Thursday, April 12, 2012

Buckwheat Crepes- grain free, gluten free, sugar free, dairy free

One of my favorite things is food. Not just because it tastes good and is social but because of the fun I have cooking and baking and watching other people eat my food and not even notice the difference between glutenous sugar food and gluten free sugar free food.
Over easter I made some of my favorite recipes. I served my buckwheat crepes for breakfast with sugar free freezer jam, organic berries and creme freche.
I was in charge of the birthday cake for over Easter at a family dinner with the in laws. I brought my grain free vanilla bean cake (tweaked for Paleo suitable) with bumble berry sugar free filling, sugar free, dairy free butter cream frosting (colored with beet juice) I topped the cake with sliced strawberries and sliced almonds.
It was a gorgeous light pink color with pretty strawberries. 
Sugar free icing that tastes good and is not nut based or sugar based is tricky. I struggled with the icing. It took about 3 tries to get it right. The third try had to work i had run out of butter and sucralose. Then my 3rd try was delicious, fluffy, set up nice and then it froze in the fridge over night and separated just before I had to frost my cake. GRRRR.. but no one noticed and all i got was great reviews. 
It was a fantastic cake! all around the room everyone loved it including those glutenous lovers. 
It was a very difficult task to make a cake that everyone would like and would suit different diets. My parents, Kyle and I are gluten free. Mallory is Paleo as strict as possible. My aunt is a diabetic, and the rest of the people had no requests. So it was important I could show that everyone even the un expecting can enjoy and love GRAIN FREE.
So I proved to myself that I am not the only person who thinks my food is good. Sometimes I worry, the longer you go without sugar and mono-sodiumglutamate, and wheat is your tastes change. 
We have been getting our groceries delivered lately (I know, I know). It's not like I do not have enough free time to go shopping. It's more like it takes me ALL day to buy groceries. twice a month. Not just because I Have to drive to Calgary, but because I have to go to 5 different stores just to get everything.

Bulk Barn - for all of my baking and cooking ingredients
Community Natural Foods - for all organic and natural items
Gluten Free Marketplace - for all things gluten free
Walmart Super Center - groceries
Pure Country - Meat

So when we were introduced to SPUD I was skeptical thinking, "Oh god another store". I was THRILLED. EVERY thing they offer is organic first off, second they have gluten free variations of most everything, and third they will deliver every week. 
I now only go to Bulk Barn every 6-8 weeks when I run out of something. I have completely eliminated Community and hardly ever have to go to the Gluten Free Marketplace.
I get so excited about my delivery every week I look out the window all day in anticipation. lol. So enough said I will brag about SPUD next week! I will now have so many new recipes weekly to show you as I am now able to eat so many things that I thought I would never eat again. !!!!!!!!

My buckwheat crepes were a HUGE hit. I had them for the first time in a breakfast lounge. My friend and I meet for lunch dates often and she introduced me to this restaurant. I had never even heard of buckwheat in anything other than gluten free flour mixes (which I do not use) so I was skeptical. 
They were delicious! tasted just like the crepes I remember making in Home Economics. Except they didn't leave me with a stuffed, bloated, full, gut ache feeling such as wheat. I of course told Kyle about this fabulous restaurant and we planned a lunch date there. He loved them, thought they were delicious so out we went to go buy a crepe pan. 
I will say that I was afraid of making them the first time because there is so many ways to mess them up. My first try was so successful we ate crepes for breakfast, dinner and breakfast the next day lol.

So here is my fantastic recipe and terrible photos to guide you through my grain free crepes.

One of the most important things about crepes is the batter consistency, the heat of the pan, and the flipping.

You will learn quickly as you make crepes where you failed by what happens. If your batter consistency is not right your crepes will crack and break when you fold them. If your crepe sticks to the pan your heat wasn't high enough.
No worries though if your crepe fails you can adjust the heat or the batter and save the rest of them from the same bitter fate.
Make sure you have everything ready and out before you start. Crepes are cooked one at a time, but are very special. They need one on one attention and it's hard to do that when your running around looking for a SPATULA. They go from perfect to crispy in a few seconds. Burnt ones just taste gross and won't hold their shape. I use organic, non hydrogenated Grapeseed oil in a oil mister bottle to coat the pan on the first crepe and then only when needed there after. I recommend using a neutral oil such as grape seed or butter not olive oil.
Use a silicon spatula as it will bend underneath the crepes without breaking them and is recommended on a crepe pan.
I also have the toaster oven heated on low before I start the first crepe to keep them warm while I cook them. It will be about 30 min from when you start the first crepe until you are done.

1. Batter Consistency
Beat the ingredients well and make sure there is absolutely no lumps in the batter. You can always sift the flour to be sure or whip the eggs as you add the flour. It's very important that you check the consistency BEFORE you add the water, AFTER you add the water and BEFORE you pour them into the pan after they have sat for a few minutes.

Thick crepe batter is just a pancake. Thin batter is just an omelet. 

If your batter is too thick add more water. If the batter is too thin and not stringy add more flour, if it's too watery add more eggs. It will be different depending on climate change in order to get the batter just perfect. So if today you need to add more water then yesterday no sweat!

Look at the picture closely. As you pull your whisk away you should see strings just like the photo. It should hold together but not be thick like a pancake and not watery like an omelet. If you don;t have this consistency you will not end up with a crepe. Just the right combination of eggs to flour will give you this consistency.

2. Heat

It's very important you have the pan on the right heat. Do not cheap out on your crepe pan please. It should be heavy bottomed and perfectly flat and balanced. Turn your heat onto med high for 3-4 minutes. The pan should be hot when your hand is placed above the pan and evenly heated. Once your heat is reached turn the heat down to medium and continually adjust the heat to maintain the same temperature. 
Your crepe batter will set in about 5 seconds once hitting the pan. That is how you know if its hot enough. Not hot enough and your crepes will stick. 

Once your batter is ready and the pan is hot pour in the batter with one hand and rotate the pan at the same time. It sounds harder than it is. You can also pour in a little batter, quickly rotate and then pour in more batter and quickly rotate until the entire bottom is evenly coated and no holes.

 If you end up with a hole pour in more batter quick. You have about 5 seconds to fix any mistakes and then the bottom will be set and it's too late. But no worries crepes with holes are just as delicious. 

Once the bottom is evenly coated watch the batter closely. It will firm up, change color and steam. The edges of the crepe will start to pull away from the pan. It takes a whole 30 seconds tops. 
If your unsure if it's ready slip the edge of the spatula underneath the sides. It should completely lift off the pan without sticking anywhere if it's ready.
Now you are ready to FLIP!

3. Flipping

When it comes to flipping it will depend on your pan, if your heat was high enough and your skills. When your crepe is ready place a large plate on the counter and flip the pan over directly above the plate. The crepe should fall right off the pan in one piece onto the plate. Quickly put the pan back onto the heat and slide the crepe back into the pan cooked side up.

It will only need to cook 7-10 seconds on the flip side just until its firm and once again slides out of the pan on it's own. 

Let the crepe sit for about a minute flipping over on the plate as it cools briefly to release the excess moisture. Place it flat into a heated oven to keep warm on low so the crepe doesn't dry out.

There you have it! a perfectly cooked crepe. It will be slightly golden, firm but not crispy. Top it off with some delicious compote or fresh fruit, whipped cream and ganache.

Buckwheat Crepes - Gluten free, Grain free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free

Makes 6-8

5 large eggs 
1/2 C plus 2 T of Organic Gluten Free Buckwheat flour
1 T organic raw agave nectar
1/8 t sea salt
1 t real vanilla extract

1/2 C filtered water

Beat the eggs until frothy and sift in the flour slowly until well combined. Add agave, sea salt, and vanilla. 
Mix the batter well until it's completely smooth. Whisk in water. Check batter consistency. 
Meanwhile heat up the pan and grease with grapeseed oil. Prepare the oven to keep crepes warm. Once pan is hot check batter consistency and pour into the pan. Rotate the pan imediately until a smooth thin layer coats the pan. cook for 20-30 seconds until just set. 
Flip the crepe over and cooked flip side for 7- 10 seconds. 

Check batter consistency. Start next crepe. 

Let me know how they turn out. I am excited to share this recipe with you. yum.

1 comment:

  1. excited to make them! Craving crepes this Saturday morning. thanks!