Crepes are a breakfast or dessert staple in the part of Europe that I come from. Growing up, I had them most weeks with jam, Nutella or fruit. I LOVE crepes. My mum used to make them quite often, and I loved waking up to freshly made crepes in the morning. Brings back some fond memories of my childhood.
When I first became vegan, I thought I would have to say goodbye to them forever. Little did I know that there are many substitutes for eggs and dairy milk. And they can be made gluten-free as well. When I do that, I normally use a good all-purpose gluten-free flour.
The idea for a crepe cake came about when Michael asked me a few years ago to make one for his birthday but using something as close to Nutella as possible. I wanted to create a healthier version of it, so it’s a pretty simple and easy filling to make.
- 5 cups Italian 00 flour*
- 2.5 tbsp egg replacer (I use this one )**
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups soy milk
- 3 cups water
- 1.5 cups mineral water
- Oil for frying (I use sunflower oil)
- 2 cups raw or roasted hazelnuts + small handful for the top (optional)
- 300 gr vegan dark chocolate
- 1.5 cups soy milk
- To make the crepes, combine the flour, egg replacer, salt and milk in a large bowl. Whisk until it becomes a dough-like consistency.
- Add in the water around a cup at a time and whisk in between. The batter should be thin but thick enough to stick together.
- Leave aside for 15 minutes for it to thicken and for the egg replacer to do its job.
- While you wait, make the chocolate sauce.
- In a food processor, add in the hazelnuts and process until the hazelnuts start to bind. It will be between a hazelnut meal and nut butter. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
- In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and mix in the milk, making sure to mix it in well and create a smooth, even consistency.
- Pour the chocolate into the bowl with the hazelnuts blend and mix well. Set aside.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan that’s approximately 30cm wide on medium heat. Wait a few minutes for the pan to heat up well.
- Using a 1/3 cup measurement, scoop out the mixture and pour into the frying pan. In a circular motion, spread out the mixture evenly across the bottom of the pan.
- Let it cook for around 2.5 minutes (this will depend on the heat of your stove) and when the edges of the crepe have slightly lifted flip it over using a spatula. Cook on the other side for another 2.5 minutes. Keep an eye in it that you down burn it.
- Repeat process for the whole batter. It should yield around 25 crepes.
- Once done, layer the chocolate sauce in between each crepe. Using a normal tablespoon, get some of the sauce and spread evenly over each crepe. Continue layering and add some of the sauce on the top crepe and sprinkle with some crushed hazelnuts.
- Serve straight away.
* This flour works best as it makes the crepes nice and elastic.
** You can use any egg replacer, just make sure that it equals around three eggs.
This crepe cake is best served straight away while it is still warm. The crepes tend to suck up the chocolate sauce over time, and it can become dry. If you can’t eat it all at once, pop it back on the pan (I take half of it so that it’s not as tall) on low heat and cover with a lid to trap the heat. Do this for about 5-10 minutes and serve with some whipped coconut cream.
If you want the sauce to be runnier, you can add some more soy milk to it. I like the recipe consistency because it keeps well inside together. You can always thin out the last little bit that you put on the top to pour over as pictured. You can also use a vegan Nutella that can be bought in a jar such as vego spread or rawtella. The only thing that can be a problem is the cost. You would need around three jars of each one to be able to cover all the crepes.
One other thing that I love with this vegan chocolate crepe cake is some whipped coconut cream. It goes perfectly with this cake as it can be a little on the heavy side.
My mums special secret to making crepes even better and for those of you, like me, that struggle with digesting gluten-based foods, is to use an enzyme that helps in baking and cooking that you can find here.
You can always half the ingredients to make a generous amount of crepes for Sunday morning breakfast. Maple syrup is my favourite topping on crepes. What do you like on yours?
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