Cooking Through Ratio: Doughs and Batters – Quick Cakes – Crepes

The final quick cake in the Cooking Through Ratio series involved making crepes. Crepes have always had a mystique about them for me. They seemed fussy and delicate and of course are oh so French. They are fun because they can be eaten at any time of day and are a great vehicle for flavor. Depending on the ingredients they are made of they can be used as part of savory dishes, desserts or as they are commonly eaten, breakfast food.

Ruhlman states that a basic crepe ratio consists of 1 part liquid, 1 part egg and 1/2 part flour. They have a higher liquid / egg ratio to flour than pancakes which result in a thinner batter and flatter food.

Last night I went on a run after work with a co-worker that left me winded and utterly tired. My cardio-fitness level has become a sad state of affairs. I needed a dinner that would involve simple preparation while balancing protein and carbohydrates. The crepe was perfect and happened to be next in line for this series. Timing really is everything.

I combined the ingredients which included a bit of salt, sugar and vanilla extract for flavoring and blended them together with a whisk. I chose milk as my liquid for extra flavor over water.

Whisked Crepe Batter
Whisked Crepe Batter

Crepes call for resting the batter for at least 30 minutes. This allows the flour to hydrate, resulting in a smoother batter without lumps of dry flour.

Hydrated Crepe Batter
Hydrated Crepe Batter

So far so good. The moment of truth was upon me. With a hot buttered pan ready to go I poured the batter into the pan. Everything cooked well, but the end result was a crepe that was too thick.

Thick Crepe
Thick Crepe

I added more water to the batter, whisked and after a few attempts with varying amounts of batter ended up with the thin crepe I was looking for.

Thin Crepe
Thin Crepe

After cooling on a rack, I plated the crepes and covered them with butter and maple syrup for another delicious breakfast for dinner meal.

Crepe with Buter and Maple Syrup
Crepe with Buter and Maple Syrup

These weren’t nearly as hard as I had expected. Each one that I made was better and easier than the one before it. There were a few things that I did note. I’m sure that while the milk aided with the flavor, it also added to the overall thickness of the batter. Trying out different combinations and ratios liquids to get the right thickness will help next time around and overall with success.  Simply adding water might be all that is needed. Also using a measured ladle to get a consistent pour into the pan is something I’ll have to try next time around. Dropping the batter in by sight and spreading it out over the entire pan was tough to do.Overall the results were pretty good and didn’t require to much effort, the perfect simple recipe to cook after a hard workout.

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2 Comments

  1. I’ve been afraid to make crepes. I’m happy to hear you say it’s not as hard as you expected. Maybe I’ll have to give it a try!

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