Hopefully you will by now have tried and enjoyed the Beef Casserole with Dumplings recipe that we published in our first Muntons Moments feature and you have been waiting to see how else you can use Malt Extract. You may have remembered that I said that Malt is a fascinating, natural and versatile product. So to prove this, as well as main meals it can also be used in your puddings!
This month I have prepared American Pancakes with a Chocolate Red Wine Syrup and because February is well known for two things, Valentine’s Day and Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day, this will be a fitting ‘marriage’ of the two. The malt extract used in these pancakes is a direct replacement for the sugar. As malt extract is sweet you still get the sweetness you would have got from the sugar but unlike simple sugar, malt extract will also give the pancakes an amazing golden colour and a lighter and fluffier texture.
Muntons make more than just malt though. Did you know for example that Muntons are Europe’s largest homebrew manufacturer, making beer and wine making kits that can be found in specialist homebrew shops, online and through some high street retailers. To make the sauce, I used a full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon wine – made from a Muntons wine kit of course and combined this with a rich, dark chocolate. The fruity tones of the red wine contrast wonderfully with the bitterness and richness of the dark chocolate.
For this recipe you will need to have a jar of malt extract to hand to get the benefits of this versatile ingredient and we would encourage you to pop into your local health food shop and buy a jar for your kitchen cupboard. Remember that Malt is made from barley, a cereal grown extensively in our region; it is made by growing the barley just enough to allow natural enzymes to be developed in the barley that can convert starch into sugar. At Muntons our malt extract is made by adding just water and heat – nothing else. We crush our malt and soak this in hot water to encourage the natural enzymes to convert the barley starch into sugars and then boil this to drive off most of the water leaving the sticky glossy syrup that you spoon from the jar.
Malt – the undiscovered ingredient! Over the course of the next few months we will try to show you how this fascinating ingredient can bring improvements to virtually all of your cooking. In addition to the recipe featured each month why not try adding a dessert spoonful of malt extract to any sauce you make; into your gravy or try using malt extract in place of half of the sugar called for in your baking recipes. I know you will be surprised by the difference this can make.
For the pancakes
225g plain flour, 1 egg, 11g baking powder, 30g melted butter, 300ml semi-skimmed milk, a good pinch of salt and of course… 15g Malt Extract!
For Red Wine and Chocolate Sauce
250ml red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon), 75g caster sugar, and 10g finely chopped dark chocolate.
For the sauce
Heat the sugar and wine together gently in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and leave undisturbed for 5 minutes. Add the chocolate whilst the sauce is bubbling away and heat for a further 5 minutes on the boil, but stir constantly for the next 5 minute so the chocolate does not scald. Remove from the heat, and decant into a container to cool down. Meanwhile…
Combine all the pancake ingredients into a Food Processor/Blender, and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds , and high speed for 30 seconds – you can blend by hand if you prefer. Very lightly grease a frying pan with butter, and heat on high, until the pan is VERY hot. Dollop some of the pancake mixture. Fry on the first side for 1 minute (or until you see mini air pockets form), flip over, and fry on the other side for 1 minute. Your pancake technique will improve with practice!