Say what you like against Christmas, but it is an undeniably fantastic excuse to stuff yourself beyond the point of somatic limitations. Sure, you have to pretend to like presents you hate, but a half-tonne tin of Roses helps you through it. Yeah, you’re forced to watch a load of old films that were rubbish the first time round, but your third Chocolate Orange of the day eases the pain. And although it's not ideal having relatives that your family avoids like diseased Jehova's Witnesses throughout the year welcomed in to ruffle your hair and kiss you on the lips, it’s nothing another triple-layer turkey, stuffing and peanut butter sandwich won’t fix.

And then, just as quick as it arrived, it’s over. Normal portions return, and digestive excess is but a distant memory.

Until February, when Pancake Day rolls around, and you’re once more encouraged to remove belt and GO BIG.

The great news is that pancakes are both easy to make and affordable, which gives you no excuse to rely on a ready-made pancake mix that produces some sugary chalk frisbees you can taste every time you sneeze for weeks after.

Behold: CheFHM’s guide to the perfect pancake.

Step 1:
Put one cup of flour into a mixing bowl, along with a quarter of a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of sugar. These are your dry ingredients.

FHM pancakes

Step 2:
In a separate bowl, beat an egg, then add one cup of milk and some melted butter. If you’re making sweet pancakes, add a few drops of vanilla essence. These are your wet ingredients.

Step 3:
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and whisk together until there are no lumps or bumps. This should in NO WAY look like porridge.

FHM pancake recipe

Step 4:
Heat a little vegetable oil in a pan and pour the mixture into it in a circular motion. (Imagine you’re drawing the outline of the pancake and work your way in towards the middle).

Susie Verrill

Step 5:
Keep an eye on it, using a spatula to make sure it’s not sticking to your pan (annoyingly, even non-stick pans can be a b*stard when it comes to pancakes). Flip it over after three minutes.

Susie Verrill CheFHM

Step 6:
Do the same with the next side. Make sure it’s starting to go brown and a tad crispy. You don’t want anything soggy. Mainly because this means it’s not cooked... and you’ll end up re-naming Pancake Day ‘Violently Ill Day’.

Step 7:
Plate up the pancake and then decide what you want on it.

We tried a few different toppings and got our peckish pals to give their verdicts:

BANANA AND BROWN SUGAR

CheFHM banana pancakes

Katie Thompson, Multi Media Events Coordinator
“Make sure the bananas have cooled slightly after you’ve sizzled them in a frying pan of hot sugar and butter or you’ll feel your tongue disintegrate the second you bite into it. Other than that, they’re filling and not at all sickly.”

Glen Hildreth, Case Manager
“Like a banoffee pie Jesus would eat.”

LEMON AND SUGAR

CheFHM pancake

Lucy Croxford, Media Planner
“Where the hell is my maple syrup you peasant?”

Pat Verrill, Student
“Using lemon juice like most people use ketchup, I really like this one. Timeless classic, light and tasty.”

NUTELLA AND PEANUT BUTTER

FHM Nutella

Hayley Callow, Medical Receptionist
"Not advisable unless you’re really craving a sugar hit. Tastes a bit like a peanut KitKat Chunky and made me do a ‘euuugghhhhh’ noise halfway through. Also EXTREMELY messy if you go a bit overboard on the ingredients."

Susie Verrill, CheFHM
“Personal favourite."

BLACKBERRY, GREEK YOGHURT AND MAPLE SYRUP

FHM cooking

Pat Verrill, Student
“Nice, but dribbly. Don’t wear dark trousers while you’re eating it.”

Katie Thompson, Multi Media Events Coordinator
“A healthy option which is a bit rubbish for a pancake really, I tend to get annoyed if there’s fruit in my desserts. BUT, it’d be nice if you wanted to get involved in Pancake Day while still sticking to a healthy diet and it makes a good breakfast option.”

SALAMI AND SWEET CHILLI HUMMUS

FHM hummus

Lucy Croxford, Media Planner
“I did at first wonder why you were making me ingest a horrendous pizza/kebab/pancake hybrid but it actually tasted pretty nice. Could probably get similar results from a sandwich, though.”

Andy Arter, Community Rugby Development Officer
“I thought it was really nice, and I don’t usually like savoury pancakes. The kind of thing you could take to work rather than paying £3.50 for a wrap from Eat.”

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