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Crepes--Cook-Off 23

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205 replies to this topic

#31 jenc

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 10:32 AM

I usually am too lazy to pull out a blender and/or clean it. I go whisk all the way, but I don't have a set recipe. I tend to either search online when I need one, (haven't found a true keeper yet), or just fudge it.
foodpr0n.com 11/01/17: A map of macarons in Toronto // For free or for a fee - bring your bottle! corkagetoronto.com

#32 Pam R

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 10:32 AM

Any suggestions for mixing crêpe batter without a blender? Or should I either beg a blender from a friend with a kitchen, or just wait until I have my own kitchen again?

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A whisk with a little elbow grease. I add the liquid slowly, making sure I get rid of all the lumps - then let rest.

#33 Eilen

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:03 AM

Does anyone use the T-shaped wooden utensil for spreading the batter? I noticed most creperies I went to in France used this little tool which seemed a brilliant idea. Spreading the batter evenly is what I struggle with and I'd be interested to hear how people deal with this problem--aside from loads of practice, any tricks?

#34 slkinsey

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:05 AM

I continue to try to understand the color issue.  Bryan's are pale, delicate, and unspeckled, the second set of Grub's are uniformly browned and crisp-looking.  Sam's are uniformly speckled/brindled, and mine are on that path, but not there yet.  Is this caused by a difference in pans, or is it technique?

It's a difference in pans, recipes, techniques and goals. For something like the Keller dish BryanZ posted, my usual crêpes would never work. You need something lighter and more delicate. My crêpe recipe is fairly robust. It is also the case that a nonstick pan can create crêpes that are both thinner, more evenly colored and overall less colored than a those from a traditional crêpe pan.<br>

Here are some examples of different crêpe batters.<br><br>

<table>
<tr>
<th>SLK's Standard</th>
<th>Delicate Dessert</th>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>1C AP flour</td>
<td>1C AP flour</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>1 1/3 C milk/water</td>
<td>2 C milk</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>3 eggs</td>
<td>4 eggs</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>3 T melted butter</td>
<td>4 T melted butter</td>
<tr>
<td>(no sugar)</td>
<td>4 T sugar</td>
</table>
<br>As you can see the second recipe, which makes a thinner and more delicate dessert crêpe, has more egg, more liquid and more fat. There are many variations. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that those really light, thin crêpes of Keller's have even more egg and liquid (and also that they are cooked at a lower temperature on nonstick).
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#35 MelissaH

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:10 AM

I usually am too lazy to pull out a blender and/or clean it. I go whisk all the way, but I don't have a set recipe. I tend to either search online when I need one, (haven't found a true keeper yet), or just fudge it.

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A whisk with a little elbow grease.  I add the liquid slowly, making sure I get rid of all the lumps - then let rest.

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A whisk I do have. I may give it a shot at batter this weekend...if I don't get dragged into doing other things instead.

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#36 slkinsey

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:36 AM

I think I'm going to make one of these.
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#37 jenc

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:38 AM

hmn... maybe I will try that SLK one with a pinch of salt ... I really want some cheesy spinachy goodness... XD If I get out of work on time
foodpr0n.com 11/01/17: A map of macarons in Toronto // For free or for a fee - bring your bottle! corkagetoronto.com

#38 Megan Blocker

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:39 AM

I think I'm going to make one of these.

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They are SO GOOD, Sam. So good.
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#39 jenc

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:45 AM

T_T I want to make one of those too now.
So I can eat it.

Hmn. Maybe another use for that Mascarpone frosting/filling I love. Time to experiment with a little citrus and berries I think!
foodpr0n.com 11/01/17: A map of macarons in Toronto // For free or for a fee - bring your bottle! corkagetoronto.com

#40 Abra

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:46 AM

I've been longing to make that mille crepe since Megan first posted it. In fact, that's a major motivation for getting my pan in shape and mastering the damn things once and for all.

I have some home-cured bacon and some farm eggs that are calling to me at the moment, so I think some sort of breakfast crepe is on the menu for today's lunch. I want to use these up, so I can make a nicer batch.

#41 ruthcooks

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:52 AM

I learned to make crepes by pouring too much batter into the pan, giving it a quick swirl and pouring out the excess. Coats the pan evenly and thinly as the crepe batter thickness will allow. I use a non-stick skillet, and no utensil for turning: the batter that gets cooked onto the side of the pan (where you pour out the excess batter) makes a little "handle" which I just grab hold of and flip the crepe with my fingers.
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#42 Chufi

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:54 AM

here's the Dutch spekpannenkoek. The bacon is fried first, then the batter is poured on top of the bacon. Serve with golden syrup.
I don't think these actually qualify as crepes, because they are thicker. But I had to show them off anyway! :smile:

Posted Image

#43 slkinsey

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:57 AM

BACON CRÊPES?!?!

Must. Have. Bacon. Crêpes.

And I can make them sound exotic, possibly even healthy if I call them spekpannenkoek.
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#44 Chufi

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 12:00 PM

BACON CRÊPES?!?!

Must. Have. Bacon. Crêpes.

And I can make them sound exotic, possibly even healthy if I call them spekpannenkoek.

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The recipe, and more pictures, is here in the Dutch Cooking thread. I am craving some right now as well... and I just had dinner!

Edited by Chufi, 16 June 2006 - 12:00 PM.


#45 Abra

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 01:48 PM

Well, this is kind of bacon crepe, except that I fried up the lardons first, and then some spring onions, red peppers, and little tomatoes, the latter all cooked in the bacon fat, of course. Then I made a little milk gravy with the tiny bit of bacon fat and vegetable juices remaining in the pan. By then there was no more bacon fat, so the eggs had to be scrambled in butter. It was a fridge-cleaning lunch, but not an artery-cleaning one.

Posted Image

Probably I should have added more bacon.

#46 Shaya

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 01:52 PM

Klary your spekpannenkoek look amazing. So simple yet so tasty.

Abra, what a gorgeous picture of a beautiful lunch.

Edited by Shaya, 16 June 2006 - 01:53 PM.


#47 BryanZ

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 03:25 PM

What's the best/standard filling for the mille crepe?

#48 ludja

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 04:58 PM

What's the best/standard filling for the mille crepe?

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There's a great thread of discussion on the mille crepes, including fillings, in the post slkinsey linked to above in post #36.

One of the classic fillings is pastry cream which can be flavored any number of ways and into which whipped cream is folded. I want to try a kirsch-flavored one sometime... :smile:

Edited by ludja, 16 June 2006 - 05:06 PM.

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#49 alanamoana

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 05:04 PM

the recipe that's in the cake bible contains corn starch instead of flour and is very liquidy. this doesn't necessarily mean that it is as ethereal as she claims, but i find it a very serviceable crepe for sweet items.

#50 Grub

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 05:10 PM

....
I continue to try to understand the color issue.  Bryan's are pale, delicate, and unspeckled, the second set of Grub's are uniformly browned and crisp-looking.  Sam's are uniformly speckled/brindled, and mine are on that path, but not there yet.  Is this caused by a difference in pans, or is it technique?  Bryan and Grub, will you show us your pans?
...

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I doubt I could help anyone with their technique, but for what it's worth, the pan I used was a strictly no-frills, cheapo, non-stick aluminum pan:

Posted Image

It's old, and a little bent, but seemed to do the job fairly well. I'm sure a specialized crêpe pan would be a little easier, but only due to the lower edges giving your spatula easier access.

#51 torakris

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 08:29 PM

I have never attempted crepes, I leave that to the French man in the family :biggrin: (my sister's husband is from Strasburg) who does it quite well. After a week at the Novotel on Lombok (Indonesia) this January where I enjoyed crepes (from the crepe station) fresh every morning, I have decided I want to eat them more than once a year.

I was just looking around the internet and want to learn more about the crepe pans, The Le Creuset one caught me eye, but the price led my eye to wander. :hmmm:
I then noticed this Calphalon one with a very reasonable price.
How important is the pan? Wouldn't any frypan work as well? I should mention though that I don't have any decent frypans (they are all slightly warped) and I am looking to slowly upgrade my cookware.

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#52 maggiethecat

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 08:42 PM

How important is the pan? Wouldn't any frypan work as well? I should mention though that I don't have any decent frypans (they are all slightly warped) and I am looking to slowly upgrade my cookware.

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Kris: Buy the cheapest, tawdriest size-appropriate nonstick pan. Spend no more than five bucks, and hide it in the depths of your cabiniet for Crepes Night. Spend the good money on upgrading pots and pans you'll use more often.

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#53 Abra

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 10:03 PM

With all due respect to Ms.Cat, I disagree. Why not this? It costs practically nothing, and it's the real thing. In fact, it might be exactly like mine, and now that Sam set me straight on the tempering thing, I think it's wonderful. It's always a pleasure to have a good tool, especially when it's inexpensive.

#54 BryanZ

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:13 PM

Is using an electric griddle cheating? I hope not.

#55 jenc

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:27 PM

Abra > you can, of course, pay more, but it's easy to find a cheap crèpe pan. But having one is not necessary. I own a cheapie one myself and it's well worth it!

SO! I decided to make the mille crèpe. I decided on using the piles of strawberries on hand and lemon zest mascarpone frosting for the filling. Ran out of frosting, (was using leftover stuff I had on hand), so it's short. Regardless, I got good reviews from my taste panel!

And here it is:

Posted Image

and a sliced view:

Posted Image

I have step x step photos up at my flickr album. Too lazy to upload and retag everything on image gullet!

Edited by jenc, 16 June 2006 - 11:52 PM.

foodpr0n.com 11/01/17: A map of macarons in Toronto // For free or for a fee - bring your bottle! corkagetoronto.com

#56 slkinsey

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 07:33 AM

Yea, the beauty of carbon steel is that it's so inexpensive it's not a big deal to buy a specialized pan (omelette, fish, crêpe, etc.) that really isn't useful for anything else.
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#57 Abra

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 07:40 AM

This morning I took the last two remaining crepes, rolled them around some quark and a spread of ginger marmalade, and sauteed them in a little butter with a sprinkle of sugar. Just about as easy as making toast.

Any idea how long a stack of crepes, well wrapped, keeps in the fridge? I'm guessing 4-5 days.

#58 mrbigjas

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 08:28 AM

4-5 days sounds about right to me.

one of the things i like about these cook-offs (and kevin72's italian threads) is how they jar me out of my routine. i make breakfast for the mrs most weekends, and she's been on a pancake/french toast kick recently. well, i mentioned this cookoff, and she said crepes sounded great. so this morning: crepes with banana walnut filling.

this also gave me the first opportunity to try out the crepe pan i picked up on a whim at somewhere like ross dress for less or somewhere like that a couple months ago. it was under $10, and is a pretty nice heavy aluminum nonstick pan. i bought it because i was tired of making crepes in a skillet, with the sides getting in the way and screwing everything up. but for some reason i never used it till this morning.

but that brings me to my point: i am gradually becoming convinced that proper browning of crepes and pancakes and french toast and other egg-batter things isn't related as much to the makeup of the pan (like it is with browning meats), as it is to having fat in the pan.

(when i say 'proper browning' i mean getting that pattern of brown lines and spots on the first side of the pancake/crepe/whatever)

as proof i offer this pic:

Posted Image

(please try to ignore the third one back there, which she rolled up inside out)

(and the fact that i should have put some powdered sugar or whipped cream or something on it)

anyway, i don't have a ton of experience cooking sweets, but the filling was a real success. i just chopped up two bananas, put them in a pan with butter and a little sugar (and a pinch of salt), and grated a little nutmeg on them. partway through i added the walnuts. and that was it! the bananas melted into ... well, a great filling. i don't know why i've never done this before.

anyway, good idea for this one chris. thanks.

#59 Chufi

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 09:39 AM

Any idea how long a stack of crepes, well wrapped, keeps in the fridge?  I'm guessing 4-5 days.

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They freeze really well. if you want to keep them longer..

but that brings me to my point: i am gradually becoming convinced that proper browning of crepes and pancakes and french toast and other egg-batter things isn't related as much to the makeup of the pan (like it is with browning meats), as it is to having fat in the pan.

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I agree! I just cooked a stack (pics will follow later.. I'm just browsing eGullet while I wait for dinner to finish cooking in the oven :biggrin: ) and I was thinking the exact same thing! just a tiny bit of butter in the pan for every pancake.

#60 Chufi

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 11:52 AM

So I made crepes. I used Jane Grigson's recipe from her Fruit book: 3 eggs, 60 ml. water, 60 ml. milk, 6 tablespoons flour. The batter was very thin and I was able to make very thin, delicate, lacy pancakes. Fried them all in a little bit of butter. I made 13, ate one, so this is DouzeCrepe cake, layered with lemon curd:

Posted Image

Posted Image

The crepes were soooo good. In a flash of inpsiration :biggrin: , I added a tablespoon of basque aromatic mixture to the batter. I made this last week to make the Gateau basque from Paula Wolfert's Cooking of Southwest France. I am telling you, even if you never want to make this cake, you have to make this aromatic mixture.. it's rum, brandy, anisette, almond extract, and orangeflowerwater, and it has the most haunting and delicious aroma. The crepes were delicately flavored with it. Really really good.

edited to change onze to douze, I was never good at french maths :biggrin:

Edited by Chufi, 17 June 2006 - 12:10 PM.






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