Tag Archives: chocolate

Crepes, Sweet and Savory

I had been wanting to make crepes for some time, but I kept putting it off, thinking,  I suppose, that it would be too difficult (they would stick, they would not flip right, the batter would be complicated, etc.) I finally took the plunge and was pleased to see  I was wrong.  Not too tough at all!  I don’t think in the past I had been very excited about crepes, but I had one this past summer at a crepe stand at a farmers’ market in St. Louis, and had been thinking about them since.  After reading through several recipes, I found one to try and decided to make half the batter for savory and the other half more sweet.  I do think next time I make them, I’m going to cut back the amount of egg and just increase the milk; though I was happy with mine, I felt they were just a tad bit too “eggy”.

Basic Crepe batter

From Alton Brown from the Food Network

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • Butter, for coating the pan

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.

Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.

I finished my savory crepes with an aged balsamic vinegar

Crepes with Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, Mushrooms, Onions, and Fresh Mozzarella

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 of above listed crepe batter
  • Parsley

Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast on  a sheet pan in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

In the meantime, saute mushrooms and onions in pan on stove with olive oil on medium to medium high heat for about 5-8 minutes.  Add bag of spinach (add just half at a time if necessary to allow it to fit into pan) and let wilt down.  Season.

Remove pan from heat and toss mushroom onion mixture with potatoes and mozzarella.

Chop parsley and add to crepe batter with salt and pepper.  Cook crepes according to directions above.

Fill cooked crepes with spinach-sweet potato-mozzarella filling.  Roll up crepe to make them look pretty.

Crepes with strawberries, chocolate sauce, and whip cream

  • 1 pound strawberries, de-stemmed and cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 of crepe batter recipe

Toss strawberries with 1 tablespoon sugar.  Let stand to allow them to get nice and juicy.

Melt chocolate chips with 1/4 cup of heavy cream in microwave.  Stir until smooth.  Add more heavy cream if needed to reach desired consistency for sauce.

With a mixer, whip the remaining heavy cream, 1 tablespoon sugar, and vanilla.  Whip until fairly stiff peaks form, but do not over-whip as the cream can separate and be ruined.  Just keep an eye on it as it is being whipped and you’ll be fine.

Add 1 tablespoon sugar to crepe batter and cook crepes as directed above.

To serve, fill crepes with strawberries and roll up nice and pretty.  Top with chocolate sauce and whip cream.  Wonder why you did not make this sooner.

my notes:

  • Next time, I’m going to change the recipe to 1 egg and increase milk to 1 cup.
  • I did not like making it in the blender.  Lots of un-mixed-up batter stuck to the blades and was a bit of a pain to fix.  Next time, I’ll just whisk it by hand.
  • During the course of my reading about crepes, I have read that you want the batter to be about the consistency of cream.
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Milk and Coookies, Anyone?

I rarely (read: almost always) over-indulge, so I thought I would make a treat the other evening.  I’ve been in the process of perfecting white chocolate martinis, but I thought I would really turn up the level of indulgence and make some cookies to go with it.  I wanted something a bit more over the top than just your standard chocolate chip, so  I decided to go with chocolate toffee cookies.  The cookie itself has a chocolate base, and toffee pieces are mixed in.   Be sure to use good toffee – like Heath or better – because it really helps to make the cookie something special.

chocolate toffee cookies

Courtesy of the Food Network

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate-covered English toffee (such as Heath bar; about 7 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup chopped almond

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Add egg, rum and vanilla and beat until well blended. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into small bowl. Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture. Mix in toffee and chopped almonds.

Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto heavy large ungreased baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies puff slightly and crack on top but are still soft to touch, about 11 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheet 1 minute. Transfer cookies to rack and cool completely (cookies will become crisp). Repeat shaping and baking with remaining batter. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)

 

Chocolate Toffee Cookies

white chocolate martini

Makes 2 Martinis

  • 4 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 3 oz White Chocolate Liqueur
  • 4 oz Half and Half

Fill 2 martini glasses with ice and water to make them nice and cold.

Fill shaker 1/2 full with ice.  Add all ingredients and shake well.

Dump out ice water from martini glasses and strain martinis into glasses.

 

Mmmm...my kind of milk and cookies!

My notes

The cookie dough will seem very dry.  This is ok.  Just go with it.

For the vodka, I just use Sobieski.  It’s inexpensive, but I don’t feel it is low quality.

White chocolate liqueur is expensive (hence our lower priced vodka choice).  We have used Godiva and Mozzart.  Both delicious, both expensive.  Apparently, they have not started making a generic, cheap version yet.  If you know of one, please let me know (as I will promptly go out and by some!)

I like to garnish my martini with some fresh grated nutmeg.  It’s pretty, and is a tasty touch to the drink.  If I happen to have Piroulines on hand, I think those look really cute stuck in the martini as a garnish (plus, they are delicious).