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Crepe in history...

The 800-year-old crepe is making a comeback with lots of innovations. SUMITRA SENAPATY tastes a few.


`CREPES ARE back,' says a yuppie diner. Crepes as in Crepe Suzette the lacy, thin pancakes flambéed with cointreau. Strangely though, the Suzette craze elbowed out what was considered a fussy, bourgeois cuisine, and the crepe more or less fell out of production. The 800-year-old crepe has made acomeback with an awesome list of dessert crepes atEggspectation - from apple cinnamon topped with caramel sauce and pineapple, grilled almonds and sultanas to strawberries, blackberries and blueberries topped with raspberry sauce and whipped cream. "They can also be served as a side dish with fillings like mushrooms in cream sauce or spinach ricotta. Savoury crepes can be filled with cheese, mushrooms, olives, chicken and herbs and more," says Chef Anurag Mathur. Mathur has introduced a few variations to the recipe. "Unlike the classic recipe of putting corn flour in the batter of crepes, we have added equal quantity of refined flour and whole wheat flour with butter adding richness and softness. We also spread a rich mixture of gourmet cheeses (emmenthal, gruyere, cheddar) before placing the stuffing on the crepes. We serve our crepes with our own hollandaise sauce, which is creamy and smooth in texture." Eggspectation prices them at Rs.295 a piece, with a wide range of fillings to choose from; tex mex, grilled chicken or cottage cheese, onions, peppers, guacamole with salsa or the Italian sun dried tomatoes, zucchini and mushrooms and more. In case you prefer the original Crepe Suzette, head for Ego Café.

Enjoy them warm

At Ego Café, sweet dessert crepes can be enjoyed warm and simply sprinkled with sifted powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. Or, enjoy them with honey, lemon curd, chocolate-hazelnut spread, fruit preserves, or even marmalade. Dinner crepes here are filled with chicken, vegetables, shredded cheese, or other savoury combinations. Ego Café even has a machine called a crepe maker. The advantage with this machine, over manually prepared crepes is that the temperature distribution in this remains the same. So the thickness of the crepe is uniform unlike crepes made in the pan, which sometimes become lumpy and thick. It basically works like an electric hot plate and has to be pre heated before use.

The crepes are not very fattening as the cafe uses double toned milk for the preparation, so the calorie content depends on the toppings/fillings that are chosen. The Crepe Suzette is priced at Rs.75 a piece, lemon and sugar crepe for 65 and the ham and cheese crepe is for 95.


Pickwicks offer

Yet another place known for crepes is Pickwicks at the Claridges. "The crepes in Pickwicks are served with a corn or a maple syrup and have a touch of freshly ground cinnamon to give it a traditional effect," says Gautam Mehrishi, Executive Chef at the Claridges. "Yes crepes can be considered trendy if they are presented in a way that is different from the traditional and the word comes from the Latin crispus, meaning curly or wavy.

" At Pickwicks, you can eat something different for breakfast. The crepes here are priced at Rs.225 per helping. This time around, though, the crepes are spruced up with ingredients that would shock even the most unflappable of Frenchmen: tuna, salsa and jalapenos with tandoori chicken being quite a probability, along with the upstart of the bunch, the Nutella-filled version for dessert. Go on a crepe-checking binge and decide for yourself, because if history is any indication, crepes will be on the cards for years to come.

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