OMG, Crepes!

I love to cook and my specialty has always been deserts. Candy, pastries, cookies, all fall within my scope. I’ve even made a gingerbread Tardis and coconut rum truffles. Crepes, however, never really made it onto my radar and when they did, they seemed overly fiddly and not worth the fuss. My husband, upon my mentioning them, raved about past breakfasts of crepes like they were a long lost crush he never got over. I had to make them to prove my place as his favorite chef.photo 2

My research led to the realization that I did not have the right equipment. I needed that intimidating pan, the one with no sides. Batter was going to go everywhere. I would be a crepe failure ruining my perfect desert record. But, like an unchecked box on a long list of minor achievements, crepes taunted me. Okay, I’m being a little melodramatic, but you get the idea.

It took exactly one email to Geoff at Restaurant Source with the idea of chronicling my adventures in crepes and I received a beautiful pan in the mail.

Here is what I learned…

They. Are. So. Easy.photo 1

I began with a simple recipe from allrecipes.com . I had trouble getting it as smooth as it needed to be, so I ended up placing my lumpy batter in a blender to end my frustrated whisking. Who whisks eggs into flour and expects it to be smooth? Seriously, who?

Oh, and before cooking the crepes I made a sweet filling with softened cream cheese and powdered sugar – no, I didn’t measure – and quickly macerated some fresh strawberries. I’d suggest making any filling or topping ahead of time.photo 1 copy

Heat the pan and ready your *smooth* batter. I learned from the first ugly crepe that I had to lift the pan off the burner and begin rolling the batter immediately. This made a huge difference in how round my crepes ended up being and anyone who knows me, knows that the deserts I make have to be as pretty as they taste. I hate ugly cookies; ugly crepes are no exception.

The crepes seemed to cook twice as fast as the recipe stated. They released with no trouble and no oil, had the most beautiful pattern, and if I didn’t over-cook they didn’t crack. I flipped them with a wooden spatula not wanting to scratch my new pan.photo 2 copy 3

Seriously, that’s it. I made two crepes at a time fearing the “damp towel”, and took the first plate to my husband who was sleeping. He didn’t mind being woken up for breakfast and declared them a complete success.photo 3 copy 2

I’d built up what crepes took in my mind, and yes, I admit, I may not have needed the exact pan. But it was so nice to have it. No battling the sides to flip, no extra weigh to deal with while rolling the batter is very much worth purchasing the right pan. In the end, it’s a little sad to realize I’ve overlooked crepes for so many years. I however will not continue that mistake. On to bigger and better things… like savory crepes!

Mini-Me Desserts

These Nutella Cheesecake Trifles are on the agenda for today.  Over the last few years, dessert has been making a transition from towering layers of cake and fudge to delicate morsels that can be easily stacked on top of a fantastic meal.  In 2011 these mini-desserts were dubbed the “hot new trend” and they don’t seem to be losing steam.

The great part of this trend is that it’s busting the traditional end of meal dessert and allowing restaurants to offer indulgent treats meant to be impulsively enjoyed anytime.  Consider the cupcake phenomenon and how it has become a trend hot enough to create not only countless bakeries offering luscious little cakes, but reality TV offering timed competition and drama!

Seasons 52 offers miniature desserts in shot glasses.

Seasons 52 offers miniature desserts in shot glasses.

Food is beautiful and dessert is passion.  Creamy textures dancing with crunchy bits of blissful heaven, it doesn’t get any better than a tiny no-guilt piece of “I deserve this”.

Next time you’re out and about, consider a mini-dessert in the middle of the day.  It’ll taste as good as that after-school ice cream cone enjoyed on the way home.