit of sugar and lemon, but like all things, pancake day of the noughties has become totally extra; an opportunity to raise the bar and pimp up your pancakes in 2019 style.
When it comes to a food hall, there is no finer aisle, in my humble opinion than that of M&S food. I used to work adjacent to one and it was the lunch break of dreams picking up the most delicious of lunches and snacks for my desk. Sadly, my weekly food shop doesn’t quite stretch to M&S on a regular basis, but as an occasional treat it’s worth swinging by and seeing what’s on for the seasonal bests. (What’s valentines day without an M&S two can dine meal when you’re parents to young kids?).
This year we were asked to try out the M&S Food pancake range, which is available in stores now just in time for Tuesday. That said, my family love a pancake all year round so we were more than happy to have a pre-Shrove Tuesday pancake day and report back our findings. It’s a hard job but someone has to do it.
In our hamper of pancake goodies collected from M&S Bluewater, were three types of ready made pancakes; 4 buttermilk pancakes, 6 sweet pancakes and 6 golden syrup gluten and wheat free pancakes.
Of course every scrummy pancake deserves a smothering in something delicious, so we worked our way through our amazing selection of sweet sauces, cream, berries, squirty cream and fresh lemons.
First on the taste test were the buttermilk pancakes – just a minute in the microwave and all four were on plates ready to jazz up and scoff down.
These pancakes are thicker and smaller than the traditional crepe; more like an american style pancake. Perfect however for little hands to drizzle and sprinkle onto, and eat without wearing most of the toppings.
We all loved the buttermilk pancakes and the kids couldn’t get enough of the Belgian Chocolate sauce, which drizzled straight from the bottle and worked perfectly with fresh strawberries and raspberries.
6 sweet pancakes were up next; these look more like the pancakes we’re used to seeing in our house, although without the hassle of losing the first one to the bin, dropping the second on the floor, having to wait too long or spend so long stood at the hob like some kind of pancake slave.
A 30 second blast and two pancakes were set in front of two happy girls. The pancakes were thicker than a home made crepe but that helped them hold their structure during handling and heating, rolling and eating.
The mouse is like her mum, a sucker for sugar and lemon, but was drawn in to have a little dip selection of the sticky toffee and belgian chocolate , and sauces too.
Tig’s meanwhile opted to take it upon herself to really test that belgian chocolate sauce…
Whilst the girls inhaled the sweet pancakes, I got on the case giving the ‘Free From’ pancakes a go. Having been a little intrigued by some of the free from range lately I’ve been dipping my toe in the gluten free, wheat free ranges not for any particular lifestyle or health reasons, just because they look appealing to eat!
And who would have guessed, the Wheat free, Gluten Free pancakes, warmed in the toaster, were my clear favourite. The texture and flavour of the small thick pancakes were perfect to me, and I really enjoyed the flavour of the golden syrup. The pancakes felt more robust and more of a mouthful, with plenty of structure and depth.
I think it’s worth talking at this point about the Gin and Tonic flavour lemon sauce which I know is going to be a huge hit with plenty of you lot this year. Despite being a non-drinker myself, I have been known to make exceptions when alcohol is in food (Christmas pudding hello!) so I did give the G&T lemony sauce a try. The gin flavour is subtle but present and the taste reminded me a little of lemon curd as a child, but with a grown up twist.
As well as the bottled sauces we had great fun with the squirty dairy cream, and we may or may not have squirted it straight into anyone’s mouth.
The final word goes to the rich fruity jams which were spread over our pancakes – I gave the rhubarb, raspberry and rose a go. So many of my favourite flavours in one jam, this is a keeper that is going to be spread on toast, bagels and scones for the weeks to come. And it’s definitely not for the girls jam sandwhiches!
Talking of not for the girls…the final candidate for a taste test was the Blackberry, bramble and gin jam. This one has a higher alcohol content than the gin flavoured sauce and for me smelt too boozy (god how I have changed). I roped in Dad Muddling Through to give this one a go and he had no problems with the gin blackberry-y (made up word alert) notes smothered all over his pancake.
We have plenty of left overs to see us into the weekend, and beyond, and if this review has taught me anything, it’s too look a little further than lemon and sugar this pancake day.
Disclosure: These items were gifted to us for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.