The many crepe avatars
Monish Gujral Last Updated : 23 Mar 2012 11:18:28 AM IST
Sitting by the roadside creperie in Paris at the Champs Ellyses Avenue, I was fascinated to see young, old, and gorgeous women busy eating the hot crêpes, some oozing chocolate sauce, strawberry fillings, others laced with white chocolate and almonds. Common to these women was that they were eating their crêpes passionately.
While digging into my crêpe filled with dark chocolate and Grand Marnier liquor with dollops of whipped cream, I was thinking about our Indian dosa. How similar are our dosas to these crêpes. I would certainly, when return from Paris, next week, will try making dosa batter crêpes with dark chocolate and rum. Wonder how would it taste, but for an ever evloving chef, open mindedness and experimentation is all that it takes, hmm!
This again is a very interesting example of my theory on how world adapts and adopts food habits. I had just about finished eating my Grand Marnier crêpes, when this beautiful lady chef came up with a pot of black coffee that I had ordered earlier. On coaxing and complimenting her, was I able to get the Grand Marnier recipe to share with you all.
A crêpe is a type of very thin pancake usually made from wheat flour (crêpes de froment). The word is of French origin, deriving from the Latin crispa, meaning “curled”. Crêpes are especially popular throughout France.
The common ingredients include flour, eggs, milk, butter, and a pinch of salt. While crêpes originate from Brittany a region in the northwest of France, their consumption is widespread across the country. In Brittany, crêpes are usually served with cider. Crêpes are served with a variety of fillings, from the most simple with only sugar to flamed crêpes suzette. Crêpes are usually sweet or savory. When eaten for lunch or dinner they are mostly savory, usually filled with artichokes, cheese, ham, meat or other vegetables. For breakfast one can do the fillings with nutella spread, preserves, maple syrup, strawberries, whipped cream, custard etc.
Crêpes are made by pouring a thin liquid batter onto a hot frying pan or flat circular hot plate, often with a trace of butter on the pan’s surface. The batter is spread evenly over the cooking surface of the pan or plate either by tilting the pan or by distributing the batter with an offset spatula.
Varieties of Crepes
Mille crêpe is a French cake made of several crêpe layers. The word mille means “a thousand”, implying the many layers of crêpe. It is a sweet crêpe served with strawberries and whipped cream. Another standard French and Belgian crêpe is the crêpe Suzette, with lightly grated orange peel and liquor (usually Grand Marneir), it is subsequently lit upon presentation. Cherry Kijafa Crêpes are also common and are made with a traditional crêpe base, but filled with cherries simmered in a Kijafa wine sauce. A common recipe practiced among bodybuilders is what is called a “bodybuilder’s crêpe”, made with whey protein powder, flavoring, egg white, and other ingredients such as oats, and peanut butter.
The names for thin crêpes in other parts of Europe are:
● Albanian: krep
● Dutch: flensje
● Faroese: pannukaka
● Finnish: ohukainen
● Hungarian : palacsinta
● Icelandic: pönnukaka
● Itatian: crespella
What ever the names of the crêpes may be, the fact is that they are easy to make, suits every meal, may it be breakfast, lunch, dinner or an in between snack and to top it off crêpes taste good. So time for a Grand Marnier Crêpe.