February 21 is Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day, as it is better known), but pancakes are one of those universal snacks that can be enjoyed any time of the day, all year round. If you visit the Foreshore Market in Port Macquarie or the Riverwalk Market in Laurieton each month, your tastebuds are in for a treat. Robbie Blackmore, the face behind Robbie’s Dutch Pancakes, introduces us to Poffertjes …
What got you started making and selling Dutch pancakes?
I took over this business approx. 18 months ago; it had previously been operated by a friend of ours for over 10 years. I knew I couldn’t go wrong with our kids being the biggest fans – insisting on having them every time we came to the markets.
Since taking it on, I haven’t looked back. I really enjoy making the Dutch pancakes and then looking out into the crowd and seeing our bowls being carried around by happy customers.
What exactly is a Dutch pancake, and how does it differ from common pancakes?
Dutch Pancakes, or Poffertjes as they are traditionally known, are like small, fluffy pancakes, but taste sweeter. During cooking, the pancakes are turned so the centre does not completely solidify, making them nice and round and soft in the middle.
They primarily consist of flour, eggs, milk and vanilla; we also have a secret ingredient that makes our pancakes even sweeter and tastier and has people coming back for more time and time again.
They are cooked on gas burners using a special Poffertjes pan and served hot and fresh in a bowl of 12, with your choice of syrup (maple, chocolate, strawberry or caramel) and fresh cream, or with cinnamon sugar, lemon juice or for the more traditional, powdered sugar and butter.
What’s the feedback from the sale of your pancakes been like?
Our Dutch pancakes are extremely popular, with people lining up to get some, rain, hail or shine. Some locals tell me they get up early on market days just to come and get some! I also sell to visitors from around Australia and overseas, who come back for more than one plate because they enjoy them so much!
I was in Sydney 6 months ago in a meeting, where I had mentioned the Dutch pancakes and was shocked to find my Dutch Pancakes were known to these people via the Laurieton Markets. This is the most rewarding part of my job, knowing how much people love the pancakes and meeting new people from all over.
Where can people try your Dutch pancakes?
You can find me every second Saturday of the month at the Foreshore Market at Westport Park in Port Macquarie and every third Sunday of the month at the Riverwalk Markets in Laurieton. I also attend other special markets as they occur during the year.