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Crespelle with Chocolate

(Makes about twelve 7-inch pancakes for 6 servings)
Crespelle wtih Chocolate
Crespelle (krehs-PEHL-lay) are the Italian version of crepes, which are very thin pancakes.
Crespelle are actually a form of fresh pasta and can be made for sweet and savory dishes.
You can find a savory recipe for crespelle with our manicotti recipe.  Here the crepes are folded
instead of rolled and filled with a luscious chocolate filling.  You could also fill the crepes with
ricotta cheese mixed with a little sugar and cinnamon and top with some melted jam.  Or use a
thick, Greek-style yogurt mixed with honey, cinnamon and orange zest, or Nutella with sliced
bananas.  How about strawberries and whipped cream, gelato and chocolate sauce, or sauteed
apple or peach slices?  Let your imagination be your guide.  Crespelle can be made ahead. 
Stack the unfilled crepes with sheets of wax paper or parchment between them, cover and
refrigerate.  Reheat them in a low oven or for just a few seconds in the microwave before serving.
Ingredients:

Crespelle:
2 eggs
1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups water
2 cups flour
Grated zest of 1 lemon or orange
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying

Filling and Topping:
8 to 10 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
1-1/2 cups sliced almonds, toasted
2 cups sweetened whipped cream *
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions:

To make the crespelle:
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, amaretto, vanilla, sugar, salt, and water.  Add the flour and grated zest; whisk until smooth.  Add the melted butter, whisking until the batter is well combined.  The batter should have the consistency of melted ice cream.

Put a 7-inch crepe pan or skillet over medium-high heat.  Add a teaspoon of oil and swirl it around the pan.  The pan should be very hot before starting to make the crepes.  If you are right-handed, hold the crepe pan in your left hand off the heat.  Immediately add 1/3 cup of the batter to the middle of the pan.  Swirl the batter so it coats the bottom and set the pan back on the heat.  Cook the crepe for about 1 minute.  To check if it is ready to turn, shake the pan back and forth until the crepe comes loose.  The underside should be lightly browned in a lacy pattern.  Flip the crepe over with a spatula and fry for another 30 seconds, until lightly browned.  Transfer the crepe to a plate.

Reheat the empty pan briefly and continue to make the remaining crepes in the same manner.  If you are using a non-stick pan, you may not need to add oil between each crepe.  Stack the finished crepes on the plate until all the batter is used up.  Cover the crepes with foil or in a low oven while you prepare the filling.

Chocolate Filling:
Melt the chocolate in a microwave or in a double boiler under smooth.
Take one crepe and place it on a clean surface.  Spoon a tablespoon or more of melted chocolate in the center of the crepe.  Spread the chocolate over the crepe, leaving about a 1/2-inch border uncoated.  Sprinkle some of the sliced almonds over the chocolate.  Fold the crepe in half to cover the filling, and fold again into a quarter-round.  Fill and fold all the crepes in the same manner.

Make the Sweetened Whipped Cream:
With an electric mixer, beat together 1 cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract will soft peaks form.

*You can use ready made whipped cream or make your own.
Make the whipped cream before you make the crepes, so it is ready when the crepes are still warm.

To serve:
Dust each serving plate with some confectioners’ sugar.  Place 2 filled crepes, overlapping, on the plate.  Drizzle some of the warm chocolate over the crepes.
Top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with some sliced almonds.
Serve immediately.
Crespelle wtih Chocolate
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CRESPELLE OR CREPE PAN
If you make a alot of crepes, you should purchase a good crepe pan.  They have a larger flat surface than a skillet and without the sloping sides, it's much easier to flip the crepes without tearing them.  This Paderno World Cuisine 10.25 inch blue carbon steel crepe’s thickness allows for longer pre-heating which results in a hotter surface for quickly singeing the crêpe. 
PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY CRESPELLE

Spread 1 heaping tablespoon each of grape jelly and peanut butter on a cooled crespelle. Roll, then slice into rounds with a serrated knife. Serves 1


NUTELLA AND BANANA CRESPELLE

After flipping the crespelle, top with 2 tablespoons Nutella and 1/2 banana, thinly sliced.  Cook until the Nutella melts slightly, about 1minute.  Fold into quarters.  Serves 1
DESSERTS >  ITALIAN PASTRIES  > CRESPELLE WITH CHOCOLATE
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