Sweet crêpes go with long lazy mornings, alone or with friends (or even better, with your soul mate, with the one you love) especially on the days that the alarm is turned off. Crêpes can take you from the bedroom to the kitchen and back again. They are the perfect excuse to indulge the luxury of such a simple route and the freedom to stretch your personal time, devoting it to anything or anyone who makes your mood enjoyable and delectable.
This is the basic recipe for crêpes with a gourmet touch, and with an addition of liquor for flavour (Cognac or Grand Marnier or Calvados or Cointreau). Don’t worry, you won’t get drunk, nor is the trace of alcohol incompatible with your morning coffee or tea. The crepe in the photo below is flavoured with Cointreau and sprinkled with sugar and lemon. It’s simply delicious, and I assure you that both children and grown-ups will love it.
In this classic recipe, a rest period of 2 hours is essential, so that the batter has time to rise, and the air bubbles enclosed in it can work their way out. Otherwise the crêpes will dissolve in the pan. If the batter is thick after those two hours, add a little extra milk or water, or a combination of both. If you do not want to wait, however, beat the batter with a mixer (not by hand) according to instructions in the note below, and proceed with the recipe. This way the sweet crêpes will be ready in less than 5 minutes, and ready for any filling you desire.
Sweet crêpes – French style pancakes
Preparation: 5 minutes. For the second variation of the recipe that allows batter to rest for 2 hours, you may prepare the batter a day in advance, cover with cling film and refrigerate. The same goes for any butter left. You may keep it for another 1-2 days, stored in a container. Stir well before cooking.
Ingredients (for 12 crêpes)
250 gr (about 2¼ cups) all-purpose flour
½ tsp vanilla sugar or 2-3 drops vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1 pinch of sugar
350 ml milk
125 ml water
1½ tsp unsalted butter, melted
1 shot of Cognac or Cointreau or Grand Marnier or Calvados, to flavor (optional)
an extra 100 ml milk or water, for the finish
To make the batter: Whisk flour with vanilla sugar or vanilla extract, eggs and salt and gradually add the milk, water, Cognac or Grand Marnier or Calvados, if used, and butter. Set aside for 2 hours to rest. Pour in the extra milk or water and mix.
Note: If you use an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients with half the flour for 30-40 seconds, then add the remaining flour and beat again.
To make the sweet crêpes: Heat a large non-stick frying pan or crêpe pan over medium to low heat and pour in batter to cover almost half the surface. Spread it evenly with a spatula or by turning the pan or with the special tool for pancakes, making soft movements until all surface is covered. Wait until the one side is cooked (2-3 minutes) and then flip it with spatula and cook that side, too.
Note: Try to flip the crêpe in the air. It’s easier than you think, I can assure you, and it is quite impressing (especially for children).
To serve: Transfer each crêpe to a plate, fill it with marmalade or jam or honey or chocolate or fruits, or whatever you desire, or sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice, and roll or fold. Ready!