Kitchen Table: Activated Charcoal Pancakes with Lemon Curd

Pancake day only rolls around once a year, so it would be rude not to honour it with a delicious concoction. This Shrove Tuesday will see us fully breaking from tradition - forget lemon and sugar, our batter will be pimped up with activated charcoal and coated in a deliciously zesty lemon curd. The recipe comes courtesy of Alex Head of Social Pantry - a catering company and cafe based around seasonality, sustainability and community support. We like to think we share a few of Alex’s values and if these pancakes are anything to go by, we share her taste in food too.

Activated charcoal used in food has all sorts of gut-cleansing properties, which means that whilst these pancakes are certainly indulgent, they’ve got a secret superfood hit that make them that little bit more guilt-free. Win win! Scroll down for the full recipe.

Makes 10 medium pancakes


For the pancakes

200g plain flour
130g semi skimmed milk
65g buttermilk (or yoghurt)
50g unsalted butter
50g double cream
8g baking powder
14g icing sugar
2g activated charcoal powder
3 free-range egg yolks
3 free-range egg whites
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch sea salt

For the lemon curd

50g caster sugar
25g salted butter
5g lemon zest
1 free-range egg
1 free-range egg yolk
Juice of 1 lemon
For the whipped vanilla cream
200ml double cream
15g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence


For the pancakes

1. Gently melt the butter and place aside.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and icing sugar into a large bowl and add the salt.
3. Add the egg yolks, milk and buttermilk.
4. Whisk in until well mixed, add the cream and continue to mix in.
5. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla and whisk in the activated charcoal.
6. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks then fold into the batter.
7. Cook by frying in a non stick plan with sunflower oil.

For the toppings

1. Gently melt the butter in a saucepan.
2. Add the caster sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice.
3. Whisk the eggs together by hand and add to the saucepan mix.
4. Stir over a gentle heat until the mixture coats the back of the spoon (be patient as it does take a little while. If you cook too quickly, the eggs can scramble)
5. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl, allow to cool.
6. Put the double cream into a clean bowl and whisk by hand.
7. Whisk until just beginning to become stiff, sieve over icing sugar and fold in the vanilla essence.

Recipe and images: Social Pantry

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