19 February 2010

Mardi Gras - Part 2 - Crêpes / Crêpes Suzette

While the galettes are savoury the "crêpes" are typically sweet, served with a sweet filling.
Here is a recipe that I modified to make it lighter.

For about 20 crêpes 9” diameter
1 ¾ cup All Purpose Flour 250 gr
2 Egg 2
2 cups Milk 500 ml
1 Tbsp Sugar 1 Tbsp
1 pinch Salt
Flavour with 1 Tbsp Rum or Kirsch or Orange flower water or/& vanilla
Alternate recipe: substitute half of the milk with a light blonde beer, it will make for lighter crêpes

In a bowl measure the flour, slowly add the milk and whisk until you obtain a smooth batter without lumps, then add the eggs and continue whipping.
Then add the sugar, salt and flavouring of choice.
Mix until all combined and no lumps.
Rest for at least 1 hour.
Pour a ladle full of batter into a preheated oiled crêpes pan (non stick if possible), swirling the pan to coat the bottom evenly with batter.
Cook over medium heat a minute or so, until the sides of the crêpe come loose from the bottom of the pan, turn over for half a mn or so and set aside on a plate placed over a pan of hot water and cover with plastic wrap to keep the crêpes warm, repeat until all the batter is gone.
Serve with various fillings. 

Filling suggestions
Sugar, lemon, jam, chocolate, cooked banana and orange…

Variation on crêpes Suzette

Ingredients for the sauce for 15 crêpes
1.5 oz Sugar 42 gr
6 oz Butter 170 gr
1 tsp Orange zest 1 tsp
6 fl oz /12 Tbsp Orange juice 180 ml
6 Tbsp Grand Marnier 90 ml


Sprinkle sugar evenly on the bottom of a preheated pan over medium heat, do not stir.
When the sugar begins to caramelise add the butter, then the orange zest and juice and let the sauce thicken.
Then add the Grand Marnier (or Cointreau or Curaçao blue) and flame it.
Place a crêpe in the skillet and cover it on both sides with sauce, fold in a triangle and reserve in a hot dish, continue covering all the pancakes with sauce.
When all done pour the remainder of the sauce over the crêpes and serve hot. 

18 February 2010

Mardi Gras - Part 1 - Buckwheat crêpes

In France and even more so in Brittany we have a tradition on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the day before Ash Wednesday (this year it was on Tuesday 16th Feb.), to make galettes and crêpes, the galettes are typically topped with a savory filling, while the crêpes are sweet, here is a recipe that works quite well for the galettes.

Galettes au sarrasin – Buckwheat crêpes (savory)
For about 15 galettes/crêpes 9” diameter
1.5 cup / 220 gr     Buckwheat flour
3 Tbsp / 22 gr       All purpose flour  (10% of the buckwheat)
1.5 tsp /  6 gr       Salt 
1 Egg
1.35 Tbsp / 20 ml  Sunflower oil 
½ cup / 120 ml     Whole milk 
1 cup + ¼ cup / 230 ml + 50 ml    Cold water  (or more if needed)

In a bowl measure the buckwheat and all purpose flour.
In a separate bowl mix the salt, egg, oil and milk.
Pour the liquid mix over the flours and using a wooden spoon or your hand mix all into a ball, then slowly add the cold water while always mixing and beating the batter, when all the water has been added continue beating the batter for 15mn to air it well (traditionnaly in Brittany this is done by hand in a big bucket, but you can use a stand up mixer with the paddle attachment).
Pour some water on top of the batter to cover it and place the lid on then let it rest covered and refrigerated a few hours, overnight for better results (the galette will have a more appealing look, they will be brownish instead of greyish).
When ready to cook the galettes check that the batter is VERY liquid, if not enough add more cold water to it.
Pour a ladle full of batter to a preheated oiled crêpes pan (non stick if possible), swirling the pan to coat the bottom evenly with batter (if it is not liquid enough it will "ball up" and the galette will be "for the dog" as is the tradition for the first couple of missfits).
Cook over medium heat until the sides of the galette come loose from the bottom of the pan (1mn or so), turn over for a few seconds and set aside, repeat until all the batter is gone.
Serve with various fillings, place the cooked galette in your preheated pan and place filling on top.
Reserve all cooked galette in a plate covered over a pan of hot water so they won’t dry out.

Filling suggestions
Egg, cheese, ham, white sauce with mushrooms, spinach, blue cheese and walnuts, goat cheese and Espelette chilli powder, smoked salmon/Lox and crème fraîche… If you combine egg, cheese and ham it is called “une complète”.