Kasha (toasted buckwheat) is available at specialty food stores – I use the Ceres Organics brand. If you can’t find it, soak regular buckwheat then drain and toast for 25 minutes in a 160°C oven, stirring occasionally.
75g brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup kasha (toasted buckwheat)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
FOR THE CREPES & SAUCE
500ml (2 cups) whole milk, plus extra if needed 1 tablespoon white sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
95g buckwheat flour
100g plain flour
3 large eggs oil for cooking
100g raw or demerara sugar
200ml freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy ice cream, cream or crème fraîche to serve
A bright, lively prosecco. Canti Prosecco DOC Millesimato 2016.
This recipe has multiple elements, but everything can be made ahead of time and just heated when needed. It can take a few goes to get your pan at just the right temperature and also to figure out the perfect amount of batter to pour in, but this recipe makes enough crêpes that if you muck up the first few, you will still have enough for the dish.
FOR THE CARAMEL SPICED BUCKWHEAT
Preheat the oven to 160C°. Line a baking tray (with a small lip as some butter will run out) with baking paper.
Heat the butter, sugar and salt together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
Bring to the boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and stir in the kasha, fennel and coriander seeds and flour.
Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking tray and spread out. Put in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Stir, then bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown. Watch closely towards the end of the cooking time to ensure it’s not burning.
Remove from the oven and cool on the baking tray. Once cooled, store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
FOR THE CREPES & SAUCE
Melt 60g of the butter then whisk it with the milk, sugar, salt, both flours and the eggs until smooth. Cover and chill for 1 hour or up to overnight.
TO COOK THE CREPES, bring the batter to room temperature. Give it a mix – it should be the consistency of cream. If not, you can add a little extra milk.
Heat a seasoned crêpe pan or 20cm non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
Add a little oil to the pan and wipe it around with a paper towel. You don’t need to do this for every crepe, just every so often.
Lift the pan from the heat and ladle a little of the batter in the middle, swirling the pan to spread the batter quickly and evenly to the edges.
The batter will start cooking within a few seconds, giving you just enough time to achieve an even pancake. If not, adjust the temperature.
After about a minute, loosen the outer edges with a spatula or other “flipper” and flip the crepe over. I find it easier to flip the pancake with my fingers, but use your flipper if you prefer.
Cook for about 30 seconds, then slide the crepe on to a plate.
Repeat with the remaining batter, stirring it every so often as you go, and stacking the crepes on top of each other on the plate once they’re cooked.
If COOKING IN ADVANCE, leave the crepes to cool and cover then refrigerate until needed.
TO MAKE THE SAUCE, heat the remaining 100g butter and the raw or demerara sugar in a deep frying pan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar begins to dissolve.
Turn up the heat and bring to the boil then cook until the mixture just starts to go brown and caramelise – about 4 minutes – stirring gently only towards the end.
Stir in the orange juice and zest, letting the mixture bubble for 3-4 minutes to thicken slightly. Don’t panic if the sugar hardens as it will dissolve into the juice as you heat it.
Add the Grand Marnier and Cognac, heat gently then flambé by carefully lighting the sauce with a long match or lighter.
You can do all this ahead of time and reheat the sauce just before serving.
TO SERVE, fold the crepes into quarters and divide among serving bowls.
Pour over the hot sauce then serve with ice cream, cream or crème fraîche and sprinkle with spiced caramel buckwheat.
Recipes and Food Styling Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Ellen J Hemmings