The Godfather. A classic movie. A movie for the ages. One of my favorites (the other is Miss Congeniality, in case you were wondering). Cannoli plays a minor role in one of the scenes, where Peter Clemenza takes Paulie for a ride. And by “takes Paulie for a ride,” I mean he has Rocco shoot him. And then Clemenza very casually goes, “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” A man’s gotta have his priorities, right?
Cannoli also played a minor role in my kitchen the other night. I had leftover cannoli cream from last week (it was still good, don’t worry!), and I couldn’t waste such a fantastic dish, now could I? Seeing as I’m not such a huge fan of deep frying, I did not make cannoli shells. Instead, I made crepes. That’s right: I combined the best of France with the best of Italy and made cannoli crepes. Genius!
My cannoli cream, if you’ll remember, had cinnamon and cardamom, so I also added cinnamon and cardamom to the crepe batter. I did not take pictures though. My crepes were delicious, but they weren’t anything special to look at. Just imagine this:
Minus all the super fanciness, plus:
Minus the strawberries and the trifle dish. That will give you a pretty good idea of what I made. My crepes were made in an 8 inch pan, so they were small. But the crepes and the cannoli cream were a dream team! The crepes were delicate and the cannoli cream nice and fluffy, and of course the cinnamon and cardamom in each component tied it all together.
But once I ate the rest of the cannoli cream, I had crepes left over! So I paired them with this:
Now here’s an important life lesson. Repeat after me: “You can never go wrong with nutella!” Nutella goes with everything, and it was especially good with my crepes.
The crepe recipe and directions (which were super easy, bee-tee-dubs) came from Julia Child and Mastering the Art of French Cooking, with just a smidge of a change. I didn’t add the alcohol the recipe called for, but instead added cinnamon and cardamom. Crepes: mastered!
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg yolks
1 TB sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
5 TB melted butter
Place the ingredients in a blender in the order they are listed. Cover and blend for 1 minute. If bits of flour adhere to the sides of the jar, dislodge with a rubber spatula and blend for another 3 seconds. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
If you are going to add filling to your crepes, you might want to make raised batter so they’re a little sturdier. Here’s what you do.)
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
After the batter has rested for 2 hours, and just before you wish to make your crepes, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff. Fold half into the batter, fold in the other half, and make crepes.
To make the actual crepes, here’s what I did. It deviated from the all-knowing Julia’s recipe because my pan was non-stick, and I didn’t have to grease it every time.
Heat non-stick pan (mine was an 8 inch pan) on medium high heat. At first, I had added cooking oil, because I thought I had to, and I heated the pan until the oil started smoking. If you’re using a non-stick pan, you don’t need cooking oil, so just make sure the pan is hot before you start adding crepe batter.
When pan is hot, pick it up with your right hand (or your dominant hand). With your left, scoop out 1/4 cup batter and pour into pan. Immediately swirl pan until bottom is covered with batter. Replace on burner.
After about 30 seconds (may take longer for the first few), bubbles should have covered the surface of the crepe, and you can flip it over. I used a spatula. You can use your fingers if you need to.
The first side should be evenly browned. Let the second side cook for about another 30 seconds. It will be a spotty brown. This is the inside of the crepe, so it doesn’t need to be as pretty as the other side.
Turn crepe out onto a plate. And you’re done! Make the next one, and the next until all the batter is gone (duh). Once you get the hang of things, it’s pretty easy. And kind of fun. Then stuff whatever you like into these crepes and chow down. A word of caution: these are dessert crepes. Do not try to add savory foods and expect it to taste good.
Now I’m off to watch Monk with my favorite brother. He bought me Chinese food for dinner. Don’t you wish your brother was this awesome?! You should be jealous.