Monday, March 25, 2013
Strawberries and Cream Crepes - A Food Photography Challenge
Every once in a while one needs to "call in sick" just because. Because... well, how can you enjoy a sick day if you are really sick? And, with schedules crazy as they are, sometimes a day off is just what the doctor ordered.
Liv will be starting high school next year and we all know how the attendance record tightens up with the more intense pre-college workload. As such, I'm savoring these last few months of middle school with my girl where taking an occasional day off hasn't been an issue in her straight A grade record.
After waking to the sun instead of the alarm, Liv and I sauntered down to the kitchen which at this later wakeup time glowed with morning sunlight. Asking her where her breakfast desires led her she immediately exclaimed, "Crepes!"
Since discovering crepes a few years ago Liv has learned to swirl crepe batter into ever so thin, perfectly cooked crepes which she occasionally whips up on her own as an after school treat. And with this month's Inspired Plate Food Photography and Styling Challenge prompt of "Breakfast" looming on the horizon, crepes became my subject of choice.
Choosing between our old faithful vanilla crepe batter and a new Giada chocolate version became too much for our sleepy minds making the decision of both the perfect choice. Alton Brown taught us years ago to pulse the crepe batter in a blender and then allow it to rest for about an hour for easier to handle crepes, and we've been following his advice ever since. Tried and true, you can't go wrong with his recipe and process.
Giada's recipe didn't recommend resting the batter, but we gave it a good half hour anyway as we've been so please with Alton's advice. Adding 1/4 cup of cocoa powder gave the crepes that extraordinary chocolate look, and these beauties cooked up just as nicely as the others.
Filling them, though, is where Liv's and my opinions differed slightly. With strawberry season is in full swing here in San Diego, the sweet, perfectly ripe, organic berries in the fridge seemed the perfect choice, and what better than a luscious, lemon-laced creamy base for those sweet berries? Served on either the chocolate or the vanilla crepes, the combination proved almost heavenly, and indeed, the perfect cure for our "sick" day.
While Liv enjoyed the Strawberries and Cream, she had ideas of her own, which usually tend to directly oppose mine. Thinking the berries added just a touch of healthiness to the low in fat and protein enhanced crepes (they contain eggs) I didn't feel guilty for the breakfast splurge. Liv, however, felt no need for health with her Powdered Sugar Sprinkle version that she lovingly created as my back was turned. Making me proud that she thought to shoot her version with the already set up set, I returned from a quick dog walk to find a powdery plate with the remnants of rainbow sprinkles sitting in the middle of my set.
Whichever version you choose, Breakfast Crepes are sure to chase away any lingering blues. For more incredible "Breakfast" Photography, please make your way through our Inspired Plate blog circle. First up, Jayme Franklin, a Bay Area Food Photographer with her beautiful breakfast photos.
Strawberries and Cream Crepes
Sweet, ripe strawberries combined with luscious lemon infused cream prove to be the perfect foil to the over-worked, I need a day off blues.
Sweet Vanilla Crepe recipe from Alton Brown
Chocolate Crepe recipe from Giade De Laurentis
adapted from AllRecipes.com
1 cup soft low fat cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
Mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract, mixing to combine. Gently fold in about 1/2 cup of whipping cream, more if desired.
To prepare crepes, spoon about 1/4 of a cup of the cream mixture down the center of the crepe. Top with sliced strawberries, roll, and top with powdered sugar or an additional dollop of cream. Serve.
Liv Live Note: I'm not a fan of super sweet and reduced the powdered sugar in this recipe by over 1/2 of a cup after reading remarks that the cream was way too sweet. If you prefer a sweeter version, add additional powdered sugar to suit your taste.