Good news everybody! We’re moving house! Or more specifically, I’m moving house. Yup, I finally get to bug out of this tiny two-bedroom townhouse and into a proper, grown-up’s residence. An ACTUAL HOUSE, with an ACTUAL STREET NUMBER, all of its own. So that brings a whole world of excitement along with it. It’s an old Queenslander style house (google it if you’re not sure), and I can’t wait to get into it. The kitchen literally has not been updated since about 1954, so it’s not much of an improvement in that area, but I finally getting back my beloved gas burners. Am I the only person who can’t stand electric? Our lovely new home also features beauteous wooden floorboards, zero insulation, clean white walls, horrible fluoro lights in every room, and a lot more space to enjoy. As far as I’m concerned that’s a lot more negatives than positives, and more importantly than anything else, we will get a nice big yard, with plenty of space between us and the street. If there’s one thing that bums me out about my current residence it’s the proximity to the street. Literally every single day someone is marching, metres away from my front door, braying like a donkey about god-knows-what. If I didn’t know better, I would think that there was a huge “Guffaw like an IDIOT now!” sign stuck on my house. Which brings me to this Dutch Baby. This is my go-to, cheer myself up breakfast treat. The ingredients are so simple, and the steps are so easy, yet the results are mind-bogglingly impressive. Even on my most slatternly mornings, I can manage to rustle this up. Whether my hair has been teased and then slept on, my eye makeup has run halfway down my face, or the sound of laughing idiots is pounding into my head, I can stumble out of bed, lazily stir some bits together, and then bung this in the oven. Give it about 20 minutes back in bed (definitely set a timer) and then BAM, breakfast to the rescue; the morning is saved. This thick and puffy pancake is so delicious that really a sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of lemon are all you need to enjoy it. Now, if you’ve managed to be just a little bit more virtuous the night before, and aren’t feeling QUITE so wretched the morning after, you might just have the energy to knock up this fruity syrup. Energy is probably a strong word, more like coordination, because really all that’s required is pouring three ingredients into a pot and making sure it doesn’t boil to death. For your meager efforts you are rewarded with a jewel-like syrup, studded with tart blackberries, smoky with maple, and scented with bright lemon. Your magical syrup is not only perfect when poured over a recently puffed pancake, but also poured into a sneaky drink if you have any left over. A little syrup, a little vodka a little tonic? After all, you were so well behaved last night…. Plus, we’re moving house! Time to celebrate, right?
Dutch Baby Pancake
For the Pancake:
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup milk
30g butter There are two different options for making this, the first is to heat the butter in an 8 inch cast iron pan, pour in the batter and then transfer to the oven. OR you can place an 8 or 9 inch pie dish in the oven with the butter in it, while you make the batter, and then pour it into the hot dish and bake. Preheat the oven to 200C. Depending on your choice, either place the butter into a cast iron pan on a moderate heat, or into a pie dish and into the oven. Meanwhile, place the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the flour and slowly whisk to incorporate, making sure there are no lumps. Finally, add the milk and whisk until combined. Pour the batter into your preheated vessel, either pan or dish, and bake for 15-20 minutes (I usually go the full 20), or until your pancake is duly puffed. Eat IMMEDIATELY with forks, straight from the pan, drenched in Blackberry Syrup.
3/4 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
1/4 cup maple syrup
Zest and juice of half a lemon Combine all the ingredients in a small pan, and bring to the boil. Boil until the blackberries just begin to breakdown, and the liquid is slightly syrupy instead of liquid, around 3 – 5 minutes. Set aside to cool, serve warm or cold. Makes about 1/2 cup.