Strawberries, chocolate, hazelnut, and a hint of orange make this a memorable breakfast.
My guests at the inn always loved crêpes, any kind of crêpe, sweet or savory. When it is strawberry season, and they are starting their annual bounty so nothing else will do, of course. It’s a show-off kind of breakfast that is remarkably easy to make.
Crêpes are also a family favorite in our house, one of the first things I taught my children and grandchildren to cook. Making the “skinny pancakes” is great fun, and they find it delightful to fill with whatever they like. My grandson loves them filled with cheese, but his sister will always choose something sweet. My husband wants ham and cheese! I love a little smear of yoghurt and some fresh berries.
Breakfast, brunch, or dessert
This is a special Sunday breakfast or brunch; a smaller portion would certainly make a lovely dessert. The crêpes are basic, the filling simple to put together, and the garnish can be anything you like. I like adding the hazelnut to further enhance the hazelnut in the Nutella and add a bit of much needed crunch.
Always let the batter have a little nap
For the most tender texture, make the crêpe batter the night before and tuck it in the refrigerator. You can also make the batter and let it rest for about a half hour. This rest allows the flour to absorb the liquid, and also to let the gluten in the flour relax, both of which help create a soft textured crêpe.
If there is a nut allergy in your home, you can use just chocolate in place of the hazelnut spread. Melt the chocolate and add cream or plant milk to thin. These are easily made dairy-free as well.
Strawberry Orange Crêpes with Nutella Sauce
This makes 12 to 14 crêpes.
For the crêpe batter:
- 3 large, organic eggs
- ¾ cup milk or plant milk of choice
- ½ cup water
- 3 tbsp. melted butter, cooled slightly
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 cup flour
For the filling:
- 2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 tbsp. strawberry jam
- 2 tbsp. Grand Marnier* or alternative below
- Another pinch of salt
For the Sauce:
- ½ cup Nutella or other hazelnut spread
- 2 to 4 tbsp. milk or soy milk
For the Garnish:
- ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts
- Zest of an orange
- Whipped Cream or non-dairy alternative
To make the batter, combine all the ingredients in a blender. Mix well, then set aside for a half hour, or even overnight.
For the filling, combine the strawberries, jam, and Grand Marnier or orange juice and zest. Set aside.
Create the sauce, heat the Nutella in a microwave and whisk in the milk. It will be a bit lumpy at first, and like making ganache, all of a sudden it will be a dark, delicious, smooth sauce. Set aside in a warm place.
To make the crêpes, heat a small non-stick or crepe pan (mine is 8” around the top and 6” on the bottom) over medium high. Brush with a neutral oil and add a scant 2 ounces of batter, about 3 tbsp., swirling gently to coat the bottom of the pan.
Let the crêpe cook until the top no longer looks shiny and wet, about a minute or so. Using a spatula, gently lift the crêpe and turn. This side up should have little brown patches and will always be the prettiest, so remember this when assembling. The second side only takes about 20 seconds to cook. Remove to a baking sheet and keep warm. Continue cooking the rest of the crêpes.
To assemble and garnish, place a spoonful of the strawberry mixture on a quarter of the crêpe, fold it over, add a few more berries, then fold into a triangle. You can also just roll them up if that is how you like them. My Mom always made the little triangles, so I do too, usually.
Plate and top with a drizzle of the Nutella sauce, and garnish however you like with orange zest, a few hazelnuts, whipped cream, 10X sugar, or all of the above!
*If you do not consume alcohol, use the zest and 2 tbsp. juice of a small orange, or 2 level tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate.
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