October 23, 2008 -- Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli of NYC's Butter created this recipe for sweet and simple crêpes that features the classically decadent combination of strawberries and chocolate.
Serves 4 to 6
For the crêpes: ¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cognac or brandy
For the filling: 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound strawberries, washed, stemmed, and cut into quarters
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 cup clarified butter
Powdered sugar (optional)
To make the crêpe batter, sift the flour, sugar, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks and milk. Add the dry mix to the wet ingredients in small increments, whisking after each addition, until just combined; stir in the cognac and allow the mixture to rest for at least 20 minutes.
To make the chocolate sauce, put the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it reaches a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir gently until the mixture is smooth.
In another bowl, combine the strawberries, sugar, orange juice, and orange zest. Allow the berries to rest for about 15 minutes.
To make the crêpes, heat a 10" non-stick pan over medium heat until fairly hot. Drop about 1½ teaspoons of clarified butter into the pan and move it around to coat. Put a little batter in the pan and swirl it around (there should only be enough batter to lightly cover the bottom of the pan). Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the edges become brown. Use a spatula to turn the crêpe over and cook for an additional minute or two. Transfer the crêpe onto a plate. Repeat for the rest of the batter, stacking the crêpes like pancakes to keep them warm.
To serve, put a heaping spoonful of strawberries in the center of each crêpe and top with a generous spoonful of the chocolate sauce. Fold the two sides of the crepe towards the center and roll it up like a cigar. The edges should be tucked underneath and the smooth side should be on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve a small pitcher of sauce on the side.
The crêpes can be kept refrigerated or frozen. Just allow them cool and seal with plastic wrap. To freeze, put the sealed crepes in a freezer bag or foil to keep the ice crystals off.
Strawberries, like all fruits, are best in season. Here in the northeast, that is June and July. If the strawberries in your market are past their prime or really tart, bananas or cherries (or anything that goes well with chocolate), would be great as well.
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