Around the World in Eighty Recipes: Mardi Gras Special

Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, whatever you call it, we’ve got some indulgent recipes to help you celebrate this most delicious of holidays!

Classic Fluffy Pancakes

A staple in the British Mardi Gras celebrations! Don’t scrimp on the Nutella!

140g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2tbsp caster sugar

130ml milk

1 egg, beaten

2tbsp melted butter

Any topping your heart desires

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the butter, egg, and milk.

Slowly add the milk mixture into the dry mix and beat until it is combined into a smooth batter.

Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat and melt a knob of butter. Try two at a time if you’re feeling brave! Add a ladle of batter and leave to cook until bubbles start to appear. Carefully flip and cook until golden brown on both sides.


Very Versatile Gumbo

This recipe uses two pounds of chicken, but this is easily substituted for the same weight of shrimp, vegetables, or beef.

½ cup of vegetable oil

½ cup plain flour

1 large onion, chopped finely

½ cup celery, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

big bunch of salad onions, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, minced

4 cups of chicken stock

seasoning to taste

2lbs of chicken

In a large pot, combine the oil and flour and cook over a high heat until it forms a roux and turns a deep brown colour, stir constantly. Add the onions, salad onions, garlic, peppers, and celery and cook for a further ten minutes until everything is tender.

Add the broth and the seasoning. Cover the pot and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Add your chicken, or substitute and simmer for 20 minutes until everything is cooked through. Serve with rice!


Crab and Cheese Dip

This cheesy delight is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and perfect for parties

175ml sour cream

2tbsp of lemon juice

½ onion, grated

1tbsp mustard

2 cloves of garlic

25og cream cheese

250g sharp cheddar, grated

450g crabmeat, shredded

pinch of paprika


Combine the sour cream, lemon, mustard, onion, garlic, and cream cheese and beat until smooth.

Fold in the cheddar and crabmeat before spreading the mixture into an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with paprika and bake at 200C for around 30 minutes. Serve with crisps, bread, or anything else you can think of!


The Hurricane

This deceptively fruity cocktail really does pack a punch!

50ml white rum

50ml dark rum

25ml lime juice

25ml orange juice

50ml passionfruit juice

25ml grenadine


Shake all of the ingredients with ice, before straining into a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange and a cherry!


Mardi Gras King Cake

For the cake:

1 cup of milk

½ cup of sugar

2tbsp of yeast

3 ¾ cups of plain flour

1 cup melted butter

5 egg yolks

1tsp vanilla extract

½ lemon zested

3 tsp cinnamon

For the Icing:

2 cups of icing sugar

¼ cup condensed milk

1tsp fresh lemon

Purple, green, and gold decorations

One small baby to hide in the cake (apparently)

Put the milk, sugar, yeast, and one tablespoon of the flour in a large bowl, whisking until well combined. Add the butter, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest and mix well. Add the remaining flour and the cinnamon and fold together.

Once you have a sticky dough, shape it into a large bowl and knead it on a floured surface for about fifteen minutes. Put the dough back into the bowl, and cover, leaving to prove for an hour and a half.

Preheat the oven to 190C. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into three equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long strand and braid them together. Form the braid into a circle and pinch the dough together to seal it. Lay the ring on a sheet of baking paper and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes and leave to cool.

While the cake is cooling, whisk together the icing sugar, lemon juice, and condensed milk until it is smooth. Spread over the cooled cake before decorating, Hide the little plastic baby by tucking it into the underside of the cake. Whoever finds the baby will be designated the king or queen of Mardi Gras and is responsible for providing the next king cake!

Images courtesy of: Nicola Holtkamp, Jeffrey W, Ribs, Amy Robertson, snap123, Caitee Smith