I must have been 14 or 15 when I had my first attempt at making crêpes. In fact, that was the first time I ever tried to make a dessert without guidance. I didn't have a proper recipe then, so you can imagine the disaster. Making vegan crêpes can be daunting for many. I find it even easier to make them vegan and, after many years of practice, I don't even need to measure the ingredients anymore.I've never actually been patient enough to let the batter rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours before making them, nor to stack the crêpes and fill them after finishing all the batter. When I crave crêpes, it's got to be "then and there". So while waiting for a crêpe to be cooked, I fill and eat the previous one :)
Crêpes originate in Brittany in northwestern France and are considered a national dish, being celebrated on February 2 during the Festival of Light or La Chandeleur (Candlemas). They are unleavened, flat, thin pancakes cooked on one or both sides, that can be made of dough or batter. Being so delicious and versatile, crêpes can be served with sweet or savoury filling, throughout the day. They keep well in the fridge for a couple of days.
Suggestions:- spread with jam and roll like a cigar
- fold into different shapes and top with fruit and ice cream for a beautiful presentation
- fill with cooked vegetables, fold like an envelope and toast on both sides for a delicious snack
- spread with your favourite cream and stack into a gorgeous mille-crêpe.
The recipe that I'm about to share with you was in fact...an accident. By the time I decided to make some crêpes, I realised I had only a little soy milk left, so I had to add coconut milk instead. Great choice, because the coconut milk gave them a delicate flavour.
- 2 cups organic plain white flour
- 2 level Tb caster sugar (reduce to 1 Tb for savoury crêpes)
- 1 level tsp salt
- 1 level tsp baking powder (aluminium-free)
- 2 cups coconut milk (the drinkable type, not creamy)
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 5 Tb sunflower oil
Step 1: Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.
Step 2: Mix all wet ingredients and gradually pour over the dry, whisking until you get a smooth batter that has the consistency of heavy cream.
Step 3: Making the crêpes.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat (I use a 16.5 cm/6.5'' pan). Once hot, drizzle a little oil and spread around the pan.
Lift the pan off the heat and, using a laddle, pour some batter onto the pan, tilting it around to form a thin layer.
Cook for about a minute and a half on one side, until it is dry on top and golden-brown around the edges.
Flip the crêpe over and cook for a further 40-50 seconds. The time will vary depending on the type of pan you use and on heat.
When ready, invert the crêpe onto a plate.
Adjust the heat if necessary and repeat the steps with the remaining batter, stirring it in between crêpes. You can either fill them as they're made and serve them warm, or stack them and refrigerate for later use.
Tip: high heat makes them crispy and golden, while low heat keeps them tender and pale.
|Crêpes filled with pineapple and raspberry jam|
|Crêpes filled with cheddar cheese and oregano|
For the savoury crêpes use only 1 tsp sugar and 4 Tb oil.
For the filling heat 1 Tb olive oil in a pan on medium, add 1 small red onion finely chopped and sauté it until soft. Add 1 can (400 g) chickpea, drained, salt, black pepper and 1 tsp curry powder. Stir for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add 500 g frozen spinach and cover the pan with a lid. Stir occasionally until thawed. Add 3 garlic cloves, mashed, 1/2 vegetable stock cube and 2 Tb passata (tomato purée). Cook until most of the water has evaporated. Crush some of the chickpeas with a fork or a potato masher and leave the rest whole. Put 1 Tb mixture on the crêpe and spread it to form a vertical rectangle in the middle, leaving 1 cm border at the end closer to you and 2 cm at the far end. Fold the larger sides over to seal the rolls, then start rolling from the end closer to you. Toast the rolls on a griddle or non-stick pan until crispy on 4 sides.
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