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Pancakes have always been a favourite snack in my house: whenever I get chance I make them from scratch, but if I'm feeling low on energy (or I'm out of eggs!) I pick up these Sainsbury's pancakes from the bakery section. A pack of six costs around £1.
These pancakes come in a cellophane sleeve backed with cardboard which keeps them rigid during transport. On the front of the pack is the Sainsbury's traffic light nutrition wheel which states that these pancakes have moderate calories, fat and salt ratings, but a low rating for sugar. Each pancake is circular and is approximately 15cm in diameter.
The pancakes are made with the traditional flour, eggs and milk, as well as a variety of preservatives, so would be unsuitable for those with wheat or dairy allergies.
The texture of these pancakes is fairly rubbery when they're first taken out of the packet, which can be quite offputting, but once heated through in either the oven, microwave or frying pan (I've tried all three methods) they return to a more flexible and appetising texture. Their appearance, as shown in the image above, is that of a mottled surface, which would come from the cooking process and looks comparable to the pattern I get on my own homemade pancakes.
The major advantage for me with these pancakes is that they are much less greasy than the ones I make myself. They are nice with a surprisingly wide variety of toppings; I've tried them with the traditional sweet toppings of lemon and sugar, syrup and chocolate spread, as well as savoury toppings like chicken and sweetcorn! They form a nice base for all sorts of things, and can make a nice change from sandwiches.
I also like the fact that these pancakes freeze well: I generally sandwich them between pieces of greaseproof paper and place them within a plastic bag before freezing them flat: without the paper they do stick together and can be a pain to separate for use. To defrost I simply pop them in the microwave for 45 seconds.
On their own, these pancakes taste very bland, which of course makes them the ideal base for a sweet or savoury snack. They are convenient, not massively unhealthy and make a nice change from bread-based snacks.
Of course, making my own pancakes is a much cheaper option - I can make a large batch for a few pennies - but sometimes it's nice to have someone else do the work!
Pancakes are not just for Shrove Tuesday!
My sister and I have both decided to give up chocolate and banish the frying pan for Lent this year, we are both attempting to lose weight so have set personal rather selfish goals for 2009. When she came to visit on Shrove Tuesday I shared the last of the Christmas Roses with her and while picking through the cupboard I came across a packet of Sainsbury's ready made pancakes and a bottle of dark chocolate sauce. This seemed like the perfect way to go into Lent to me!
You can cook these pancakes in the oven, microwave or fry them in a little butter. I wanted to cook all six at the same time so used the oven, I got all the pancakes onto a baking tray as it didn't seem worth worrying about the fact that they overlapped one another. Before I cooked them I was impressed with the appearance of these pancakes, they look nicely home made and are ready browned which is why I didn't mind overlapping them in the oven as it's obvious all these need is a warm through. Before putting them in the oven they need to be covered in foil to prevent them drying out, the method works and six minutes later I placed fresh and moist pancakes on our plates.
The pancakes were heated through evenly and tasted very nice indeed. They were eggy with a good wheaty flavour and while they don't taste exactly like homemade pancakes they certainly are an extremely good alternative. I served ours with a choice of chocolate ice cream, dark chocolate sauce, chopped nuts or lemon juice and sugar. I found these pancakes were perfect with the sweet flavours, the chocolate sauce in particular complimented them beautifully, and this is probably because there is a sweetness to these pancakes which makes them ideal for sweeter toppings. I think they would be wonderful with fresh raspberries and cream or drizzled with golden syrup.
We had three each and I found them filling and tasty, I do like making my own when the children are visiting but for a mass produced pancake these are pretty reasonable and a useful stand-by in the cupboard as pancakes do make a nice snack but I cannot always be bothered to go to the effort of making them from scratch especially when it's just for adults.
Each pancake contains 137 calories and 3.3g of fat, which isn't too bad and really who expects pancakes to be diet friendly food? Not that that matters when you're stuffing them full of chocolate sauce or cream anyway!