February 2nd is La Chandeleur in France, a day the French celebrate by eating crepes! La Chandeleur is considered the last celebration of Christmas. The tradition was to keep the manager scene up until February 2nd, exactly 40 days after Christmas Eve. The truth is La Chandeleurs’ roots are pagan, a day to celebrate the halfway mark through the winter, and to atone to ensure a good harvest. This loosely explains how crepes come into the picture. They are made of wheat and wheat is and was an important crop.
I happen to love crepes. They are a brilliant way to serve anything that tastes good. All you need is flour, milk, and eggs. I continually marvel at these ingredients and how the proportions of each, can affect the outcome in so many delicious ways. Alas, that is a story for another day.
To make crepes you will need the aforementioned ingredients and butter, some kind of filling, and course a crepe pan. I swear by my crepe pan, meticulously chosen in the 1st arrondissement many years ago and carried back on my lap from Paris. If you don’t already own a crepe pan, consider this one. It’s heavy to cook crepes quickly and evenly.
Making crepes is easy, although practice makes all the difference. Double the crepe batter recipe, to allow plenty of practice. Extra crepes can be frozen in a zip-top bag for later use.
Crepe Making Secrets
Let the batter rest for 1 or more hours before cooking crepes. Crepe batter can be made ahead and held overnight in the refrigerator. Resting the batter is key for thin, and stretchy crepes.
Butter the entire crepe pan between each crepe. A very thin layer of butter that sizzles on contact will keep crepes from sticking. Too much butter will cause the batter to slide on contact.
Pan temperature can make or break success. Find the sweet spot; hot enough to make the butter sizzle but not so hot that the crepes cook on contact. My cooktop is set to medium for crepe cooking. If the pan gets too hot, remove it from the heat for a few minutes to cool.
The classic Parisian Street crepe is filled with Nutella, a heavenly mixture of hazelnut and chocolate. Below you will see my recipe for Crepe Batter, Chocolate Banana Crepes, and my recipe for Chocolate Ganache. What you see pictured are crepes stuffed with chocolate chips, raspberries, and a touch of cream. I zested an orange over the top to accentuate the berry flavor.
Use your imagination to make flavors your friends and family will love.
PLEASE share your favorite combinations in the comment section! And celebrate La Chandeleur Day by eating crepes!
3 large eggs
2/3 cup flour
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
Place the eggs, flour, and milk in a blender and process to combine. Let the crepe batter rest for 1 hour or more. Heat the crepe pan over medium heat, brush with melted butter, and pour scant 1/3 cup of batter into the pan tilting to coat. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the top of the crepe looks dull and edges can easily be pulled up. Run a wide metal spatula under the crepe and flip to cook the other side for about 1 minute. Prepare remaining crepes in the same manner, brushing the pan with butter each time. Stack crepes until ready to fill.
Chocolate Banana Crepes
3 bananas, sliced thin
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 recipe crepes
½ recipe chocolate ganache
In a chef’s pan melt butter, add brown sugar, and cook for 1-2 minutes until sugar dissolves. Add banana slices and toss to heat through. Assemble crepes by spooning the banana mixture into 5-6 crepes, add a tablespoon of chocolate ganache, and roll or fold crepes.
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat the cream in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Remove the pan from heat, add chocolate and vanilla and stir until chocolate is melted. Serve or store in the refrigerator until needed.