Monday, November 21, 2011

Nutella and Fruit Filled Crepes

Whenever I hear "crepes" I always think of this scene between Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell from Talladega Nights:

My sweet friend Erin and I had the opportunity to get together on Sunday afternoon. We decided to forgo the typical Sunday brunch out and have our own homemade brunch on my porch instead. When discussing food, Erin says "well, I've always wanted to learn how to make crepes" - something I have not done but responded "I have a crepe pan I have yet to use!" So there we were, two girls in the kitchen, with an internet recipe compilation and a crepe pan. The crepe pan was an impulse purchase nearly a year ago at World Market. There was a sale, I thought to myself: "self, you should make crepes sometime," and I bought the thing for $6. At this moment in time, I'm so glad I did. Though a flat skillet surface would also suffice.

I searched the lovely world wide web for a while, trying to grasp the concept of crepe making, comparing different variations. Luckily, they were all very similar - so that made this easy. For the filling part, we decided to go the fruit route with strawberries, bananas and Nutella.

As Erin made mimosas, any semblance of organization for methodical food-making went out the window between the heaven in a glass and 4 months of conversation that we were catching up on. Can't say that is the best way to go about making such a delicate food but it all worked out well in the end! The pictures below don't necessarily depict the perfect process, there were several attempts but they all tasted wonderful and that is what was important. The first crepe was a learning experience - it was thicker than it was supposed to be and it cooked all the way before we remembered to add the filling and then the folding, making it difficult to acheive a beautiful folded end result. The second one was better, but still didn't have the fold part down.

After eating, hours of conversation and mimosas, Erin left and I realized there was more batter for a third attempt. This time, I used less and spread it around the pan, so it was thinner - the way it is intended. I was more concentrated (despite the mimosas, or maybe because of them, hmm) and got the flip, fill and fold part in time for it to turn out prettier than the first two attempts. In this case, third time's the charm is rather accurate.

Grocery List:
For the Crepes
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 3/4 cups milk 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
For the Filling
  • 1 cup sliced bananas
  • 1 cup slice strawberries
  • 1 tbsp. Nutella per crepe
  • Powdered sugar 

Combine the eggs and flour in a bowl, mix well to help prevent lumps. Stir in vanilla, sugar, milk and butter until well combined.

Grease a skillet or crepe pan and set the stove on low-medium heat (3-4 on the dial). I've decided that 1/4 cup is the proper amount - after 3 tries - to add to the 9" circumference skillet surface. It is not going to spread very far on its own so taking off the heat, use your wrist to guide the batter around the pan surface until it is pretty evenly spread.

Let sit for about 1 minute. Like making a pancake, use a spatula to gently nudge under the sides to see how solidified it has become. If it tears a little - which it may, it's pretty thin - use the extra batter as adhesive to mend the tear. My solution at least! When you can get under the crepe with a spatula, work to flip it gently yet swiftly. The first time we tried this, Erin helped me guide it and quickly flip it over with an additional spatula, a paper plate was involved.... by the third attempt, I had it down. Once flipped, let it sit on the heat for about 30 seconds, then add the Nutella so it becomes nice and creamy across the crepe surface. Gently spread it then add the fruit topping.

Finally, using the spatula, generously fold one side over the other to close and create the look of a crepe.

Move to a plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Take a bite, relish the rich flavors of the choco-hazelnut, fruit blend and a hint of vanilla from the thin crust surrounding it all. Not too shabby for a first attempt! I hope to become more adventurous and try my favorite restaurant crepe, stuffed with avocado, cheese, tomato, spinach, and topped in a poblano cream sauce. One can dream... but for now, indulge in this!

 Attempt 1: Little thick, didn't quite get the fold right...but really delicious

Attempt 2: Better but there's a giant lob of Nutella to "hold" the fold, topped with powdered sugar.
Attempt 3: Thin, stuffed, folded, delicious!

Tastefully yours,

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