Posted in baking

Crepes: Guess what isn’t on the ingredient list?

One of the better contestants on Food Network’s Worst Cooks show was making crepes and he said “When it calls out to you that it needs to be flipped, that’s when it needs to be flipped.”  He said this completely seriously.  He’s on TV for sucking at cooking, and these words came out of his mouth.  If only he had thrown in a completely unnecessary French term!  It’s a perfect example of what can go horribly wrong with people who are into food and cooking.  The explanations that explain nothing, the implications that the cook understands food in ways that mere mortals cannot…I guess it’s clear that this is one of my pet peeves.

I had a crepe party for my birthday last semester.  I totally forgot to post about it, but this seems like as good a time as any.  I made like four batches of crepes for about 30 people.  It was awesome.  Everyone brought a filling; I now have a ton of jam.

I used David Lebovitz’s recipe from his book on ice cream, The Perfect Scoop.  (I don’t want to copy the recipe here, but as a consolation prize, here’s his buckwheat crepe recipe.)  It uses the following ingredients:

  1. butter
  2. milk
  3. flour
  4. eggs
  5. salt
  6. sugar

Notice anything?  That’s right, douchebaggery is not an ingredient in crepes.  Remember that, aspiring chefs and francophiles.

Incidentally, Lebovitz’s recipe comes out too thick (probably great if you’re putting ice cream in them, but I wasn’t), so I add more milk, and sometimes a splash of white wine.  I’ll have you know I learned how to flip crepes in the pan.  It’s not that hard after all.  They never called out to me to be flipped, but somehow I managed.  Slash, you can tell when they’re ready because the color changes a little as they cook (even before they brown) and the edges curl up a little bit, too.

Edit: I checked his recipe and I now remember precisely how much liquid I use.  His recipe calls for 3/4 cup of milk; I use 1 1/4 cups.  It sounds like a lot, I know – 400 baker’s percent! – but then I remember the time I tried to make crepes in Paris, and how I kept adding milk, and adding, and adding, and even though the batter seemed awfully thin it just didn’t make proper crepes!  They require a lot of liquid, so if you’re used to pancakes, just suspend your disbelief.


2 thoughts on “Crepes: Guess what isn’t on the ingredient list?

  1. What a great idea to have a crepe party. I’ve been to sushi-making, dim sum-making and pizza-making parties, but never a crepe one. I love the idea of everyone bringing a filling, too. Such delicious fun!

  2. It was really fun! We had such a wide variety of fillings, from apple butter to marshmallow fluff to a savory filling that a friend cooked up (I don’t remember exactly what it was because it was such a hit that it was all gone before I got to it). I just think I should have started making the crepes earlier, because I had trouble keeping up with demand!

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