Crepes (like so many French things) charm me. The wafer-thin, buttery pancakes just beg to be filled and topped; I like to think of them as a blank canvas for whatever my mood or whim. In this instance, I dreamed up the perfect crepes for Valentine’s Day – sweet vanilla bean crepes with ricotta and jam.
Filled with sweetened ricotta (think cannoli filling) and strawberry jam, each bite is pure heaven. Since chocolate is a Valentine’s Day must, I finished these crepes off with chocolate drizzle for a truly sweet breakfast.
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup flour
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 1/2 tsp Amaretto
- Butter, for coating the pan
- 15 oz part skim ricotta
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup strawberry jam
- 4 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- For the crepes, combine butter, eggs, buttermilk, water, flour, sugar, salt, vanilla bean paste, and Amaretto in a blender. Blend until mixture is smooth; let batter rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour (or up to 2 days). Meanwhile, place ricotta in an ultra-fine sieve or a strainer lined with cheesecloth and strain over a bowl in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- For the filling, combine ricotta, powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt in a food processor; process until smooth. Chill ricotta mixture in the refrigerator while cooking crepes.
- Heat a small (8 or 9-inch) nonstick pan over medium heat; lightly coat with butter. Add a scant 1/4 cup batter and swirl to completely cover bottom of pan. Cook until the top of the crepe looks dry and the edges start to lightly brown (about 1 to 2 minutes); loosen edges with a rubber spatula, then with your fingertips, and quickly flip. Cook for another 30 seconds, then slide crepe out of pan to cool on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter (coat pan with butter as needed). (Keep crepes warm in a low oven.)
- For the chocolate sauce, place chopped chocolate and milk in a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth; stir in vanilla and salt. Transfer chocolate sauce to a small piping bag.
- To assemble, spread a thin layer of ricotta mixture over each crepe; top with a thin layer of jam. Roll up crepes and drizzle with chocolate sauce; serve immediately. Unfilled crepes can be stacked and stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Chocolate sauce adapted from FOOD52