Breakfast of Champions: Charlie Chaplin’s Wheat Cakes


The all-time cinematic great liked to breakfast on old-school pancakes.


In a rare 1925 interview, Chaplin said he liked a breakfast with “wheat cakes, cereals, fruit and everything”. Wheat cakes are another name for pancakes, and back then were often made with molasses, giving them a liquoricey, bitter taste.


Makes eight


Into a bowl, sift 175g flour, a teaspoon and a half of baking powder and a pinch of salt. In a second bowl, beat an egg, three tablespoons of milk, 300ml buttermilk, 50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled, a tablespoon of black treacle (optional) and two tablespoons of caster sugar. Whisk into the flour bowl until just combined (don’t overmix or the pancakes won’t be fluffy). Heat a frying pan on a lowish flame, add a knob of butter, then add spoonfuls of batter, spreading them out to 6cm round and 1cm thick. Cook until golden brown on the base, then flip: don’t brown too fast or they won’t rise. Serve with maple syrup and crisp bacon.

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