Walnut Crpes

This is a Hungarian walnut dish, very rich, very delicious, very straightforward. I once “had” (I can’t think quite how else to describe it) a Hungarian trapeze artist. He had an enormously sweet tooth and pined for the desserts of his childhood. He would have loved this. It is quite a lengthy recipe to prepare, but well worth the effort. The picture opposite shows a lovely orange sauce, so that you can see the crêpes in all their glory, but my favourite is the chocolate sauce, given below.

Ingredients

For the crêpes

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup carbonated water
  • Clarified unsalted butter for cooking

For the filling

  • 4-6 tbsp light cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • cups ground walnuts
  • cup raisins, chopped
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest

For the chocolate rum sauce

  • 4 oz good semisweet chocolate, grated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp light rum

Method

Mix together the eggs, flour, milk, sugar, and salt to make a smooth batter. Let it rest for 1-2 hours.

Stir in the fizzy water just before cooking the crêpes. Heat an 8-inch frying pan. When the pan is hot, add ¼ teaspoon clarified butter and heat it, tilting the pan so the butter covers the bottom. Pour in a ladleful of batter, and gently tip and twist the pan so that the batter covers it completely. When the top of the crêpe bubbles, turn it over and cook for 4-5 seconds on the other side. Remove the cooked crêpe. As they are made, stack the crêpes, putting wax paper between them.

To make the filling, bring the cream to a simmer and add the sugar, rum, walnuts, raisins, and orange zest. Simmer over a very low heat for 1 minute. Adjust the texture by adding either more cream or more ground walnuts.

Put a heaped teaspoon of filling in the center of each crêpe. Fold in four instead of rolling. Sauté the folded crêpes in clarified butter in a large shallow pan for a few minutes on each side. Arrange the crêpes, overlapping, on a warm serving dish. Keep hot.

For the sauce, melt the chocolate in the milk over a low heat. Whisk in the egg yolks, then remove from the heat. Add the sugar, cocoa, butter, and rum, and stir until smooth. If the sauce is too thick to pour, add a little more milk. Pour the sauce over the crêpes and serve at once (two crêpes per person).

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