Dessert Crepes for a Crowd? No Problem!
A good dessert crepe recipe and a basic cream filling to go inside are essentials of any crepe bar, and we’ve been serving dessert crepes for large and small events for just about as long as anyone in the TableForFifty family can remember. One of the largest events was an all-night High School graduation party where we had 8 crepe makers working full-tilt for 2 hours to get enough crepes ready for the 2 a.m. snack break. We served just over 800 crepes that night.
Dessert crepes for two are just as much fun, however. They make an elegant and tasty dessert, or they can be the backbone of a savory meal. One secret for making crepes without breaking a sweat is to invest in a little-known gadget you can find at most kitchen stores. Behold the electric crepe maker:
How to use an electric dessert crepe maker
Making perfect, paper-thin crepes will require about 3 minutes of practice. The video below shows you the essentials of using an electric crepe maker
If you struggle with your first batch of crepes made with an electric crepe maker, here are a few things to remember:
- If you’ve mixed your crepes in a blender or have whisked them so that there is a lot of air in the batter, small bubbles will form on the surface of your first 2 or 3 crepes and the finished crepe will be full of small holes. This problem will minimize or disappear as you continue to make additional crepes. Allowing the batter to sit for a few minutes may also help eliminate the problem.
- It helps to give the surface of the crepe maker a light spray with cooking spray to help eliminate sticking, but you’ll need to wipe away the excess spray immediately with a paper towel (prior to dipping into the batter) or the entire crepe will fail to adhere to the surface of the crepe maker. If this happens and your half-cooked crepe falls back into the batter, simply lift the ruined crepe out and try again.
- Be careful to barely dip the crepe maker into the batter so that the crepe batter doesn’t wash up the sides of the crepe maker. This will make it more difficult to remove the crepe. Running a plastic spatula or even a plastic spoon (be careful not to damage the non-stick surface of the crepe maker) underneath the edge of the crepe will help make it pop off from the crepe maker more easily.
Storing Crepes (Make Ahead)
Crepes can be made ahead and either refrigerated for a day or two or frozen for several weeks. I like to stack mine about 10 deep, insert a sheet of waxed paper, and repeat for a couple more layers (about 30 crepes). When cool, insert the stack into a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag to store.
If stored crepes stick to each other so they are difficult to separate without tearing them, place the stack in the microwave and heat at 30-second intervals until the crepes separate more readily. If you’ve frozen the crepes, thaw them in the refrigerator before separating them.
Dessert Crepes Extravaganza
It’s always fun to provide crepes, bowls of fruit, toppings or fruit compote, condiments, and whipped cream, and let guests make their own crepe “creation.” However, if you are serving a large crowd (more than about 30 guests) and want to keep the buffet line moving quickly, we’ve had success with pre-assembling 4-5 varieties of crepes, displaying them on decorative trays (with a label to identify the ingredients), and letting guests choose among them.
For a wedding reception crepe bar, I like to stuff dessert crepes with a basic crepe-cream filling, perhaps adding some chunks of cheesecake or brownies, rolling or folding the crepes, and then liberally topping them with whipped cream and all sorts of fresh fruits, sauces, and condiments. Part of the fun is inventing your own flavor combinations. Here are some ideas to prime the pump:
Caramel Cheesecake Crunch – New York cheesecake with crepe-cream and caramel sauce; sprinkled with toffee bits, cookie crumbs, or coconut crunch
Berry-Lemon Custard – Lemon custard filling with blueberry or blackberry compote, topped with whipped cream and fresh blueberries
Mint Chocolate-Oreo Delight – Chocolate crepe with chocolate mousse filling, sprinkled with Oreo crumbs and mint chips
Apple Dapple Dumplings – Stewed apples in cinnamon sauce with crepe-cream filling and apple crisp or coconut crunch sprinkles
Raspberry Cheesecake – New York cheesecake with crepe-cream filling, laced with fresh raspberries, whipped cream, and raspberry jam topping
Strawberry Delight – Sliced strawberries with New York cheesecake and crepe-cream, laced with fresh strawberries and strawberry compote topping
Butterscotch Peaches N Cream – Fresh peaches with vanilla crepe-cream filling, topped with butterscotch or caramel sauce, whipped cream, and a few fresh peach slices
Bananas Foster – Fresh bananas in caramel sauce, with Nutella, crepe-cream, and sugared pecan garnish
Peanut Butter Crunch – Peanut swirl cheesecake and crepe-cream sprinkled with Reese’s pieces and chopped peanuts
Chocolate Cherry Cream – Crepe-cream filling, topped with cherry pie filling, and drizzled with fudge topping
Very Berry – Crepe-cream filling, topped with triple berry compote (blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries), drizzled with chocolate or caramel sauce and sprinkled with coconut crunch
And don’t forget to think out-of-the-box when it comes to folding crepes. Do try folding several together in a single serving (no one, we repeat, no one, is satisfied with just one crepe).