Crêpe Master

I consider myself a pretty decent cook. Alright, a good cook. I’m not sure how much of what I know was learned in culinary school versus by experimentation and reading many a food magazine and book, but nonetheless, I feel pretty comfortable making most things.

Su-prem-ing? I’ve got that in the bag. Homemade pumpernickel? Hells yeah. Even gorgeous marshmallows, which are soft and pillowy and not hard on the outside like the ones from the store.

Crêpes? They scare(d) the bejeezuz out of me. You see, in culinary school we were forced to make certain “must-knows”, and crêpes were one of them. That’s what I get for having a French instructor right? Fortunately, it was only a few miserable hours of my precious time, and after a few duds and torn pieces of what would have been a crêpe had I pieced it together,  I was able to move on to the next task, tail between legs. I decided then and there that I would never make crêpes at my B&B (yes, the one waiting for me in Napa….), no matter how soft and buttery and downright lovely they are. Those guests best like their waffles and poached eggs, that’s all I gots to say!

I’d finally gotten over my inability to crêpe (I think I made that up…), and then I sous chefed for my now super preggers friend Caroline a couple of months back and watched her bust out crêpes for 8. Needless to say, I was jealous, but inspired. And when figuring out what French-inspired dessert to make for the bouillabaise-slash-Rockband-failure party (also referred to as the lots-of-wine-between-four-people-in-five-hours party), I knew I had to master the crêpe, or go down trying. And what better way than after a few bottles of wine? Plus, it was either that or the soufflé, and my soufflé record was also 0 for 1.

Fear no more, friends! Turns out crêpes are not only easy, but fun to make once you’ve got the technique down pat. And did I mention how perfect they are with homemade nutella and bananas? {Secretly, I was simply dying to make nutella and besides a lone spoon, there isn’t any better way to serve it than with crêpes, non?} Turns out all you need is batter of the perfect consistency, a small amount of it at a time, and a non-stick skillet. Hence, I now blame my crêpe faux pas on the crappy school skillets, or perhaps my inability to procure one of the good ones.

I might also add, while I’m confessing here, that I was so confident in my crêping (made up again?) skillz I bragged to Caroline a couple of weeks ago during another of my sous chef appearances and in effect, got to try my hand at ’em again.  This just in: they’re even easier sober, and I’ve officially deemed myself a real-deal crêpe masta!

Next up, the macaron, and maybe one day, another soufflé. But don’t hold your breath for that one….

ps – thanks to my friend, Katherine, host of the bouillabaise-Rockband-fail party, for the lovely crêpe pictures!

What’s your favorite type of crêpe?

Whole Wheat Crêpes w/ Nutella & Bananas
makes at least 8 crêpes with plenty of leftover nutella

i’m not gonna lie here – this is a must-make and totally worth the work, which isn’t much. the crêpe batter can be made well in advance, and the nutella truly comes together in minutes once you shell the hazelnuts (which I bet you can buy toasted and shelled) and is far better than the over-processed stuff from the store. it’s creamy, rich, and my one stray from traditional adds a hint of coconut. also – made with natural sugars, and you can adjust the consistency of the final product to your liking by adding water or more agave nectar. make this.

printable version (full recipe)

1 recipe whole-wheat crêpes (below)
1 recipe homemade nutella (below)
2-3 bananas, sliced

make nutella and crêpes. spread nutella (however much you want) over crêpe and load with sliced bananas. fold up and chow down :).


Homemade Nutella
makes ~1 1/2 cups

leftovers go great anywhere – on a spoon, on an english muffin, with fruit, whatevs. store in fridge.

printable version (nutella only)

2 c hazelnuts
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t coconut extract, optional
1/2 c agave nectar
1/4 c powdered sugar
1/4 c water
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
pinch of salt

preheat oven to 350 F. spread hazelnuts evenly onto baking sheet. bake ~7 minutes, or until fragrant. remove and immediately wrap in kitchen towel (allowing steam to further remove shells). after about 10 minutes, rub towel vigorously to remove remaining shells (this method should get most of them off, but you may have to go in and rub again!). put shelled hazelnuts in food processor and process until a coarse, pasty consistency. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth chocolatey consistency. if chunky, add water by the tablespoon until desired texture.


Whole-Wheat Crêpes
makes at least 8

printable version (crêpes only)

2 eggs
pinch of salt
3 T sugar
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c all purpose flour
1 c milk
butter, room temp
water, if needed

whisk eggs in medium sized bowl. add salt through milk and mix until smooth; will appear “runny” (we ain’t makin’ pancakes here, we want thin). if not using immediately, refrigerate, but let sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before using.

get a small non-stick skillet and warm it up over medium-hi heat. using your room temp butter, rub it into your pan (if the pan is hot enough, the butter will bubble a little). using a ladle or measuring cup, measure out 1/4 c of batter and place into middle of skillet. pick the skillet up and move the batter around by tilting the skillet in a circular motion so that it covers the bottom of the skillet. let the crêpe cook until the tops are bubbling (1-2 minutes), then use a thin spatula and slowly lift the crepe (since you’re using butter and a non-stick skillet, it should lift super easily). flip crêpe and cook on the other side until browned in some spots. remove and repeat until out of batter!

troubleshooting: if the crêpes are browning to fast, turn the heat down a little. if the crêpes are thicker than you like, put less batter in the skillet, or use a little water to thin out the batter.

6 thoughts on “Crêpe Master

  1. Beautiful! I do miss crepes…back in the gluten days, I was a master…haven’t tried them gluten-free, even though I’m sure they’re possible. But homemade nutella…now there’s a weakness of mine! I think I might have to whip up another batch of it this weekend – so delicious, and so easy!

  2. Crepes also intimidate me, but when you get a perfect one, it is soooo worth the effort! Love them with nutella (never had homemade!) or just the simple butter, cinnamon and sugar. Not to mention, with all the fresh berries and some homemade whipped cream, you have a perfect dessert!

    And homemade marshmallows, huh – I am going to have to pull that post! 🙂

  3. @ Kenna – you think so too??!! Those pans sorta sucked. 😦

    @ Jenn – I saw a lady making gluten-free crepes on chopped the other day – they look just as easy. and yeah, the nutella is addictive!

    @ Jessica – you gotta check out the marshmallows. i think it’s the “most viewed” post on here!

    @ Caroline – thanks, Chef!! ha ha

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