This Crepe And Cream Layer Cake Is The Best Way To Do Pancake Day

First of all, there’s an increased richness. Michel Roux doesn’t hold back from adding a little cream to his suzette-style Crêpes with orange butter sauce. Delia’s Apple crêpes with Calvados uses a sizeable proportion of creme fraîche with 1/3 buckwheat flour. And of course the sauces – fragrant and buttery – make the crêpe a definite dessert, unsuitable for breakfast unless you’re one of those people who thinks ice cream in the bath makes an acceptable dinner (I may be one of those people).  Would you put whipped cream on a pancake? No, I can’t picture it.

Crepes with orange butter sauce


Secondly, restraint. The French famously restrain themselves to strict eating times and etiquette – for instance, wouldn’t be seen dead gnawing on a falafel while walking down the road (who me?). This famous restraint is also shown in the resting time allotted to crêpe batter. From an hour ahead up to a day, the resting period is important to achieve the correct super-thin, even, silky texture of a French crêpe.  Make them now!

Gastronomic chemist Peter Barham discusses how to make le crêpe parfait in the Kitchen Cabinet.

The beauty of both the crêpe and the pancake, is that they sit somewhere between a childhood treat and a grown-up one. It’s elegant, crisp, lacy, and, unsweetened, can partner anything from fried eggs to dulce de leche. What other food conduits can claim that? It’s probably a little bumpkin-ish of me to think that a crêpe is slightly more grown-up (see earlier, re: Pennsylvania and falafel eating). But for a regular pancake eater, I’m going to make a little more effort to make this Pancake Day exceptional.

What do you feel are the differences between pancakes and crêpes, if any? Does it matter what you call them, or is a pancake by any other name as sweet?

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