Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Sweet and Savoury Crepes

There are days when everything works out in the kitchen, and then there are those days that you just have to laugh and try again....today was one of those days!!

I found a recipe for a flourless zucchini brownie which sounded delicious. It used almond butter as one of the main ingredients though, and I was hoping to make a nut free version that I could keep in the freezer for the kids lunches (nut free policy at Montessori).

Realised this morning that the freezer stash was running low, so thought it was about time to stock up and a brownie that had the hidden goodness of zucchini seeemed the perfect idea. Anyway, I digress! Back to the kitchen dramas... In place of the almond butter I thought I might use just regular butter.

For those of you who know us, you will know that although we are dairy free due to pretty much all of us reacting to it in various ways, we do use real organic butter in place of any other form of butter type spread. This is a personal choice as we find that as long as we are only eating a small amount of butter it does not affect us, and there are just so many additives and other nasties in most other spreads that we would rather eat the real thing, or go without. In general in cooking I prefer to use coconut oil, but for some types of baking, it just really is 'better with a little butter'!!

Ok ok I am off topic again... what a muddled post!

So, back to the disastrous brownie. I whipped up the batch as per the instructions, but with the butter instead of the almond butter (not at all similar really in terms of how they affect a recipe, but thought it may work!).

I had my suspicions that without adding any form of flour it would be hard to make it work, but thought I'd give it a shot. Long story short, after 20 minutes in the oven, all I had was chocolate soup...DELICIOUS chocolate soup, but certainly not a brownie (a fork should NOT sink into a cooked brownie!!!)

  After tasting to see if it was worth trying to fix, then tasting it again, and a few more times (just to be sure!) I decided to try adding some coconut flour to see if that would work. So dumped a few spoonfuls into the molten mixture, gave it a mixup and threw it back in the oven for another 15 (at least the fork is sitting on top - a good sign!)

Pulled it out, still pretty soft, but after leaving it for a couple of hours it actually worked out ok! It was still very much more like a fudge than a brownie, but very very tasty. I am going to try it again this week and see if I can improve the recipe enough to actually put it in to print.

I'm thinking of experimenting with using coconut butter instead of butter, and adding a little more coconut flour. Watch this space to see the next installment in the brownie saga! I will be sure to give the options of gluten free, dairy free, grain free and refined-sugar free. The one I made today had some sugar in the chocolate and butter, but I will show all the options to make everyone happy :)

I guess after all of that it must be time to share a recipe that actually does work! How do gluten-free dairy-free delicious crepes sound?

I made these for the girls for lunch the other day and they worked really well. After watching The Food Truck (SO cool!) and seeing him make crepes I decided to look up the recipe, then tinkered with it to make it suitable. Thank you to Michael Van De Elzen for the inspiration.

Sweet and Savoury Crepes 

(Gluten-free, dairy-free, free of refined sugar)


2 eggs
2 tbsp coconut flour
2 tbsp tapioca flour
2 tbsp brown (or white) rice flour
1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk (or rice milk)
coconut oil (to cook)


Place sifted dry ingredients into a large bowl then, using a whisk, add eggs and milk and whisk until a smooth batter is formed. You can now either cook as per the instructions below if you just want a plain crepe, or split the mixture into 2 and add savoury and sweet elements to spice things up a little!

To make savoury, add:
1 tsp turmeric powder
salt and pepper

To make sweet, add:
2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla essence

To make the crepes, using a small frying pan, heat a small amount of coconut oil (about 1 tsp). Add a enough crepe batter to cover the bottom of the pan and cook until golden brown. Flip and cook for another minute or so until cooked through. This batter does produce a very delicate batter, so flipping them may take a couple of goes to perfect. The first few that don't work out are perfect to use to make sure the flavour is right... very important to taste your food as you go ;)

To assemble, lay the crepe out on a plate, add the filling of your choice over one half, fold over, then fold again to form a triangle. We used a tuna filling in the savoury one, and sliced banana in the sweet, but the world is truly your oyster as far as fillings go. Use your imagination and put in anything you like.