A traditional French recipe that has had a place in my heart for as long as I can remember, bringing memories of my dear Grandad and his delightful desserts. I have been lucky enough to get this recipe from the head chef on the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship (courtesy of a treasured newspaper article). The bouncy texture of the crepes steeped in a sticky sweet orange sauce with hints of the dark vanilla and cocoa tones from the Grand Mariner is just undefinable. Definitely one of my favourite desserts of all time.
Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes Serves: 3-4
- 4 Pieces rock sugar, approximately 1.5 cm cubes in Size
- Rind of 1 Mandarin
- 3 tbsp. Unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp. White granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cup Orange juice
- 1 tbsp. Lemon juice
- 12 thin crepes
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
- Vanilla ice cream for serving
Tips and Tricks: If you can get hold of the 5cl bottles of the Grand Marnier then that will give you the perfect amount for this recipe. Otherwise just get a miniature of high quality cognac instead of forking out for the whole bottle. A brilliant recipe for crepes can be found here http://pastrieslikeapro.com/2015/09/all-purpose-french-crepes/#.V49j-vzTUuo along with many other brilliant recipes.
- Rub the rock sugar on the mandarin rind to impart some flavour onto the sugar crystals.
- Gently pound the sugar crystals so you are left with small pieces (not a powder).
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the sugar crystals, stir for 1 minute.
- Add the granulated sugar and turn up the heat to a medium/high
- Stirring occasionally cook until the sugar has melted, should be a nice dark caramel colour (not burnt)
- Add the Orange juice and lemon juice, heat gently while stirring until the caramel has melted back into the Orange juice.
- Put the crepes into the pan one by one, folding in half and then into quarters (probably won’t want to do more than 4 at a time)
- Heat through on a very high heat and baste with the sauce for 90 seconds
- Add 1/3 if of the Grand Marnier and flame (if doing 4 at a time)
- When the flames have died out arrange 3 folded crepes on each plate
- Repeat steps 7-10 until all the pancakes have been used
- Cover pancakes with remaining sauce, serve with vanilla ice cream
Tips and Tricks: The key to this recipe is achieving the correct colour on the caramel before adding the orange juice, being pretty difficult to describe this colour to you the only piece of advice I can give is practice, practice, practice and good luck :).