My time as a Genius Hour Chef is coming to an end. For my last post, I wanted to do something sweet and fun, but also challenging. I considered baking cookies or a cake, but I had done that before and wanted something new. So, per usual, I started my search on Pinterest. I simply typed in the search bar “desserts” and thousands of links popped up. As I scrolled through, I landed on Frozen Hot Chocolate. This seemed like an odd concept to me so I opened the tab, and it seemed delicious. The only issue was, the recipe was easy and straight forward, so I decided to make something to go with it. As I continued to scroll, the picture of a chocolate crepe caught my eye. I immediately clicked on it, and decided that I would be making crepes with a frozen hot chocolate on the side.
To begin, I wrote down a grocery list of all the items I needed to get. Listed below are the ingredients for both recipes:
Frozen Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups of milk
- 3 cups crushed ice
- 4 packets of Hot Chocolate Mix
- Chocolate Sauce
- Whipped Cream
- Chocolate Shavings
- I used a bar of Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate and a vegetable peeler to get mine.
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1/4 cup of melted butter
- Any additional ingredients of your choosing – I added strawberries and peanut butter to mine
Once I gathered my ingredients from Kroger and my pantry, I started with the Frozen Hot Chocolate. I chose to do this first because I did not want my crepes to get cold while I made the Frozen Hot Chocolate. The instructions for this were simple. I grabbed a blender, and mixed together the ice, milk, and hot chocolate packets. I put the blender on level 2 speed (whip) and blended it until it had a thick-liquid consistency. Once it looked right, I took a spoon and tasted it to find that it was delicious. I then poured it into 2 cups, and had a little to spare. I topped them off with whip cream and chocolate shavings that I did myself with a vegetable peeler and a chocolate bar.
After I had my Frozen Hot Chocolate poured, I began on the Nutella-Stuffed Crepes. These were more challenging than I expected them to be, but I learned a lot from the process and had fun making them. In a large mixing bowl, I cracked my 6 eggs and beat them together. I beat them before adding the dry ingredients so that it would be easier to mix everything together. This is a technique my dad taught me over Thanksgiving break when I helped him cook. Next, I added the flour, sugar, and salt into the mix. With a metal whisk, I mixed them together until it formed a batter-like consistency. The next step is to add the milk. I was caught off guard at how much milk it told me to use because 4 cups is a good bit compared to the size of the current batter. The instructions told me to pour in about 1/2 cup at a time and mix it together. I tried to emulate my grandma, an amazing cook, when doing this so in one hand I had the whisk and in the other I poured the milk. I stirred the batter as the milk went in so that it would mix completely. When all of the milk had been poured in, the batter was very much a liquid, soup-like mixture. I was not sure if this was correct, but I just continued to work. I melted 1/4 cup of butter in the microwave for 25 seconds on 8-powered heat. When it was finished, I took it out and completely mixed it before pouring it in and stirring vigorously for at least 1 minute.
Now that my batter was prepared, I was ready to begin the crepes on the stove. I took a non-stick skillet and placed it on a burner at medium to high heat. The recipe instructed me to use a ladle to scoop the batter, but I did not have one. I chose to use a 1/4 measuring cup because the instructions tell you to use less batter than you would expect. I took a scoop of batter and dropped it on the skillet at an angle. Then, I turned my wrist to allow the batter to cover the skillet. I was unsure about how long to leave my batter on the spatula before flipping it so I guessed when I thought it was ready. I took a rubber spatula and tried to flip it, but it was not very successful. I took a step back, and then googled “how to make the perfect crepe”.
An article on the William Sonoma blog said that I should leave it on the skillet for about 1 minute and then using a thin spatula, flip the crepe. In addition, the blog suggested greasing the pan before putting batter on it to allow the flip to go smoothly. Once I tried these skills, I finally had made a decent crepe. The batter made up to about 35 crepes, so I decided to make a few more before filling them.
After I had made about 5 crepes, it was time to fill them. Something I took in to consideration before I started however, was plating. “Plating” is a term that I learned from watching the Food Network a lot recently. I enjoy shows such as Kids Baking Championship, Chopped, and Chopped Junior. In these shows, the judges will score them based on the taste of the food and the presentation of it, also known as the plating. It is important to make food look aesthetically pleasing when presenting it to others, so I researched a few tips on how to do that.
In the article, Plate Your Food Like a Pro, I learned about using texture and white space. I imagined the shapes I wanted the crepes to lay in, and how I wanted to garnish them. So, I grabbed some nutella, peanut butter and sliced strawberries, and began. I estimated each time about how much to put inside. For fillings like these, I believe it is all about personal likings of the ingredients that determines how much you want to put in. Once I had all of the crepes laid nicely on my plate, I drizzled chocolate sauce on top. I then took a fork and sifted powdered sugar on top of the chocolate sauce, and added a few strawberries in the middle to give it an extra touch.
Cooking these crepes turned out to be really fun. My friends saw me doing it, and asked if they could try to. My friend Sarah actually ended up being great at getting the crepes perfectly cooked. She had so much fun with it, she made about 10! My other friend, Mekayla, ended up having fun filling them. She tried all different types of ingredients like bananas, almonds and nuts. We all decided this was probably the best dessert we had made in our house yet.
I learned a good bit of skill from working with the crepes. I used the process of trial and error while making them, and found that my work was not always going to be perfect, but if I kept trying they would get better. I also made use of my resources and constructivism in this project by using what I had learned from the Food Network. After watching so many shows, I had an idea of how to do things like plating. I would definitely recommend learning to make crepes to anyone. It was not only delicious, but a great way to bond with my roommates. After I finished, we all sat down and ate them, and drank our frozen hot chocolate with it. It was a great learning experience for me, and probably my favorite Genius Hour yet.