FORGET lemon and sugar this Pancake Day, a Horwich chef has plenty of weird and wonderful concoctions to tantalise tastebuds tomorrow.

Debbie Halls-Evans, winner of Channel 4's The Taste, took her culinary skills to the Bolton FM studios ahead of Shrove Tuesday.

She made several pancakes, including a crab and coconut creation complete with a sprinkling of coriander.

While the combination, suggested to the 44-year-old by a chef friend, may sound unusual, it was given a resounding thumbs-up by the radio station's taste testers.

Andrew Dickson, chairman of 96.5 Bolton FM, said: "I'm more of a sugar and lemon man but this is lovely."

Lucy Robinson, presenter of the afternoon show, said: "It's very unusual, it's nice. I would eat this at home.

"I never really eat crab.

"I'm normally a sweet pancake kind of girl."

Mrs Halls-Evans, from Horwich who now lives in Blackrod, said: "I love Pancake Day. We always make them.

"It came about from one my mother used to make which was like corned beef in a pancake roll.

"As each year progressed, we developed it."

Along with her husband Dave, and their five children, they make a pancake stack dubbed Mount Vesuvius, using bobotie — a South African curried mince.

She said: "We do it 30 pancakes high and layer it with curried mince in between.

"The lava is Heinz tomato soup and then on top of that, we put crisps — it tastes delicious.

"It's humongous."

As well as the tasty crab and coconut pancake, Mrs Halls-Evans also rustled up one made with courgette, ricotta and spinach, as well as the staple lemon and sugar and a heart-shaped chocolate treat.

She put an appeal out on Twitter to ask people for their strangest pancake toppings and fillings and received a raft of responses including curried squirrel; white chocolate, poached sultanas and blue cheese; sardines; banana and Marmite; cold chicken tikka and Shepherd's pie.

She said: "The shepherd's pie I get, but I don't get the curried squirrel.

"I think whatever your favourite flavours are, just use the batter as a carrier."

While Mrs Halls-Evans is a dab hand at rustling up tasty pancakes, she admits she is no good at flipping them.

She said: "I'm rubbish at tossing pancakes.

"I recall in the '70s, when we used to have polystyrene tiles on the ceiling, my mum got one stuck to it."


Pancake Batter 


Using a cup or glass as your measure 

1 cup of flour

1 cup of eggs ( a standard tea/mug is 3 eggs)

2 cups of milk (fullfat i prefer but use any type you like 

Pinch of Salt

Nut oil or butter for cooking

(*To Make this a chocolate pancake batter add half a cup of cocoa and 1/4 cup same size you have used throughout of sugar)

(**To Make this gluten-free or for others with intolerances, use Gluten Free Flour, Rice Flour or Buckwheat same quantities and add 3 tsp of xanthan gum and use Almond Milk)

(*** To Make this into American/Drop/Scotch pancake batter add another cup of flour , 2 tablespoons of baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda- this makes thicker batter easy to drop onto your hot griddle or pan)

How to

Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl

pour over your milk 

Whisk thoroughly until smooth

Allow to rest in your fridge for 30 minutes minimum - best made night before 

To Cook your pancakes 

Use a heated pan or griddle - shouldn't be smoking just hot

Use a either a pastry brush and brush your oil into the pan or put 2tsbps of nut oil into your hot pan

Ladle your pancake batter into the cetre of thr pan and then move the pan around in a circle off the heat to cover the bottom of your pan

Put back on the hob and all the pancake to cook- allow bubbles to form and the edges to come away from the side - DON'T mess, touch just allow it to cook - about 1-2 minutes

Now you can flip or turn 

cook for 1 -2 minutes more 

Put your choice of topping on 


Crab and Coconut Pancake 


Pancake Batter (as above you could substitute the milk for coconut milk also for added depth of flavour)

Half a dressed crab - white and brown meat about 20-30g per pancake 

Grated Coconut fresh, creamed or even desiccated about a large dessertspoonful

Red and Green Chilli de-seeded and chopped finely

Roughly chopped fresh coriander   

salt and pepper to taste

Lemon zest

How to

Mix all the ingredients into your pancake batter until evenly mixed through 

Make pancake as normal 

On serving add a little extra fresh coriander and fresh lemon zest


Ricotta Spinach and Courgette


Pancake batter

1/2 tub of ricotta cheese

1 courgette grated

2 large handfuls of wilted spinach (heat in a dry pan with couple of splashes of water until the spinach has wilted down)    

Lemon zest

salt and pepper to taste 

(you can add chilli if you like) 

How to 

Mix all the ingredients into your pancake batter until evenly mixed through 

Make pancake as normal 

On serving add a little extra ricotta and lemon on the side 


Chocolate and Rose Pancake Stack

Using the American/Drop Pancake batter as above

Add chocolate chips, 1/2 tsp f rose water and dried rose petals and mix through batter evenly.

Drop spoonfuls onto your heated pan

turn when bubbles form on each pancake

Serve with warmed chocolate sauce , rose sugar or cocoa icing sugar