Strawberries are pretty much the most perfect spring fruit. Well, at least here in Switzerland they are. There was an interesting article in the Globe not too long ago called “The real reason the French don’t get fat,” and it’s basically about how food tastes amazing in France (and Geneva) so you only need to eat a little bit to feel satisfied, and you don’t load everything up with sugar, fat and chemicals because it tastes better naturally. And strawberries were the given example: here, there is a bright juiciness to strawberries that makes them so amazing, they taste better than anything I’ve ever had at home and you don’t need to do much to them to enjoy them. Back home, strawberries could be mealy or tasteless. There is no comparison. You’ll also notice that strawberries over here are a little more funky looking – hardly grown for appealing shape and consistency, they come in all shapes and sizes and all of them are wonderful. So here’s how I’ve been enjoying the original crackberry.
Chocolate Crepes with Strawberry and Cream Cheese Filling
True to my desire to become a master creperiste (that’s not a real word) over here, I whipped up some chocolate strawberry crepes on a weekend morning the other day. I have to say, with the right equipment, making crepes has been really easy and enjoyable. These are particularly great because they are not too sweet – there is no sugar in the crepe itself (other than a little bit of shaved dark chocolate), the strawberries are untouched and there’s only a cream cheese filling to add that bit of sweetness. One thing about the Swiss is that they eat sweet for breakfast. My tutor was actually kind of shocked that we eat things like eggs, bacon and potatoes for breakfast.
I found this recipe on mouthwatering food blog Crunchy Creamy Sweet
1/2 c cold water
1/2 c cold milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c shaved chocolate (not chocolate chips) (the original recipe mentions this is optional, but in my mind whenever there is chocolate anything, it’s not really optional)
4 Tbsp melted butter
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp heavy whipping cream
10-12 strawberries, washed and sliced
Place water, milk, eggs, shaved chocolate and salt in a blender and blend for few minutes until it all comes together.
Add flour and cocoa powder and blend again.
Drizzle in melted butter and blend for 2 minutes.
Cover and chill the batter for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
When ready to make crepes, preheat crepe pan.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix softened cream cheese until creamy. Add powdered sugar and beat until comes together. Add cream and beat again. Set aside.
Using 1/4 c scoops of batter, fry crepes in the preheated pan. Fry for about 1 minute on medium heat. When you see the edges set, try to slide your spatula under the crepe. If it tears, leave of for another 10 seconds and try again.
Flip the crepe and fry on the other side for 10 to 15 seconds. Slide onto a plate. Repeat with remaining batter.
Spread each crepe with cream cheese filling. Place strawberry slices only on half of the crepe. Fold in half and then fold again. Place on a serving dish. Repeat with remaining crepes.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
This photo of the final result of my chocolate crepes makes me laugh, and also highlights something that I’ve been meaning to discuss for awhile. I browse through a lot of food blogs and I see so many gorgeous photos of food. The photos are truly works of art. They are plated, with appropriate backgrounds, and backlit I’m sure. There are artful touches done by people who actually know what they are doing and it’s beautiful. For an example, go to the blog where I found the recipe and compare my photo with theirs: Crunchy Creamy Sweet. It’s like a really bad nailed it. Their crepes are so attractive, aren’t you just dying to delicately bite into a slice? Whereas mine look like, if we’re going to be honest about it, a little bit like logs of pooh.
That doesn’t mean they’re not delicious! Just, oh my god am I ever such an amateur! One of my life goals is to learn how to do food photography. However, not going to happen anytime soon. Maybe these photos show a little bit of the frantic-ness that happens in the kitchen with a hungry husband and an even hungrier toddler, one of whom is clinging to my knees and crying. There’s no time for plating. These puppies go directly from pan into stomach. My sister once took a photo of me as I made something for this blog. I look harried and uncomfortable with a baby on my hip who was intent on seeing absolutely everything that I did first hand. Any attempt to put him down was followed by distressed shrieking. And things haven’t really improved. So until then, I hope you like the food ideas and recipes, but don’t look here for food photography porn!