- Food & Drink
Is this the perfect summer breakfast? Possibly. I quite liked it
When advertising was invented, it was made for people like me. Suggestible people who respond to a well-placed whisper by turning into zombie consumers, that stalk the shops with a Bag For Life, a determined look and no clear idea of how they got there. You don’t even need to tell me it’s something that I need. Just start talking about biscuits, multicoloured socks, miniature ponies, timeshare apartments or hats with ear flaps and it won’t be long before I glaze over with longing.
There was, however, an obstacle to clamber over on my way to pancake heaven: no flour. For a while I lay distraught on the kitchen floor. Without a plateful of fried ground wheat, how could I ever be happy again?
But we live in modern, post-flour times. These are days of gluten-free eating and paleo cooking. Flour is no longer necessary for pancakes and, in the darkest depths of my despair, the light of inspiration was turned on. I had a bag of desiccated coconut in the cupboard. Rejoice!
Desiccated coconut is a mystery ingredient that appears in kitchens without anyone remembering buying the stuff. I suspect it’s packed in sentient bags and at night they creep out of supermarket baking aisles (where the shelves are always suspiciously full of desiccated coconut) and sneak through the shadows into people’s houses.
They nestle on a back shelf, on the sticky bit next to the treacle, stem ginger and the fish stock cubes that no one ever uses, and there they wait. When the alien invasion begins, don’t be surprised if the first you know of it is your pantry door bursting open and a howling bag of desiccated coconut springing at you, armed with teaspoons and Klippets.
Anyway, it’s something I’m constantly trying to use up. This recipe suggested it might be a fine alternative to flour when it came to binding together the sloppier elements of a pancake mix. And a handful of sweet-sharp black currants grown by the Young Volunteers at Stepney City Farm would help keep the blandness at bay. Had I been feeling more energised, cooking a few extra blackcurrants with a pinch of sugar and some lime zest would’ve made a good topping. But it was breakfast. I was in a rush. And I have a world to defend, one bag of coconut at a time.
Coconut & black currant pancakes
1/2 medium banana, mashed
1 medium egg
30g desiccated coconut
Handful of fresh black currants
Butter, for frying
Yoghurt, to serve
Beat the banana and egg together, then stir in the coconut and most of the blackcurrants to make a thick, gloopy mixture. Set aside.
Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan over a medium-low heat. Once it’s melted and bubbling, add spoonfuls of the mixture to the pan. You should get 3–4 small pancakes from the mix.
Fry gently for 2–3 minutes or until the underside of the pancake is golden brown and set. Carefully turn the pancakes and lightly press down. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a warm plate and serve with yoghurt and the remaining black currants.