Pimp your pancakes

HERE are new and delicious toppings to pimp your pancakes so forget boring old cinnamon and sugar, and try something different.

Toasted coconut pancakes with rum bananas Toast seven tablespoons desiccated coconut in a dry frying pan until pale gold and nutty smelling. Tip on to a plate to cool. Mix six tablespoons into the pancake batter.

Cut four bananas in half, lengthways, and lay in an ovenproof dish. Slosh over a good four tablespoons rum (coconut rum like Malibu if you have it) and sprinkle generously with a handful of brown sugar. Dot with butter, cover with foil and bake at 180ºC for twenty-five minutes until tender.

Cook the pancakes as usual. Lay a half banana on each and roll up. Drizzle over the syrup from the pan, and sprinkle with the remaining coconut. Serve with ice cream.

Marmalade crepes suzettes Finely grate the zest of an orange and mix it with the batter – save the juice for the sauce. Make the pancakes as usual. Keep them to one side.

Heat four generous tablespoons of sweet orange marmalade in the pan with a glug of Grand Marnier (or brandy) and the juice of the orange, plus a good squeeze of lemon juice. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring to make a sauce.

Fold the pancakes in four and heat them through in the sauce. Flambé them if you like, by bringing four tablespoons Grand Marnier or brandy to the boil in a small pan. Light with a long match and pour over the pancakes. Serve with ice cream or Chantilly cream.

Cardamom crepes with apple, rhubarb and muscovado yoghurt Sprinkle a bowl of Greek yoghurt thickly with muscovado sugar – say three to four tablespoons for half a large tub of yoghurt – and leave to one side.

Add half a teaspoons ground cardamom to the batter and make as usual. Fill with a compote of apples and rhubarb. Serve with the muscovado yoghurt – the sugar will have dissolved to a deep brown syrup.

Vanilla pancake brulees Mix a teaspoonful of vanilla extract into the pancake batter, then make them as usual.

Mix one tablespoon of cornflour with two tablespoons milk. Tip a 500g carton ready-made custard into a saucepan and stir in the cornflour mix. Heat gently, stirring constantly until the custard thickens, then leave to cool. Taste and add one tablespoon brandy plus more vanilla if you think it needs it.

Spoon a good three tablespoons of the custard in the middle of a pancake. Fold the sides of the pancake to the middle, to make a neat enclosed parcel. Repeat with the rest of the pancakes, placing them in a single layer in a baking dish, edges neatly underneath. Don't worry about seepage.

Heat the grill to its highest setting. Using a sieve, dredge with icing sugar, about beer mat thick. Pop under the grill and cook until brown and bubbling. Serve straight away with cream or ice cream.

Pancakes with halva and rosewater cream Make the pancakes as usual, adding a tablespoonful of toasted sesame seeds to the batter if you like.

For the filling, mix a cupful of Greek yoghurt with an equal quantity of whipped double cream. Sweeten with honey and flavour with rosewater (the intensity varies so add it a few drops at a time tasting as you go). Crumble in a small block of halva. Dollop on to the pancakes, folding them or rolling – make sure they are warm, not hot, or they will melt the cream.

Decorate with dried rose petals if you like. – The Telegraph