It took a lot of tests and time in the kitchen to get this recipe just the way I wanted it. Tender crepes, cooked in orange butter and flambéed with Grand Marnier and brandy. I have to say, it must be one of this world’s best desserts. After a lot of research, I trusted the experience and wisdom of my favorite baker, Rose Levy Beranbaum.In her recipe “Chantilly Crepes”, she uses only corn flour for the batter instead of flour. I used both. Corn flour makes the crepe more tender but I find that the flour adds that extra bite to it. You can buy ready-made crepes from the supermarket if you are short of time, but believe me when I say, you will taste the difference if you make them your self. This recipe calls for paper-thin crepes, so that’s what you are after. The store-bought crepes are usually thicker as they are mostly used for savoury dishes. Spend the extra time, it’s not that much, and serve this at your dinner table, made from scratch. Get ready for the “wows”.
- For the cake batter you will need a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. You could also use a stand or handheld mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- For cooking the crepes you will need a small non stick frying pan, approximately 15 cm (6 “) diameter.
For the Crepes
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 50 grams melted butter plus 1 tablespoon extra (you will need the 1 tablespoon extra to cook the crepes)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup corn flour
- 1 cup milk
For the Orange Butter
- 250 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 3 Tbs sugar
- 1 orange, zested and juiced (you will need ½ cup juice)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbs Grand Marnier
- 2 Tbs soft brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Grand Marnier
- 1/3 cup Brandy
- 1 Orange, zested
Make the crepes. In a blender or food processor, add the eggs, vanilla, salt, sugar, the 50 grams of melted butter , flour, corn flour and milk. Blend until smooth and mixed. Pour in a bowl and leave to stand while you make the orange butter.
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add the butter and sugar. You could also use a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Mix together until well blended. In a bowl mix the orange juice with the lemon and Grand Marnier. Gradually, with the motor running, add the juice mixture. Mix until well blended. Put in a bowl and keep until needed. If you are not making the crepes the same day, keep butter covered in the fridge and bring to room temperature when you intend to use it. You can also freeze orange butter for 3 months.
Cook the crepes. Put your non stick pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add a little butter (about ½ teaspoon ) swirling the pan to distribute evenly. Now here comes the tricky part: How much batter. I measure the batter by using one of my ¼ cup measuring cups, but filled about 1 cm less. My mum uses an espresso cup. Use whatever works for you. You will need 2-3 tablespoons of batter for each crepe. Crepe should be as thin as you can make it. Practice makes perfect. So don’t be disappointed if you don’t get it right the first time. I always ruin the first one!
So, pour the batter in the centre of the pan. Immediately swirl the pan in a circular motion to distribute the batter and make a nice, thin crepe. Leave to cook for about 15 seconds. Then lift with a spatula and turn over. Leave to cook for another 10 seconds. Turn crepe over on a plate. Repeat the process, stacking the crepes one on top of the other as you go along. I use small squares of parchment paper between each crepe to keep them from sticking. You should have about 18 crepes. Cover with foil and leave them to cool to room temperature.
Spread the orange butter on the crepes. Place one crepe on a plate and spread about 2 teaspoon of the orange butter on the entire surface leaving a 1 cm border. Fold crepe in half and spread another teaspoon of butter. Now, fold either once to have ¼ or twice to end up with 1/6. The second choice is if you want to fit more crepes in one pan but personally I prefer the quarters . Put folded crepes in a platter. You should have about 2 tablespoons of orange butter left. At this stage you can keep the crepes in the fridge for up to two days., or frozen for 3 months.
To serve the crepes. Put the left over orange butter in a large frying pan and melt over medium-low heat swirling the pan to distribute evenly. Add the crepes in one layer (it’s ok if they overlap slightly). If you can’t fit all in one pan, do this in two stages or two pans. Or make less crepes and freeze the rest. Leave the crepes to cook for a few minutes until the butter has fully melted. Sprinkle the crepes with the brown sugar
In the meantime in another pan, add the Grand Marnier with the brandy over high heat. As soon as mixture boils, take it off the stove and light it with a long match. Immediately pour on top of the crepes. Leave to stand until flames subside. Sprinkle with the orange zest and serve plain or with vanilla ice cream.