Friday, April 11, 2008

Oven Crespella with Chocolate Sauce

I guess it has been a while since I posted! Not to worry! I am returning with this tasty treat which was featured in the new issue of Gourmet (April 2008). DH made it, as he couldn't keep his eyes off the photo in the magazine. But, I think DH's turned out even nicer. He added his own touches. The original recipe calls for Nutella. Don't get me wrong. Nutella is awesome. It's just not something we keep in the house, especially since we did away with sugar. So, DH made his own chocolate sauce. Plus, he decided to soften some dried figs in some honey-butter for an extra special touch.

We had never had a crespella before, so we don't know how it is supposed to turn out. But we were intrigued to try it because, from the recipe, it seems basically to be a baked pancake. And, as you know, we Love pancakes. It was pretty simple. DH made the batter, poured it in a pan, and then after it baked, he flipped it out of the pan and onto a serving plate. The recipe didn't say to present it like that, but we think it turned out lovely.

The recipe didn't say to do this either, but look how pretty it turned out. DH spread his chocolate sauce and figs on the top, as if it were a cake. [Added April 14, 2008, see this posting for yet another version of Crespella: Crespella Cream Pie].

So, in the end, was it still a crespella? We say, who cares, it was incredibly delicious! The edges were crispy but inside it was soft with an almost custard-like layer. And it even tasted great cold after being stored in the refrigerator.

Oven Crespella with Nutella Sauce
adapted from Gourmet Magazine, April 2008

serves 4 to 6, active time 15 mins, 40 mins start to finish

3/4 cup flour (or a mixture of whole grain flours)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar (DH used a small amount of agave nectar as substitute)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons whole milk, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup Nutella, chocolate hazelnut spread (or chocolate sauce)
optional garnishes: confectioners sugar

accompaniment: chopped berries (figs or bananas are great with it too)

1. Heat an oven-proof skillet in the oven as it is preheating to 450 degrees.
2. Whisk to combine the flour, eggs, sweetener, vanilla, salt and 1 1/2 cups of the milk. Take skillet out of oven (careful it is hot). Place the butter in the skillet and return it to the oven. Leave it there for about a minute, so the butter gets golden. Remove the skillet from the oven.
3. Pour the batter into the skillet and then bake until puffed, set, and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the Nutella with the remaining milk until smooth. Thin with more milk if necessary. (Or make your favorite recipe for chocolate sauce).
5. Cool pancake in skillet on a rack for 5 minutes. (It will sink). Dust with confectioners sugar (if desired) and drizzle with the sauce. Serve with berries or fruit of choice.

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