I should probably disclose the fact that I’m somewhat of a francophile. I love France and hope to move there someday. My husband and I got married in Paris almost 2 years ago, and we swore up and down that we’d return soon. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet. So when I have a craving for Paris but I don’t have the time or disposable income to swing a 7+ hour flight across the Atlantic, I try to infuse my day with something French. Today was one of those days, so I fired up Edith Piaf on my iPod and made some crêpes for breakfast. These turned out just as delicious as any crêpe I’ve had from the vendors in the Jardin des Tuileries. Added bonus: they are dairy and egg free, and friendlier to the waistline.
Another disclosure: this is my first time making vegan crêpes, so I had to search the Internet high and low for the perfect recipe. Thankfully I found it at Vegan Yum Yum. I adapted it just a bit so I wouldn’t have to make a trip to the grocery store. Click here for the original…she also has some great ideas for fillings. I opted to keep my fillings relatively simple, as I only have my husband and myself to feed, but I’ll definitely try some of her other suggestions next time I make this recipe.
Sweet and Savory Crêpes
Prep Time: 1 hour (including 30 minutes of chill time)
2 C unbleached all purpose flour
1 C hazelnut milk, soy milk, or other nondairy milk (I used hazelnut milk)
1/2 C Earth Balance vegan butter
1 1/3 C water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegan sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
For Sweet Crêpes: assorted fresh berries, vegan chocolate hazelnut spread (recipe below), melted vegan chocolate, whipped coconut milk cream (recipe below)
For Savory Crepes: fresh asparagus (cut into 1/2″ dice), mushrooms (chopped), spinach, chives, thyme, garlic (Note: I just tried to use up what I got at the farmer’s market yesterday. You can use any types of herbs or veggies you have on hand.)
1. In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the crêpe batter, except for the sugar and the vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Divide batter equally between cups or bowls that will be easy to pour from (I used large liquid measuring cups).
2. Add the sugar and vanilla to only one of the bowls, and whisk until smooth. This will be the batter for the sweet crêpes. Place batter in refrigerator and let chill for at least 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the savory toppings. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add mushrooms, asparagus, thyme, and chives, cook for another few minutes, until mushrooms begin to give up their juices. Add the spinach gradually, by the handful, wilting each handful before adding the next. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.
4. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over boiling water (or just microwave it, like I did). Set aside.
5. To make the crêpes, use a nonstick skillet or better yet, a crepe pan. It is also helpful to have a pancake turner so you can flip the crêpes. Spray the pan with cooking oil and heat it to medium-high.
6. Remove the batter from the fridge. Whisk in a couple tablespoons of water to thin out, if necessary. Keep in mind you want your batter to be thick, but easy to pour.
7. Pour about 1/4 C crêpe batter into the center of the pan, and lift and rotate the pan slowly to allow the batter to spread out in a thin layer on the pan. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip. Cook for another 2 minutes, then transfer to a plate. Repeat the process until you go through your entire supply of batter. You should end up with about 8-10 crêpes. If you mess up your first crêpe, don’t worry! There is a 95% chance you will ruin the first one, even if you’ve made crêpes a million times before. With that information in mind, perhaps pour a smaller amount of batter on the pan for your first crêpe so it doesn’t go to waste.
8. Reheat any toppings if necessary. Top crêpes with whatever you want, and serve!
Coconut Whipped Cream Recipe
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 tbsp vegan sugar
1.4 tbsp vanilla extract
Refrigerate can of coconut milk overnight. Freeze small mixing bowl overnight as well. When ready to make whipped cream. empty can of coconut milk into frozen bowl. Add the sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously, until coconut milk begins to thicken. If it doesn’t thicken, stick the mixture in the freezer for about 20 minutes and try again. Keep cold.
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Spread Recipe
1/2 C hazelnut butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
Whisk ingredients together (or use an electric mixer) until smooth.