Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crepe Expectations

I've never made a crepe before this week, but I sense a wee addiction coming on. They are super easy to make, look fancy and can be made in endless variations. I tried sweet and savory crepes, full fat (read whole milk and six--yes six!--eggs) and light. If you can make a pancake, and if you have a non-stick pan on hand of any size, then you can make crepes. This chocolate banana variation was a big hit. If you're not a banana fan, these would be gorgeous with fresh berries too. The chocolate crepes are reduced fat. I can't speak for the whipped cream or chocolate sauce but both are easy to find in low-fat versions.

Like pancakes, crepes are easiest to make, and easiest to clean up after, when you use a blender. Simply place dry ingredients in first, then wet ingredients, and blend until smooth. Sift the flour, powdered sugar and cocoa together, if you can, to avoid lumps. If you want to save time, you can use Reddy Whip cream, but nothing beats fresh whipped cream for taste, and it's ready in under five minutes. This recipe makes six large crepes when using a 10-inch skillet.

Crazy Monkey Crepes
(Chocolate Crepes with Bananas, Pecans and Fresh Whipped Cream)

* Crepes
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. unsweetened dutch cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 large egg whites
1 whole egg
1 tsp. canola oil

*Filling and topping
4 large bananas, sliced
mini chocolate chips
chocolate syrup or hot fudge sauce
chopped pecans
powdered sugar for dusting

*Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

1.) Blend all crepe ingredients together until no lumps are left.
2.) Chill your mixing bowl and paddle or whisk for the whipping cream in freezer.
3.) Lightly oil 10" non-stick pan. No need to repeat this between batches. Place pan on medium to medium-high heat.
4.) Pour out enough batter to cover 2/3 of the pan bottom and swirl around until batter forms a skin and is no longer "liquid."
5.) When crepe sets and edges begin to pull away from the pan, use a plastic spatula or your fingers to flip it. Cook on other side another minute then slide off onto a plate to cool.
6.) Continue cooking crepes and sliding them off onto a plate. They'll stack without sticking. Set crepes aside.
7.) Pour chilled whipping cream into chilled bowl. Beat on low.
8.) Add sugar and vanilla and beat on high, 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Set aside in fridge.
9.) Slice bananas and lay 6-7 slices along one edge of a crepe. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and sprinkle with mini-chocolate chips.
10.) Roll up and place the crepe seam-side down on a plate. Drizzle with more chocolate and top with a dollop of the fresh whipped cream. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and chopped pecans and dust with powdered sugar. Repeat. Serve.

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