Speaking of comfort foods, who’d have thought that decadent chocolate and a fruit wrapped inside a soft crêpe would be my new favourite dessert… breakfast item… comfort food…?
“In a big family the first child is kind of like the first crêpe. If it’s not perfect, that’s okay, there are a lot more coming along.” – Antonin ScaliaThe Fact: Crêpes originated in Brittany, France and are considered as the country’s national dish. Crêpes can be compared to the African injera, the tortilla, the Indian dosa and the Mexican sope. The Inspiration: So, let’s be honest. I’d like to believe that I’m a serious health-conscious freak, but I’m really not. I have my days. It was one of these days that led a few friends and me to this quaint little patisserie, “Le Plaisir”, which had opened up close to our work place, one August afternoon. Since I wasn’t in the mood for a serious, heavy dessert, I thought about trying out their crêpes. Apart from the regular crêpes (considered as the French-styled pancakes) with whipped cream or maple syrup, I spotted a Nutella and Banana Crêpe. While the Nutella satisfied the dessert craving, the fruit led me to believe it was healthy, which it wasn’t of course! And so I ate… And fell in love… And the banana-chocolate combination became my new favorite duo… So much so that I recreated the dish, rather perfectly, I dare say, the very next day.So unoriginal… right? But like they say… “Love is blind” 🙂
The IngredientsMakes 10 – 12 crêpes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 ½ cups milk (for slightly healthier crêpes, use 3/4th cup milk with ½ cup water or buttermilk)
- 2 large or 3 small eggs
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 large bananas
- Nutella or readymade chocolate sauce or a few bits of semisweet chocolate melted
Making the crêpes
Whisk all the dry ingredients—the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder—in a bowl. Remember to add the baking powder only if you’re making the crêpes immediately. If not, add just before use.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and then, add the milk to it. Use room temperature milk—not too hot or too cold. At this point, you could also add a quarter teaspoon of vanilla essence if you don’t like the egg smell.
Using your spatula, create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the egg mixture into it. Gently whisk the dry and wet ingredients together until the mixture appears smooth and without lumps. Add 2 tablespoons melted butter and whisk gently. Remember not to over-whisk the mixture or you’ll lose all the air from it, making your crêpes slightly tougher than the soft, fluffy ones.
It’s a good idea to check for lumps using the back of a spoon, before you proceed.
Allow the batter to sit for about 30 – 60 minutes, covered properly (make airtight), in the refrigerator. Note that if you’re making the batter in advance, you can store the batter in an airtight container for up to 1 day. But, when you do so, remember to add the baking powder about 5 minutes before you actually make the crêpes; not earlier.
After refrigeration, whisk the batter to get a smooth, slightly more fluid consistency.
Heat a non-stick pan over a medium flame and add a drizzle of the butter. Don’t let your pan smoke.
Now, add about 1/3 cup batter and swirl it around to completely cover the bottom of the pan or until it reaches the desired size. Cook for about 2 – 3 minutes, until the crêpe looks slightly transparent or until the underside of crêpe is golden brown. Then, using a spatula, loosen the edges slightly and flip the crêpe once, using your fingers.
Let the crêpe cook for another minute, then slide it into a plate. Remember, the key is to flip it only once and not more. Give it a try and you can’t go too wrong (and even if you do, you can still eat it).
Repeat the procedure until the batter lasts.
Making the topping/stuffing
With the pan still on the stove, quickly slice the bananas. Add the remaining spoon of sugar to the pan and just when it begins to melt/caramelise (don’t go too far or you’ll be left with hard caramel), toss in the bananas until they are lightly coated and golden brown. Take them off the pan.
Note: You can avoid this step altogether and use plain sliced bananas (without the caramel coating). That’s what I did since the caramel makes the dessert too sweet for my taste.
Serving the crêpes
You have various options here…
- Lightly brush the smooth side of the crêpe with some melted chocolate/Nutella/chocolate sauce. Line up some of the banana slices in the centre. Roll up the crêpe and serve.
- Lightly brush the smooth side of the crêpe with some melted chocolate/Nutella/chocolate sauce. Line up some of the banana slices in one quarter of the crêpe. Fold the crêpe into that quarter and serve.
- Fold a plain crêpe into a quarter and place it on a plate. Toss a few banana slices onto the crêpe. Drizzle some melted chocolate/Nutella/chocolate sauce over it and serve.
Bon appétit! I hope this comfort food gives you all the comfort, joy and heavenly bliss it gave me!