Making someone a birthday cake is so 1998. This millennium, it’s all about celebrating with a homemade meal, in this case, a b-day brunch. Just look at how happy Elena, the birthday girl, looks over-stuffing her deliciously thin French crepe. And the best part is, you can deliver this gift right to someone’s home. Armed with whip cream, chocolate sauce, various berries and dulce de leche, I headed over on a Saturday morning and took my first crack at making crepes.
Sure I was using her as a guinea pig, but thanks to Elena’s hubby, lil’ one Elia, and their copy of The Joy of Cooking, this crepe-making newbie had lots of encouragement and guidance.
The batter recipe was very easy: flour, milk, water, eggs, melted butter, sugar and a pinch of salt. We obviously skipped the step where you’re supposed to let it sit for 30 minutes to two days. As a kid, my mom would make crepes on Christmas Day, so I had a general idea of what’s involved. The most complicated step was the pan-swirling motion to spread the batter and even it out. The cookbook mentioned it takes a couple tries to get this down. For me, it took about seven, but cot damn, I got it!
The recipe made 10 crepes, and anticipation was building as we lined up the fillings.
Elena is a big-picture thinker and she clearly has grander visions than I, humourously hinting that peanut butter and Nutella would also make delicious fillings. I did bring along some blackforest ham and havarti cheese to make a few savoury crepes.
But the overwhelming favourites were the sweet crepes. You definitely can’t go wrong with fresh fruit, dark chocolate and whipped cream. And if you’re still not convinced that homemade crepes are worthy of celebrating someone’s born-day, check out Exhibit A: The thank-you email from Elena: “Thanks again for the best birthday breakfast ever! (Ok maybe the one where I ate only chocolate birthday cake for breakfast was my best, but this was a super duper close second).”