Sassy Spoon Cafe Visit

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As many have been made aware of by now, in a rather loud fashion, Sassy Spoon (for those unaware, read my review to get an idea of their theme and what my opinion of them has been so far) got themselves a little café in South Minneapolis! I finally had the opportunity to visit on a recent Sunday with the folks, and for Brunch time which seems to fit their theme and atmosphere oh so well, and check yet another local truck-staurant off my list!

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Let me start off by saying that I am very happy for them, or maybe it’s more accurate to say in REACTION to them, based on two different things. Firstly, though I really cannot comprehend how they got the popularity and capital to start up a brick-and-mortar (oh well, my opinions aren’t everyone’s, I accept that… still think there are at least other trucks that should have gotten to this point sooner), we finally have an environment that fits their food style! No more do I have to bitch about their very non-street food going on the streets, this stuff was really made to be served up on plates and eaten in a diner or café of some type, and now we can do that!

Secondly, I’m not sure when they did it (I know it wasn’t in the beginning at all), but they’ve shed their main advertising face of general “healthy and nutritious food” focus and openly narrowed their culinary focus to a “Gluten Free” façade. Now, that’s something I can get on board with! It fits, it makes sense, there’s nothing in the food to non-corroborate it, and I would bet if they used this excuse/marketing strategy since the beginning I would not have complained so much. I mean really, when you’re only offering piles of meat with either slaw, sweet potatoes, and creamy cauliflower, it’s not the kind of food that REALLY screams nutrition is it? Say what you will, no one really cares about the Atkins diet anymore… but gluten free, in a café, and the menu gels, my urges to contradict and bitch gone (well, sort of, I still have those memories…).

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Oh well, I’m shutting up now about that and getting onto the actual café! You can tell it was designed by the truck owners, the inside is just as bright, appealing, sorta-modern and welcoming as the big pink truck used to be. There’s a little wrap-around bar to the side of the order ‘window’ and dessert/drink display case. Which has some not-so-bad looking sweets in there, would be very interested in trying the Beet Cake myself one day… (gluten-free cookies scare me though)

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First up, of course, is drinks. Besides the classic morning coffees, juice and tea, one can of course find some trendy Kombucha, specialty soda, Organic Milk, and a few interesting shop coffees. This includes something called a “Maple Cream Cold Press” and a “Spiced Butter Coffee,” which my mom picked up, and I swear it smells like biscoff cookies! But sort of tangy, makes me wonder if it’s a nicely acidic coffee bean or something else added; really good and tasty, I can see the appeal of this new ‘butter in coffee’ craze, kept in control of course.

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I leaned more towards the booze of course, they having a nice little selection of wines but, more importantly, Local Beer, Cider, and Mead (which I’m only noticing now after looking through pictures, damn if only I knew before!). I myself got to try the Loon Juice; yay, another Minnesota Cider besides Sociable that I get to say I’ve had!

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Food is mainly comprised of the truck classics, the Sweet Potato Hash w/ Egg, Turkey Meatballs, Miso Pork/Tacos, and a Salad, with some notable extra options, especially during brunch. Goat Cheese-stuffed Dates, “Yucca Patties” w/ Olives and Jalapeno dipping sauce (I’ve been intrigued by this one), Wild Rice Black Bean Salad, and some eggy breakfast dishes in Omelet, Scramble, and Basic structure come together. Of course sides based off of these, breakfast, and apparently the option to buy cups of $4 broth is also available.

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A group of plates for our little party had us trying the Sassy Scramble, Yucca Flatbread, and Buckwheat Pancakes; the last being the definite highlight, just being super fluffy and flavorful, stuffed with delightful blueberries with a tasty citrusy syrup, one of those ideal modern brunch offerings we seek out nowadays after being exposed to places like Pizza Luce and Hola Arepa. Mixed with goat cheese and spinach (and onion), the scramble in comparison certainly TASTES really good, nice and healthy, but I myself have never really appreciated scrambled eggs that have gotten brown from the pan. Maybe it’s me, I know some professionals still consider the perfect omelet acceptable with some brown on it, but the texture in scrambles like that just end up too firm, not the light/fluffy or moist/silky expressions that actually show a sign of quality. And considering they’re probably using really good quality organic eggs here (they seem to stick to the local farm product theme for whatever they can), I end up feeling somewhat sad for what these proper eggs were probably turned into.

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My focus was the Flatbread, curious as to what the crust was actually like. First off, let me just start off by saying come on, let’s just call this what it is: a Pizza. I know the flatbread and pizza label are rather interchangeable these days, but we all have some impression of a flatbread, usually thick grilled or some artisan crisp dough topped with some unique sauce and/or cheese and/or garnish, really embodying a perfect appetizer for sharing. Just one look at this guy, red sauce and mozzarella with that apparent golden brown painting across the top from the hot oven, and clearly it’s nothing other than pizza; tell me that does not remind you of the frozen pizzas you bake at home (visually speaking, not quality wise, I’m not THAT much of a douche or imbecile). Why don’t we just call it pizza and get it over with?

As for flavor, as a pizza I did enjoy it in that similar manner; firm crunchy edges, a softer but still-holding and fully-cooked dough bottom, tasting red sauce and stretchy cheese. I added the pepper mix on mine, which for the price additions seems to be the only thing worth it, and was quite happy. As a gluten free pizza, the crust did a great job substituting; I’m wondering if they used something like yucca flour for it, but considering they have it elsewhere on the menu, my guess is more on the lines of mashing and using in a ‘potato flatbread’ manner. It’s not the best flatbread or pizza in the city, by far, but it fits a certain style and craving well enough.

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One big complaint and note we all had was the pricing, a lot of the items are rather pricey considering what we’re getting, which seems to be a common thing with most ‘healthy/organic/gluten-free’ based businesses. With luck the place actually delivers or provides something that IS totally awesome along with the healthy stuff and we don’t care, but in a café like this it seems to stand out even more. I mean, a BASIC breakfast on their menu is $11.50; that’s supposed to be one of the simpler, affordable options on a menu, not one of the most expensive (unless it’s one of those modern ‘deconstructed’ things, which are usually downright awesome). Not to mention a side of Bacon, which the mother got to add to the pancakes, cost $4, for TWO measly strips. We wouldn’t even normally care, you know, if we got two nice, thick-ish pieces. But even if it is from a local farm, we ended up with a barely cooked, thin, sorta fatty couple pieces that just aren’t worth it; feels a bit insulting actually. Same with the pizza topping add-ons; $0.75 for the veggies, okay, but $2 for each meat (which they only have two kinds to begin with)? It’s already $11 for just cheese and sauce man!

All that said, I’m not necessarily saying one shouldn’t go; it’s a fun and different place for the gluten-free required to find a meal in a welcoming environment! Or to grab yourself a local drink or butter coffee with a meal. Just make sure to pick the right items, I definitely suggest the buckwheat pancakes; not only have they likely been the best things I’ve had from Sassy in my trips, but they’re the best price too (Mom still says $8.50 for only two café/diner pancakes is larceny, but for special, delicious, and gluten-free affairs in a place like this, I don’t mind it). And the service and staff ARE absolutely great, nice, and fantastic and all that. I myself just won’t be going there again. Ever.

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Food Trucks that Don’t Exist: a Dedication

So I was gonna post this guy a while ago, but apparently I wrote the draft, took a break before I looked up pictures, and completely forgot about it! So pretend it came out right after this article did!

http://blogs.citypages.com/food/2014/06/fleet_of_dreams_the_best_food_trucks_that_dont_exist_yet.php

                I am in much agree-al with this latest CityPages Hot Dish article! If you have yet to read it, click the link above to view their opinions on Food Trucks we have yet to see. The Dip-based idea seems a bit odd to me (though I can see us having a market for it), but the make-your-own Pie concept could be heavenly.

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                Either way, it got me thinking about OTHER kinds of Street Food our mobile army has yet to tap into, for one reason or another. I did do a post about a year ago about people/restaurants that I’d like to see get in the business, but hashing out the food itself is yet another fun endeavor in itself.

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All things Japanese

                I’ve mentioned it at times in the past, and I’m sure by now many of you have seen some food show or another traveling through Asian, only to learn that the large Continent is a veritable wealth of various stands shoveling out mass amounts of traditional street foods. There are so many things we still have yet to be completely brought in from China, Korea, Vietnam, etc. But the country that excites me most with their Street Food is Japan.

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                Hot Dish already covers our sore need for good mobile ramen, but I would also so love to see someone shoveling out Takoyaki, spherical little “pancakes” cooked in their own grate with different savory fillings (usually Octopus) and covered in sticky sauces and bonito, just waiting for you to toothpick it into your mouth. Similarly, Dango, little sweet rice flour balls (similar to Mochi) already skewered with a bit of sauce on top. Could have a truck that serves both, sweet and savory oriental orbs!

                Then there’s Okonamiyaki, big savory pancakes that are cooked to order and whatever you want in them (drizzled in special mayo and sauce); Bento Boxesfor those on the go and wanting something “special;” Onigiri, simple rice balls stuffed with various fillings, think of all the cool fusion things we could do with that, while still keeping super-simple and affordable options for others; and of course, who could forget Yakitori, skewers of very simply and very skillfully grilled meats from every part of an animal, covered in a perfectly balanced sauce.

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Juicy Balls

                Subs, skewers, sandwiches, soups, fry baskets, what can’t a meatball be used in? And what can’t it be made from? So versatile with such a soul-filling warmth and joy when done right, there’s huge potential for doing something along these lines. And though we do have One Stand that uses a meatball sub, it’s just the one item on the menu; we need a true Specialty, like Devil’s Advocate before they changed their menu up (such a sad thing now…).

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Desserts Galore

                I’ve said it at least once before and I’ll say it again, we need a Dessert Truck! I’m sorry but Cupcakes don’t really count that much anymore, and our one Crepe Truck is… well… either way, all the other cities have one! Why can’t we!? Moooooommmmmmm.

                -cough- Sorry ‘bout that. Anyways, it doesn’t matter what kind, whether it’s one of those trucks that shells out all variety of sweets or a specialist; Pie, Cheesecake, Sundaes, something stuffed in a Cone, I don’t care, and neither should you! Give us more sugar, MOAR! I will say though, a good, proper Ice Creamtruck that makes their own custard from Quality ingredients would be extra awesome. Or hey, if Izzy’s wants to get in the game I won’t complain.

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Tapas for Everyone

                I know I know, we have A La Plancha now which serves up various “tapas” with their food, but it still doesn’t feel like they’ve gotten so deep down into the spirit and wealth of it that they could (and I’ve seen their truck out a few times). There really are SO many different tapas out there, traditional and non, a having a truck focus PURELY on these various small Spanish things which we could pick up and take around could be so fun. And let’s not forget about Pinchos, Tapas close cousin, basically semi-sandwiches or other “small” items with a thin skewer through them to hold together (and also keep track of how many things you’ve eaten). When I go for Tapas, I really want to get into the feel and culture of Spain, so let’s get a mobile eatery that can really do that.

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All Roads Lead to Dim Sum

                So Yeah, I want Dim Sum. If you want to hear my argument why, read this Post I did a while back.

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A Bit of Our History

                You know, now that I think about it, we really don’t have any trucks yet that focus on some sort of Eastern Europeanspecialties (besides that one Strudel Truck, but we barely see it anywhere). No Germanic, Russian, Polish, Czech, or anything like that, which is a shame ‘cuz it’s all really good food. True the idea doesn’t immediately conjure up “Street Food” images, besides bratwurst covered in sauerkraut (and we already have plenty of that), but there are some foods we know of (and many that we don’t I’m sure) that could do a great job on a truck. There’s Pierogies, cuz who doesn’t love dumplings; Piroshki, which are like Pasties but with a more bready dough (there’s a market stand in Seattle that makes awesome ones, perfect street food); Borscht and the Crepes like I said; many many regional snausagesto be used in dogs, sandwiches, what have you; various stews like Goulashwhich could be shoved in something; etc. And don’t forget the many many uses of sauerkraut and potatoes. It’s basically like talking about our favorite MN foods, so why not express them on the street?

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Everything Cake

                It hits me that we, and many others, have a Crepe Truck, a Waffle Truck, but why not have a Pancake truck? Thick and fluffy, but one could still wrap it in a cone or fold in half. Could fill and top it with anything, sweet or savory, as all different versions of pancakes do. Which is another thought, instead of just doing the one basic kind, a Pancake Truck could offer different batters (either pick and choose or each with their own crafted fillings): Potato, Johnnycake (cornmeal), Buttermilk, Thin European, etc. Who wouldn’t love the joy of taking something simple and nostalgic and getting serious with it, much like the Grilled Cheese idea (thank god I no longer need to add a “grilled cheese” section to this list).

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Fried Fury

                A lot of people like Anchor, our local Fish and Chips based restaurant and truck, but it feels like the menu is more restaurant-based than fish-and-chips-based; I mean they only have the onefish. How cool would it be to have a pure, simple, and classic Fish and Chips truck that, like the shops back home, have a whole selection of different fish to go in the fryer! Or maybe they take the fish and fries and stuff it in a grinder or tortilla (or, with the nation’s Indian ties, Roti) to make it fully portable! Slather on that Tartar sauce (per request of course) and really give us a Deep Fried delight. And why stop there, why not make a whole Deep-fried themed menu, span more than one kind of food item, cover some random crap in batter and crisp it up with heart-destroying deliciousness. I know there’s a place in New York (I think it’s called The Chip Shop) that does it, and they’re quite successful.

                Or at the least, maybe get a truck that specializes in Fried Chicken. We have some that do it (very well I might add) in sandwiches, but let’s get a place that really does it justice as the MAIN item.

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                Oh come on, you knew I was gonna say it at some point (well, if you read my blog frequently). Sushi Fix STILL has yet to offer this perfectly walkable coneof Nori stuffed with sushi rice and filling. I won’t go into it much this time, but I still believe it would be such a great, fun, delicious Toe Ring type item to sell for the sushi lover on-the-go.

                Well, that’s my list, what’s yours? Do you have any particular Foods or Cuisine you’d like to see on the Minnesota Street?

SFC: France’s Gift

(ugh, one day after I start this post I see America’s Test Kitchen do an episode on the subject w/ ingredient ratios and all that!! Durnit!!)

               Almost every country has that one street food that’s just iconic, either to them or those who know of them, whether we’re aware of it or not. Japan has Takoyaki, India practices Dosa and Chaat, Mexico their own “Corn on the cob,” Italy idolizes the Gelato and Pizza, and the list goes on. But I think foremost of this lineup of stereotypical deliciousness will always be France and their Crepes.

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                With their easy batter preparation, long history, holding ability, and amazing versatility in meals and flavor matching, it’s not surprising their popularity has moved from the street to the home kitchen. They can have a habit of holding a slight difficulty and trickyness in the cooking process, though if anything that’s probably made them more endearing in our eyes.

                It of course then fell upon me to attempt their creation sooner or later (especially since I have this totally awesome crepe machine/pan/thingy!!), and with a recent departure of a family member to Paris and their desire for a birthday dessert soon beforehand, the occasion presented itself.

Basic Crepe Recipe (a la Jacques Pepin)

2 Eggs

¾ cup Flour

½ cup Milk

1/8 tsp Salt

½ tsp Sugar

1/3 cup Cold Water

1 Tb Canola Oil

1 Tb Melted Butter

                Crepe recipes abound throughout books, websites, etc, all with the same ingredients but slightly different proportions. My past searches and experiments have led to countless, countless results of something that tastes sorta the same but yet never even close to my memory of that proper French result. As of now I don’t know if it’s simply HOW they cook it, a mixing preparation, or maybe they just use buckwheat flour (I’ve seen it in some recipes, but not a regular thing to get a hold on). Either way, I like to think a fun way to approach crepes is trying different base recipes each time to see what you enjoy; can also give one a good idea on which “sweet” versions are better for dessert and which “savory” for other meals.

                Such an easy recipe to put together, whisk the first 5 ingredients together to a thick batter, then finish with the last 3. The result should be sorta thin but with consistency enough to stick (sorta like a sauce). You can do this in a blender too; the idea is there’s too much liquid for overworking the gluten, but I still like the whisk.

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                So we get to the tricky party, actually cooking the guy; now, in this situation I’ve been quite lucky to be gifted with this cool, amazing little electric non-stick flat “grill” highly reminiscent of those wide stones used in France. Most people don’t have that luxury however. Besides this, people also sell these special “crepe pans,” which sort of look like a thinner-metalled cast-iron skillet but much wider with very tiny, angled edges, giving easy access to grab the curling edges and flip.

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                Good chance one won’t have these either, but it gives an idea of what kind of pan you should pick. If anything, the main importance in the cooking of crepes is ORGANIZATION of your station; get everything set up close and neat together in whatever way is easiest for you to produce. Find the widest NONSTICK sauté pan you have, preferably with lower edges. Good chance they’ll be rounded and you won’t be able to make as large of crepes as other pans, but they’re still yummeh!

                Move the pan to a medium-high temp; it should be VERY hot, but not to that extreme level ya know? One should still have some time to move the batter around the pan before it completely seizes.

                Brush a thin, even smear of oil or softened butter over the hot surface (I like using a paper towel, like when oiling a grill) before working; some recipes may have you doing these before every crepe, but depending on pan it may only be needed a few times while working, or even once (but you WILL need to ensure the pan is “clean” and free of any leftover bits of batter after each crepe; just a few wipe with a  dry paper towel should do). Scoop up a medium to large ladle (depending on size of pan, I hear ¼ cup for a 12” pan is proper) into the pan, OFF-CENTER (not in the middle, to the side) so that it spreads over more of the pan; there’s a mechanic to it, but I don’t feel like going into it.

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                Spreading can be accomplished traditionally with an awesome horizontal wooden spreader thingy, sorta looks like a car window squeegee but flat. For the rest of us, you’ll want to quickly lift and rotate the sauté pan at a high angle to have the batter slide over and cover the whole bottom. Really, do this FAST, and hope you have enough batter to fill a full circle; if it seizes up beforehand though, no worries, just add a little bit of extra batter into the empty areas and wiggle about. It won’t look so perfect, but who actually cares?

                This should cook quickly, so NO MOVING! After 15-30 seconds, the bottom should brown nicely, and the edge will (if done properly) start to curl slightly (lending crepe its name). Run the edge of your flipping instrument (most likely a spatula or, in my case, an awesome tradional long, thin wood paddle) under and around, pinch an edge to hold firm and lift, using the spatula to stabilize and help flip (gotta do it with both hands to get it right, not just one).

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                Before I continue, I should mention that, good chance, you will not accomplish a good, or decent, or even something even closely reminiscent of a crepe in your first one or two (or 5…) attempts. Don’t worry, that’s natural; if anything, it’s often just something one has to do to get the pan to a good temp.

                That said, the second side will take a lot faster to cook than the first, though it can stay on longer safely. And sadly won’t have that same, completely even and smooth browning to it; Most likely it’ll be sorta spotty. As it’s cooking, this is your chance to add any spices and ingredients to complete whatever crepe you’re making! This can be done quite easily with a pat of butter, spread over to melt, and topping with some jam, fresh fruit, some sugar and citrus juice, chopped (cooked) meat and/or veggies, etc. Fold, I like the doing it in halves to turn into the triangular wedges when it’s flat and able, or folding each side into a square package when there’s a savory mound in the middle.

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                Or, one could forego instant gratification and stack your crepes onto wax paper and, once cooled, into the fridge for later. One of crepe’s renowns is how AMAZING they store; people love them for parties, because you can cook them all up the night before, store in the fridge, and then just reheat them in a warm pan with whatever desired fillings on the next day for quicker service.

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                Then again, if you have all those crepes saved up, you could make something a little special… which is of course what I just had to do for that birthday dessert.

                Gateau Crepe Millefeuille (thousand-layer crepe cake… though it’s only 20 layers, ish), a very unique and very traditional preparation of stacked crepes with a pastry cream-like filling. A very, very simple but somewhat time consuming dessert which leads to a delicious and beautiful result.

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                Since I didn’t have 20 crepes, the pan made them too damn big for the amount of batter (and I did a double batch too), I decided to cop out and just cut each one in half, make a fully layered semi-circle cake. This also yields the possibility of cutting out shapes from your French pancakes, maybe making a small, tall square cake, or smaller individual circles. Many fun potentials!

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                While that’s kept away in the fridge, we can prepare the filling. Find any good looking pastry cream recipe (I was gonna list down mine, which was a simple Pepin recipe that used flour instead of cornstarch, but I wasn’t too thrilled about its final outcome) and prepare the ingredients. Could keep it simple, or like me you could add some flavor through infusion; in this case, adding some fresh basil and orange zest (along with half an actual vanilla bean, scraped) to the milk and/or cream while warming to get their flavor. Doesn’t need to sit in there too long, otherwise the flavors can overpower easily, so one just needs them for the scalding phase before straining.

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                Mix all the eggs, sugar, starch, and other ingredients together, temper once the dairy mixture has scalded (gotten hot, do NOT let it get even close to boiling and curdling!). Transfer back to the pot, turning the heat somewhere between medium and low (which you may have to increase as time goes on, depending on the recipe).

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                Based on your heat, the pastry cream will thicken either really fast or pretty slow. Whichever the situation, we must stick to the one golden rule: KEEP STIRRING! Never, never stop unless it’s in the very beginning, and use a whisk! One can start off slow easily, but as the mixture starts to thicken and give that little glossy shine the speed should increase. We are naturally taking this milk and dairy mixture to a temperature that it normally curdles at, but the starch addition is allowing it to survive and aiding in its thickening properties. That doesn’t mean it’ll do all the work, however; keeping it still will only serve to burn the bottom and let it set like a scrambled egg. Keep it moving, don’t let it stay on the bottom and sides any longer than it needs, and sooner or later you’ll be rewarded with a rich, creamy pot of congealed custard.

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                Quickly move this into a container (ideally a metal one which has been in the freezer for a while to chill it down), scraping off as much as possible, and cover it with parchment or wax paper covered in cooking spray. Move to the fridge, and let cool at least a few hours or ideally overnight (it should also thicken even further during this, so don’t feel you have to get it to the perfect consistency when cooking; go a few notches under unless serving immediately).

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                After cooling, we can move to the next step, or go right to setting up. Now, you COULD fill the cake with just the pastry cream as-is; many recipes do, and it’s a great suggestion if it came out exactly how you want it. There are other recipes though, and I sorta like the idea, that fold it with whipped cream, sorta making a mousse.

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                So I thought I’d do that with what cream I had, and I also whipped up some leftover egg whites from the yolks I used in the pastry cream. Fold in with the basic technique, “slicing” down the middle, gathering it with your spatula and “folding” it over the cut with a turn of the wrist and bowl.

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                Hell, if I was serving this mousse as is, I’d stop here, have those beautiful streaks of white and orangish-yellow. Put it over a beautiful, crispy tuile, some fresh black currants… so good… BUT we’re sliding it between crepes today, so a full mixing it is.

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                And putting it together is simple. Spread a thin, even layer over your bottom piece, top with another, spread a thin layer and repeat until either all your crepes are used up or all the pastry cream (sadly, the latter in my case… knew I should have made more whipped cream).

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                Also, by now I’m sure your crepes aren’t all perfect. That’s fine; take your largest (or one of them) and smoothest, best pieces and reserve it on the side (what I did was choose the best of my first two pieces, and if better ones came along during stacking I’d switch ‘em out) to place on top. This will act as a great presentation, and its larger size (amongst other large, good pieces placed near the top) will help hide the questionable ones below.

                Can serve immediately or keep it, covered, in the fridge for later. If doing the latter, make sure to remove 15-30 minutes before eating (… sorta like cheese… I don’t know if that excites me or makes me cautious). During this time we can finish it off the traditional way, with a Brulee of the top, best done maybe 5-8 minutes before ready at the MAX.

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                Spread a THIN (very important, otherwise one gets clumps of it), completely even layer of sugar over the top; should look like when one spreads sugar around a buttered ramekin and then taps out all the access (ideally… which I still have yet to master). Take your torch (hopefully you have some kind, handheld or those big clunky tanks or something; if you don’t, and want to attempt this, you could try doing it directly under a hot broiler) and simply run it over that granular top, holding it over the melting sugar until it turns a nice goldenish-brown, caramelized color. Do your best not to burn the crepe below.

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                We could stop here as well, just dust it with a bit of powdered sugar for the traditional crepe… but as we know I’m not one to “stop here” (and I’m sort of on a roll with adding things on with these guys!).  I have to get a good sauce to make this cake complete, and the Pepin recipe came with additional things to make a Suzette, so I couldn’t help but make a similar orange sauce.

Suzette Sauce

6 TB Butter

¼ cup + 2Tb Sugar

1 Tb Orange Zest

1/3 cup OJ

2 Tb Cognac

¼ cup Orange Liqueur

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                You’ll need to zest about 3 oranges to get all you need (and an additional 2 or more for infusing the cream earlier, hominah hominah lotsa citrus fruit…). Combine with the butter and ¼ cup sugar, either by hand, processor, or mixer.

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                The recipe states to add the orange juice to the butter; which, if using a food processor or maybe a mixer probably shouldn’t be to difficult. I found it hard to do by hand (at least in a smooth bowl… maybe a rougher plastic to get holding friction), if doing so yourself add in VERY slowly, a bit at a time. I ended up doing too much at one point and had to just add it to the sauce directly. I mean pretty easy, but having it in the butter just pumps up the flavor, in case you have leftovers that you might want to use in something else. Move butter to fridge before making.

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                Mix alcohol, sugar, and leftover oj in sauté pan, bring to a boil and move off heat. Whisk in COLD butter (of which you might only need ½-3/4 of what’s made) until fully emulsified and incorporated.

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                Assemble plates as desired; CAREFULLY slice cake with a sharp knife, revealing all those beautifully simple layers. Spoon sauce onto plate, maybe onto the side of the cake (not the top, don’t want to accidentally soften that crispy sugary crust). Garnish with thinly sliced basil and serve.

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                Quite a long journey from a typical French pancake to a dressed up layered cake, but that’s just how the modern world of street food has gotten to where it is. Well, that and as we know I like to ramble and add things. Either way I do hold hopes that you were able to enjoy and find inspiration in one or two sections of this long narration and recipe on Crepes.