When I was growing up a favorite holiday outing was an annual trip to The Magic Pan restaurant for a meal of crepes. Originally started at Ghirardelli Chocolate in San Francisco, The Magic Pan became a nationwide chain of restaurants all serving up both sweet and savory crepes. It was all very exotic to me; the finely rolled, airy crepes filled with warm, rich fillings. I remember dressing up and usually going to the restaurant after a city outing to see the Nutcracker Ballet, another annual celebration of the season.
When my children were younger I was flooded with the magical memory and wanting to afford them a visit to the popular creperie. But alas when sleuthing I learned they were no longer in business. Having since become gluten free I put crepes in the ‘won’t have that again’ category until recently.
One benefit of eating gluten free is the exposure to the variety of flours available. Loving a novel or unique find, when I ran into Italian Chestnut flour* I had to buy it. Made from 100% ground chestnuts it harkened to the rustic, cozy quality I love about fall and winter. I noted a little crepe recipe on the back of the bag which really piqued my curiosity. I went home and began to experiment.
After a few rounds of changing around ingredients I was delighted to have fashioned a lovely crepe that cooked quickly as a crepe is meant to do and was pliable to roll around delectable filling, in this case of Whipped Nutella Cream. The crepes bear a more rustic appearance than those paper-thin served at the Magic Pan but I did not care. I love things that look ‘real’ and these were welcoming and delicious. My success gave way to many ideas both sweet and savory crepes, and the satisfaction that crepes are back in my now gluten free repertoire.
*I purchased the Dowd & Rogers Italian Chestnut flour locally at Vitamin Cottage in Lafayette Colorado.
These delicious gluten free crepes are made unique with the addition of Chestnut Flour and ground cinnamon, making them a perfect to wrap around Whipped Nutella Cream. The feeling is light, airy and full of chocolate-hazelnut flavor. While working at high heat one needs to give full attention to the quick-cooking crepes and be ready to spread batter quickly and flip them fast!
- 2/3 cup Chestnut Flour
- 1 1/3 cups All Purpose Gluten Free flour blend (I used King Arthur GF Blend)
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- 1 cup Water
- 2 Eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon unsalted Butter, melted
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- 1 cup Nutella
- 2 cups heavy Whipping Cream (plus additional whipping cream for topping the crepes)
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, milk, water, eggs, butter, salt and cinnamon. Allow to sit for 10 minutes._Note: the batter should be like a thick liquid NOT a batter. If it becomes too thick gradually add some more water or milk, whisking to thin the batter._
- Using a heavy, non-stick 8 or 9 inch skillet (treated with non stick spray) over high heat, pour 1/3 cup of crepe batter into the hot skillet. Quickly swirl to cover the bottom of the pan or smooth with a high-heat tolerant spatula to cover the bottom of the pan. As crepe begins to cook (you will note the color and texture changing to look drier), in about 1-2 minutes, flip crepe over with a spatula to finish cooking on opposite side (usually less than 1 minute). They will be a light brown and begin to turn golden when done.
- Allow crepes to cool to room temperature. Fill with desired filling (Nutella Cream instructions below). Note: once crepes have cooled, they can be stacked with wax paper between each one, and sealed in an air tight container or plastic wrap for a few days in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen for future use.
- Using a mixer beat Nutella in a large bowl until it becomes light and airy (about 2 minutes). Pour whipping cream into whipped Nutella and beat on high until the mixture is fully combined and stiff (does not need to make stiff peaks); about 4-5 minutes (time may vary by altitude and humidity).
- Fill each crepe with ½ cup of Nutella cream, making a thick line down the middle of a crepe then rolling it closed. Top with additional plain whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired.
The basic proportions for the Nutella cream filling are ¼ cup Nutella and ½ whipped cream (makes a volume of 1 cup when complete) per 2 crepes. You can scale the amount of your batch accordingly using these basic measurements.