A Quick and Fancy Dessert: Crepes Purses with Fresh Berries


Crepes are best eaten on the day you fix them. In fact they are best eaten right out of the frying pan:-) You sprinkle a little bit of granulated sugar, fold it for the sugar to melt and you can eat them just like that! It is scrumptious. I don’t eat a lot of carbs, but crepes are one of my weaknesses. They are so so good. I usually prepare enough dough to make two dinners out of them. On the night we have crepes, i fill the crepes with various filling of cheese, ham, maybe eggs ( for my husband) right out in the frying pan just like you would if you were cooking them on a crepe maker. Then I make a few dozens for the next day. Those crepes are generally filled with a creme bechamel or white cheese sauce and ham and mushrooms.

When I am done making those crepes, then I either add  2 tsbp of rhum in the remaining dough, or Fleur d’Oranger ( Aroma from the Orange flower) and make my sweet crepes. As I cook, each crepe, I sprinkle them with sugar, and let them stand in the corner until I am done fixing them. You can eat those crepes just as they are. They are warm, and so flavorful, that little is needed to make them even better. Sometimes I  add a dollop of creme fraiche. C’est tout! Though sugared crepes would be a delightful end of a meal, they are less than attractive so they would never be anything I would serve my guests. Instead i would offer them a much fancier version: Crepes Purses filled with Whipped Cream and Fresh Berry Salad.

Ingredients for 4 : 4 sweet crepes ( see recipe of crepes), 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 tbsp of sugar, 1 tsp of orange flower aroma, 1 cup of raspberry, 1 cup of raspberry, sugar, 1 tsp of grsnulated 1 tsp of chopped fresh mint.

Place the heavy cream in a mixer along with a tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp of orange flower aroma. Beat the cream at medium high until it starts forming soft peaks. Set aside.

In another bowl, place all the fruit with 1 tsp of granulated sugar and the chopped mint, and mix well to coat the fruit.

Place a crepe on a plate, empty the content of about 1/4 cup of whipped cream on the middle of the crepe. Fold the edges of the crepes over the whipped cream and pinch them together to create a “purse”. Close the “purse with a toothpick. Spoon a few tablespoons of the fruit over or aside the crepes and serve! The result is divine , yet still so light!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Chandeleur= Crepes


La Chandeleur is a religious holiday that is celebrated on February 2nd in France and in many other countries. On that day,  It is said that Jesus Christ was presented to the Temple in Jerusalem. In honor of this special day, all the candelabras  in French churches are to be fitted with new candles that very day. It is also a custom in certain parts of France to light candles in your own home to honor that special day. On that day, though you are to put away any nativity scene that you may have left out ever since Christmas.

But La Chandeleur is mostly known for Crepes ( very thin pancakes). There are two reasons why crepes are to be eaten on that day. Some say that Pope Gélase the first used to give out crepes to his disciples.  It is also said that crepes, round and golden, are reminiscent of the sun and symbolizes the upcoming arrival of Spring.

Nonetheless, crepes is a tradition that has been perpetuated for many years, and that is still being carried on by most French people. Crepes are quite easy to make and requires so few ingredients. There are tricks though to make the best crepes.

1. the dough needs to be the perfect consistency, not too runny ( or they will be too thin and will burn before you can cook them), and not to thick ( they should be paper thin).

2. the frying pan should be the perfect temperature so as the cook the crepes without scorching them.

I love to make them. Though it took me a while to learn to make them, I have now mastered to art. I don’t make them often because they take so long to make. But I can assure you that when I make them, the whole family gathers quickly in the kitchen to steal one here and there while I am cooking them;-)

And I am glad that they are…. In fact, if they were not coming down, I would have to call them out to carry out a French tradition that has been carried on for years.

Each member of the family needs to carry a golden coin in left hand called a LOUIS, and try to flip the crepes onto the frying pan with their right hand without dropping it onto the floor. If they manage to flip it, it is said to bring them good fortune for the new year…

I had posted the crepes recipes a year ago, but here it is again.

Ingredients:

  • 11 oz of flour,
  • 4 eggs,
  • 1 1/2 cup of milk,
  • 1 1/4 cup of beer or more.
  • 4 tbsp of butter melted in a small bowl.

  1. Take a large bowl and place the flour in the bowl.
  2. Curve a hole in the flour, and slowly pour the milk while mixing with a whisk. Be careful to whisk slowly so as to make the  mixture smooth and free of lumps.
  3. Then add the eggs one at a time and mix well.
  4. Add the beer and mix well also. The mixture should be smooth and liquid, but not too liquid.
  5. Turn the stove to medium high and place the frying pan on the stove. The frying pan should be hot before starting to fix the pancakes .
  6. With a paper towel or a brush, spread butter on the walls of the frying pan and pour a small ladle of crepe mixture. Move the frying pan in a circle motion so that the dough has spread to the entire surface of the pan. Cook for 1 minute. With a spatula, flip the crepe and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Place the crepes flat on a plate. Continue the process until you have exhausted all the dough.
  8. To eat the crepes, there are many things you may do. I love them with sugar and creme fraiche. I spread a bit a creme fraiche,  sprinkle a bit of sugar, roll them in a cylinder or fold them in a triangle and eat them as such.

You can add nutella ( hazelnut chocolate spread from Europe) and whipped cream, jelly and whipped cream.

You may also make salty filling such as ham, mushroom and cheese. Your imagination again is your only boundary! So be creative!!!!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!!!

Normandie: A must……


France is an amazing country for the variety of scenery and culture that it offers. Traveling through France is like visiting the surrounding countries that are adjacent to her. Indeed, Alsace and Lorraine are reminiscent of Germany, and Bretagne and Normandie, that of England and Wales. La Provence reminds you of Tuscany in Italy, and La Savoie reminds you a bit of Switzerland. Since our time was limited, all we could do was to go to Normandie since it was not so far away from Paris. The girls wanted to see the beaches of Normandie and more particularly the beach of Omaha ( where American Soldiers debarqued on D Day). Though their request was most honorable( I think most people in the world should one day go there to understand the magnitude of the war, and the sacrifice those soldiers took to come and help us),  I wanted them to see that there is more of Normandie that D Day. So our day trip took us along the coast of Normandie and Bretagne.

We first stop at Honfleur. A cute little harbour located on the coast of Normandie. It used to be a significant transit point for goods for England from the beginning of the 12th century. It became even more important during the 16th century as it saw the departure of numerous explorers. Samuel de Champlain departed from there in 1608, and later founded the city of Quebec.

The Port is quite charming with house of slate roofs and slate walls. While we were there, they were getting ready for a festival so they had flowers everywhere, and floats. Very very charming….

From there , we went to Trouville and Deauville. Deauville is regarded as the “queen of the Norman beaches” and one of the most prestigious seaside resort in all of France. It is often referred to as the Parisian riviera. Since the 19th century, the town of Deauville has been a fashionable holiday resort for the international upper class.

While Honfleur was a quaint little harbor, Deauville was overwhelming and ostentatious. Not really my cup of tea, but certainly something the girls had to see:-) After all Coco Chanel opened her first store there in 1912.

From there, we went to Trouville, a neighboring harbor. We had lunch there and ate the regional dish: Crepes… Yum

After that, it was the race against time to see as much as we could of D day. We drove along the coast to see the various places where D day took place from Sword to Juno to Omaha. We stopped at Omaha. I had already been there several times. I went as a child and went back with my children 8 years ago but coming back was as emotional to me as it was the first time. Standing tall on the cliff, and on those beaches makes you so grateful of the life we have today, and make you realize that our mere  thank-yous to Veterans and soldiers just cannot suffice to express our appreciation for what they did to deliver us from  evil.

Enough of my being belligerent. I am not here to bore you, but to tell you about my food experiences and my recipes.

So today, I am presenting you the recipe of  French Crepes because they are the regional specialty of Bretagne. They are the best there, and in Normandie, its neighboring region. If you have a chance to go to Bretagne or Normandie, though, do not forget to drink apple cider ( le doux is the best) with it.

Crepes are similar to pancakes except that they are as thin as cigarette paper. There are two types of crepes. The salty one made with sarrasin or whole-wheat flour, and the sweet ones are made with white flour.

Since my friends, and myself like the white-flour the best, today i will offer you the recipe of that one.

Ingredients: 11 oz of flour, 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cup of milk, 1 1/4 cup of beer or more. 4 tbsp of butter melted in a small bowl.

Take a large bowl and place the flour in the bowl. Curve a hole in the flour, and slowly pour the milk while mixing with a whisk. Be careful to whisk slowly so as to make the  mixture smooth and free of lumps. Then add the eggs one at a time and mix well. Add the beer and mix well also. The mixture should be smooth and liquid, but not too liquid. Turn the stove to medium high and place the frying pan on the stove. The frying pan should be hot before starting to fix the pancakes .With a paper towel or a brush, spread butter on the walls of the frying pan and pour a small ladle of crepe mixture. Move the frying pan in a circle motion so that the dough has spread to the entire surface of the pan. Cook for 1 minute. With a spatula, flip the crepe and cook for 1 minute. Place the crepes flat on a plate. Continue the process until you have exhausted all the dough.

To eat the crepes, there are many things you may do. I love them with sugar and creme fraiche. I spread a bit a creme fraiche,  sprinkle a bit of sugar, roll them in a cylinder or fold them in a triangle and eat them as such.

You can add nutella ( hazelnut chocolate spread from Europe) and whipped cream, jelly and whipped cream.

You may also make salty filling such as ham, mushroom and cheese. Your imagination again is your only boundary! So be creative!!!!!!

and Happy Cooking!!!!!