(Ph)ood


Dulce de Leche Crepes
February 1, 2011, 7:29 pm
Filed under: Desserts, Pastry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Friday marked the end of Restaurant Week in Philadelphia.  Restaurant Week is a culinary-focused event in which over 50 restaurants in the city offers special two or three course prix-fixe menus for prices of $20 for lunch and $35 for dinner.  What is odd about Restaurant Week is that it is not a week-long event, but is two weeks – twice a year.  The appeal of this event tends to slightly lose it’s luster when offered so frequently.  Although the name “Restaurant Week” is a bit of a misnomer, the popularity of the restaurants that compose this event is not.  The food is awesome everywhere.  Every course of every meal I have had at a Restaurant Week restaurant has been outstanding.  This time I went to Fork, which offers American bistro cuisine in a relaxed restaurant atmosphere.  Everything on their Restaurant Week menu sounded incredible and I ended up selecting  the creamy cauliflower soup, braised short ribs with creamy polenta and braised leeks and the vanilla creme brulee.

You would assume that I would try to create a Fork-related post, but instead I focused on oddities or things that just don’t seem to make sense in regards to food.  The name “Restaurant Week” definitely fits that description since it’s offered four weeks out the year.  Another oddity that was recently brought to my attention by friend Alex Gutweiler was this recipe for English peas by Paula Dean.  It only has two ingredients, peas and butter!  I recommend reading the comments when you have the time as they are hilarious.  My last food oddity, and subsequent attempted segue into my post, is my friend Cole Griswold’s alcohol-induced desire to make crepes after a night out in college.  It was bizarre at the time and slightly bewildering to this day.  Why crepes? Why at 2AM?  Well, based the combination of Cole’s desire for a French/Latin American pastry and the other previously mentioned oddities  I decided to make Dulce de Leche Crepes for you.

Dulce de Leche Crepes (from Alma de Cuba)

Since I had been to Alma de Cuba during a past Restaurant Week I didn’t want to go there again, but I did want to highlight something that is offered there and also has some personal twist on my very loose theme of oddites in food. The dessert I decided to make, Dulce de Leche Crepes,  is described on the Alma de Cuba menu in the following way:

“Vanilla crepes filled with dulce de leche and served with truffled streusel, bitter chocolate glaze and smoked vanilla ice cream.”

Obviously there was not a recipe to accompany the menu descriptions, but it was not very difficult to tease out the required ingredients and reproduce this dessert.  I used this recipe for the vanilla crepes, this recipe for the dulce de leche and this recipe for the streusel.  Here are my recipe notes/suggestions: For the crepes, use 1 3/4 cups milk, 3 whole eggs, 1.5 tablespoons vanilla, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter and 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar instead of the listed amount for each of these ingredients.  Also, sift the flour and combine all of the dry ingredients and, while stirring, gradually add it to the wet ingredients to avoid clumping.  For the dulce de leche, patience and time is a must.  It takes a while to make (2-3 hours), but it is worth it.  Also, occasionally remove the foam that accumulates on top.  For the streusel, I added a teaspoon of both cinnamon and nutmeg because  I wanted to streusel to be very aromatic.

The picture below represents the delicious mess that might be left after finishing this dessert!

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