Mar 8
2011

Raspberry Crème Fraiche Crepes with Maple Pearls and Chocolate Bucatini from Salty Seattle

in Breakfast, Chocolate, Dessert, Recipes by Type

Raspberry Creme Fraiche Crepes with Maple Pearls and Chocolate Bucatini

Today is Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras or Pancake Day, depending on what country you live in.  I’ve been celebrating today with dessert for breakfast with Pumpkin Pie Pancake from Scattered Mom as well as these awesome Gluten-Free Pancakes with Sliced Almonds from Celiac Teen.  To wrap up my weeks of pancake celebrating, I wanted to go out with a bang.  So I turned to someone who is the ultimate pancakeologist because she is an evil pancakeologist.  I’m not talking evil in the bad sense of things, I’m talking evil, as in crazy good genius!  I’m referring to none other than Linda of Salty Seattle, aka Salty Ninja.  Linda not only made us some ultra special crepes, but she managed to sneak in a bit of molecular gastronomy and make anemic, whiny white girls into a positive thing.

Linda of Salty Seattle

So take it away my evil genius of a friend!

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When beautiful, talented Fuji Mama asked me to participate in Pancake Week, I knew there was only one acceptable response- an enthusiastic YES, YES, I WILL MAKE PANCAKES FOR YOU UNTIL THE COWS COME HOME, RACHAEL! I did not respond in the affirmative because of her arresting beauty nor her profound talent, however. I responded yes because she is not merely a ninja, but a Fuji Ninja, which is a rare sect of ninja who have trained for a lifetime in order to be able to balance the precarious roles of mother, ninja, blogger, excellent cooker, and eternal positivist. Because she wraps all that into one spitfire package and she does it with such panache, I knew I was powerless to resist making her pancakes despite the fact that I don’t really even LIKE pancakes.

Which is where crepes come in. Crepes are like pancakes for people who like dainty things, much the same way tea is like coffee for those same folks. Of course you could make the case that crepes are like the anemic, whiny white girls of the pancake domain, but I’d counter by filling them with raspberry crème fraiche, which fattens them up right nice. Add jewels of maple syrup and tie them with strands of chocolate bucatini and holy hotcakes, if you haven’t created one of the most bedazzled bundles of pancake perfection you’re likely to see.

When I make crepes I’m not too fussy with which batter recipe I follow, however I have learned a few tips over the years that are worth sharing. The blender is your friend when it comes to crepe batter. It’s not like some things where over-mixing will affect the final texture; the way to go is smooth in crepes and the blender or food-processor is the safest way to get there. I even re-blend between crepes so that the batter doesn’t settle. Without this step I’ve noticed thin, milky crepes toward the beginning of the batch and thicker, doughier crepes once I’m pouring the dregs.

Making chocolate bucatini

I have a pasta extruder, so making chocolate bucatini with which to tie the crepes was a no-brainer. I made way more bucatini than I needed so I had a naughty lunch of chocolate pasta in sweet cream sauce. Can you really fault me? The pearls of maple syrup are made by using a spherification technique that couldn’t be easier. Spherification is the process of turning a liquid into a semi-solid, at least on the exterior. Essentially you wind up with little pearls with membranes on the outsides, but once you pop them in your mouth, you’re in for a burst of maple richness. I outline this style of spherification here, and it can really be done with most syrups and syrup-like alcohols (sherry, port, sauternes, etc).

The crepe itself is filled with delicate raspberry crème fraiche whipped to perfection in a cream whipper. This is a crepe worthy of serving on Mardi Gras because it is bejeweled and represents the height of decadence. It takes its roots from a savory dish made famous by a restaurant that was the bastion of bacchanalia in heady 1980’s Manhattan called The Quilted Giraffe. The dish consisted of a beggar’s purse crepe filled with caviar and crème fraiche, tied together with a chive. My recreation retains the crepe and the crème fraiche, but replaces the caviar with “maple caviar” and the chive with chocolate bucatini. I sure hope it meets Fuji Mama’s exacting standards!

Crepes Filled with Raspberry Creme Fraiche, topped with Maple Pearls and tied shut with Chocolate Bucatini

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }



Nisrine M. March 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Wow, this is art. I’m totally amazed by how pretty this dessert looks and I’m pretty sure it tastes even better.

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Brian @ A Thought For Food March 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm

HAHA! Evil is RIGHT! And I mean that in the best possible way. A great post from a truly talented chef.

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A Bowl Of Mush March 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Very posh pancakes! Looks beautiful.

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Christine March 8, 2011 at 4:26 pm

WOW! I’m enchanted. Must. look. away.

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Jersey Girl Cooks March 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm

All I can say is Oh. My. Goodness! So yummy looking and pretty!

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) March 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Food as art. Wow, truly beautiful!

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Courtney March 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Wow, I never knew a crepe could look so beautiful!

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Joy March 8, 2011 at 8:19 pm

That looks wonderful.

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Lisa March 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Have you ever tried German pancakces?

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Kankana March 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm

WOW .. i mean JUST WOW .. that was art !! looks gorgeous ..

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EMK March 11, 2011 at 9:26 am

Looks awesome!! I hope your friends in Japan are safe. I finally reached my family members in Tokyo. My aunt said it was the most terrifying experience she ever had.

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