Vegan Chocolate Crepes
My first experience eating crepes was sitting seaside at a little crêperie in the south of France.
J/K. It wasn't. It was on the grimy yet lovable streets of Berkeley, California. There was a crepe joint across the street from my college campus and they served highly inauthentic French crepes. Instead of a light and delicate texture, the crepes were thick and dense. Instead of being modest in size, these were oversized, just as all American food tends to be. And the most popular flavor, unsurprisingly, was double Nutella. Also, the crepe joint closed down during my sophomore year due to what I can only imagine was repeated health code violations.
I might be coming off as a snobbish food critic, but rest assured, I still really enjoyed those enormous, doughy chocolate-filled crepes. After all, I was 18, and I was addicted to processed sugar. Plus, I needed all the calories I could get to fill my belly before I went to frat house parties and played vodka pong (beer pong but with vodka instead of beer, something I strongly recommended not doing if you are a petite-sized woman).
While my first taste of crepes might not have been the most memorable, my first experience eating authentic crepes was seaside in the south of France and it was as idyllic as you might imagine. You can read a little about my French memories here.
And while these chocolate crepes aren't the most traditional French crepes out there, they certainly are not the oversized, overstuffed monstrosities I ate in college.
To make these crepes, all you need to do is simply whisk up the ingredients in a bowl or you can even blend them up in a blender. You want to let the batter rest for at least 10 minutes, or longer if you can. The resting period gives the dry ingredients an opportunity to soak up the liquid from the wet ingredients, resulting in crepes that will cook more evenly and fully.
Just note that if you do let the batter rest, it will thicken up quite a bit and you may need to thin it out before cooking by adding a bit more sparkling water. Otherwise, your crepes will be dense. If you prefer your crepes ultra thin and light, forgo using the plant milk altogether and replace it with additional sparkling water.
When it comes to cooking these crepes, you should be ready to accept that your first crepe will turn out pretty crappy (or creppy...see what I did there?). Just like pancakes, you shouldn't feel bad about it. Instead, you should just eat this first round as a pre-breakfast snack and move along.
The ideal pan for these is a crepe pan or a skillet with low sides. Since I don't have one of those, I use my PFOA-free stone earth frying pan, which acts like a nonstick skillet and enables me to use very little oil. A cast iron skillet would also work great. These crepes don't need much time at all on the stove - just a minute or two until lots of bubbles form, flip, and then cook for a minute more.
If you plan to fill these babies (and why wouldn't you?), I recommend letting them cool down slightly, as the crepes will be easier to handle and fold. I filled them with a little coconut whip, caramelized bananas and berries, and topped them with my Almond Butter Sauce and Chocolate Sauce. It was decadent to say the least.
I hope you enjoy these slightly inauthentic but delicious vegan chocolate crepes! Bon Appétit!
Vegan Chocolate Crepes
Makes 8 large crepes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 ounces sparkling water
6 ounces almond milk
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal + 2 1/2 tablespoons warm water)
1/4 cup coconut sugar or sweetener of choice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4teaspoon sea salt
Coconut oil for frying
Almond Butter Sauce (recipe below)
Chocolate Sauce (recipe below)
Prepare the flax egg: mix the flaxseed meal and warm water and stir to combine. Let stand 10 minutes to thicken.
Mix the flour, cocoa powder, sparkling water, milk, flax egg, coconut sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl with a whisk just until smooth. Don’t overmix, as it can toughen the batter. Let the batter rest for at least 10 minutes.
After resting, if the dough is thick, add a bit more sparkling water to thin it out.
Heat a nonstick or cast iron skillet or a shallow frying pan to medium-high heat and add a spoon of coconut oil. Once the oil is melted and hot, pour 1/3 cup crepe batter into the pan. Using the bottom of the measuring cup or a ladle, spread the batter out until you have a thin crepe.
Cook each crepes for 1-2 minutes until lots of bubbles form on the surface. Flip and cook for 1 minute and remove from heat.
Let the crepes cool before filling. Drizzle with Almond Butter Sauce and Chocolate Sauce.
Almond Butter Sauce
2 tablespoons creamy almond butter
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons almond milk
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, mix the almond butter, maple syrup, salt and vanilla of, whisking until smooth, until warmed.
Turn off the heat and add the almond milk to thin until you have a pourable consistency.
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until you have a smooth sauce.