For starters, Crepes (pronounced Kreps) is the French word for Pancakes! Shocked? Don’t be :-).
Every country has its own unique way of making pancakes and all vary depending on the culture of the people. Our country was colonised by the British Empire, hence, we mostly make the English pancakes that differ slightly from crepes. I think it's because of the many marriage alliances that happened between the English and the French. Anyway, the main difference between the French crepes and the English pancakes is that crepes are wider in size and usually have a filling inside (like my mango fiesta) while English pancakes are mostly taken with syrup and a good cup of tea. The batter is also runnier than that of the English pancake.
It should also be noted that crepes can be flavoured according to an individual's preference, so if you've got a savoury pallet, you can make one that is savoury by adding a bit more salt, spices and a few herbs and have it with sautéed mushrooms or bacon! Yum! If you like yours sweet, like our house does, you could add a sweetener such as agave/sugar/honey to the batter and serve it with a dollop of ice cream, whipped cream or for a healthier treat, some in-season fruits and nuts.
I love how versatile crepes can be because I can have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner, depending on what I pair them with.
American pancakes greatly differ from English Pancakes and Crepes in that they are made with a raising agent and at times buttermilk. I’ve never really enjoyed American pancakes because of the buttermilk taste but you can choose to make them with milk (of whichever kind) instead. They are usually fluffier and smaller in diameter and taken with maple syrup. These pancakes are similar to those made by the Scottish.
The other kind of pancakes that I have tried out are the potato pancakes. I learnt how to make them from a Polish housemate and they were so tasty. I should add that the taste was something I’d never experienced before, so it’s something that you’ll either like or simply detest. It's what is commonly referred to as an acquired taste. Though I might add, one of my friends tasted it and she said they tasted like chicken?!
I'd recommend that you make the crepe batter the night before and storing it in your fridge. The batter can last as long as 5 days if stored in an airtight container in the fridge which means that you can make a big batch for the whole week. Making the batter the night before not only makes your work easier the following day but also enhances the flavours in the batter. Refrigerating also makes the batter settle, reducing air bubbles that form as a result of mixing the batter together (especially if you'll be using a blender). I use a blend to make sure that my batter is properly incorporated, and most importantly, cleaning afterwards is made easier :D!
Serving: 8-10 sweet crepes
Time: 30 Min
This is what you need:
1 cup of All Purpose Flour (flour of choice)
2 TBSP of sugar (add more if desired)
¼ Tsp salt
¾ cup milk (room temperature)
¼ cup water
½ tsp vanilla essence (optional)
2 TBSP melted butter/cooking oil (slightly more for cooking)
This is how you make them:
If using a blender, place all the ingredients in the blender and blend until properly incorporated.
If using a whisk/mixer, add the wet ingredients together and properly combine.
Add the dry ingredients gradually until well incorporated.
Refrigerate overnight (you can skip this step if you're making this in the morning)
Heat a flat pan over medium heat
Add a bit of oil to grease the pan.
Using a ladle/serving spoon, scoop batter into the pan and swirl the pan until batter spreads throughout the pan creating a thin, flat pancake.
Repeat until batter is done.
Place them on a plate and serve with a healthy topping of fruits and nuts or whipping cream.