One of the all-time favourite French treats, crêpes are a true classic - and the most famous amongst them of course, is the Crêpe Suzette!
That's why this month we're bringing you a complete Crêpe Suzette recipe to try out at home. Making crêpes is great fun for the whole family, so why not add this recipe to a whole France-inspired menu for an evening of joie de vivre? Hone your pancake-flipping techniques and master a famous sauce to go with it with our helpful hints below. And if the kids prefer to enjoy their crêpes with the classic butter and sugar topping instead, well, that works too!
Crêpes vs Galettes
It can come as a surprise to people that the world of pancakes in Paris is very clearly divided. People associate crêpes with an easy street-food style snack and that's certainly true, however if you're opting for the classic jambon fromage variety, ie. a savoury filling, you will be eating a galette, not a crêpe, which is reserved for the sweet fillings! The difference here is in the flour - for a galette you would use buckwheat flour, which is why they are such a great option for those who avoid gluten (click to find our gluten free map of Paris).
What is Hazelnut Butter (Beurre Noisette) and how do I make it?
Translating literally to "hazelnut butter", beurre noisette is in fact better known as brown butter, and it couldn't be simpler. In fact, there's only one ingredient, and that's unsalted butter. The reason it's called beurre noisette is the colour and slightly nutty flavour the butter takes on as you heat it.
Now the key with brown butter is not to overheat and therefore burn your precious beurre noisette! And that means - never leaving the pan! A stainless steel pan works best. Put this onto a medium heat, and add your butter in around tablespoon amounts. You'll want to whisk the butter a little as it melts to keep it moving and prevent it from burning - this way it will also cook evenly.
Now you need to watch the colour carefully. Look out for a lovely golden brown colour. Got it? Great! Remove the pan from the heat. Et voilà - you've got your beurre noisette!
- If you're looking for a little extra wow factor in the kitchen, we have another use for your Grand Marnier. Instead of incorporating it into the crêpe Suzette butter as below, leave the Grand Marnier to one side. During the final cooking stage of your crêpe (see below), add a splash of Grand Marnier to the pan and flambé the crêpe in the pan before serving immediately - it'll bring some serious pzazz to the proceedings!
- Ideally, use a non-stick pan for frying your crêpes, for the perfect finish.
- It's useful to have a wooden or metal spatula handy to flip your crêpes - or to rescue a pan-flip gone awry!
- Don't rush into that first crêpe - ever wonder why the first one never seems to work? You want your pan to be good and hot before you reach for the batter. Cook your crêpes on a high heat.
- Be sure to butter the pan between each crêpe - the best way to do this is to use a pad of folded kitchen paper that you can dip as needed into the clarified butter.
- To make the very thin crêpes, the trick is to pour off any excess pancake batter after your pan is coated - right back into your bowl of pancake batter for the next crêpe. You have to be quick!
- To keep your crêpes soft after cooking, cover them with a clean tea towel (torchon) and top with an upturned plate.
- If you want a slightly different taste for your crêpe batter, replace half of the wheat flour with chestnut flour instead!
Makes 12 crêpes
1/2 tsp salt
20g hazelnut butter
Beat the eggs
Mix together the flour and salt, then pour in the eggs and mix together until smooth.
Gradually add the milk into the egg mixture, mixing to combine.
Pour in the hazelnut butter.
Leave the batter to rest at room temperature for an hour.
In a non-stick frying pan, add a little clarified butter, and cook the pancakes one by one. You can stack them onto a plate as they cook.
17 sugar cubes
40cl orange juice
5cl of Grand Marnier
Rub the sugar cubes on the orange skins, so that the sugar is coloured and also infused by the essential oils.
Place the orange and lemon juice into a pan, add the sugar cubes and allow the sugar to melt. Bring the mixture to the boil, then add the butter and Grand Marnier. Leave to one side.
To Make Your Crêpe Suzette
Fold the crêpes in four.
In a pan, melt a little of the beurre Suzette and then add the folded crêpe to the pan, using a spoon to drizzle the melted butter mixture over the crêpe. Cook for a minute or two until the crêpe is heated through, then serve immediately.