chestnut mille crepe (& more me)

I decided to join the March session of Blogging 101. I’m not certain how active I’ll be as this also coincides with a couple very busy weeks (clustered midterms-gah! and other such lovely things… I do wonder about my scheduling skills sometimes.) This post is for our first assignment, about us and why we’re blogging. It’s nice to take a step back and reevaluate what I’ve done so far and where I’m going.

(I recommend calc; it goes together well with crepes.)

I started this blog over half a year ago. That being said, this also included a 6-month hiatus, so I’ve really only been blogging for a few weeks.

Then my summer job was making me lazy and stressed (because I do tend to get worked up about my mistakes) and so I quickly started to neglect this blog.

But I feel as though I’m able to approach the project with a bit more resilience, planning and enthusiasm now…this time around I feel quite a bit more serious about the whole matter. And I have a bit more confidence that I’ll be blogging steadily (if only because I have posts intermittently scheduled for the next couple months).

I first thought about starting a food blog when I realized that I’m not very organized. I write down things I’ve done, flavour ideas and combinations, adapted recipes and future alterations on little scraps of paper. These pieces tend to have a short life expectancy.

               (from my first post)

The focus of this blog is still food. But there’s also been some change in the general conception… originally I was planning to keep more of a “meal journal,” of some photos, a couple words. Now I’ve decided to shift my focus primarily on baking. It’s something that I love so much and I’m considerably more interested in sharing.

Yes, I also have an “eating out” tab and a “books” tab. Books may come (I hope). Maybe I’ll just blog about webcomics instead. Eating out? Maybe not. I don’t know, I always feel really embarrassed taking photos in restaurants. I don’t think I should feel like that, but I do anyways. In fact I have this phobia of people coming up to me and asking me to stop taking photos so I very rarely take photos of anything other than food I make at home.

It might just be a general irritated-people phobia more than anything. (And I still irritate people anyways! So much for caution.)

There’s also certainly an element of validation. I haven’t been doing much lately. This is something for me to do and proof that I am doing something.

Lately I’ve been struggling with writing. Everything I come up with is stilted and off. Then when I start writing about what I’ve been baking…well, it doesn’t sound any better, but I feel as though I’m able to write much smoother and easier.

I’m not planning to create a fantastical baking log here. In fact I think the only criteria I have for posting something is that I take a photo of it. These are low standards, but I don’t shy away from posting my failures as I can learn from them (I also usually have more to talk about).

My current goal is to set up the recipe index. I think I’m going to wait until I have 20+ recipes; otherwise it doesn’t really feel worthwhile. But until then that blank page is just going to stay up as a reminder! Otherwise, I’m planning to continue posting with a certain degree of regularity. I’m not too ambitious, so really, if I’m still around a year later, I’ll consider that a success.

Oh yeah there’s a recipe here too. I thought I would post this today as a metaphor. It ended up rather self-depricating: mostly about me having plenty of shortcomings (I ran out of filling and so only used less than half of my crepes).

Recipe notes:

As I’ve stated above, I really ran out filling (I have two more chestnut recipes coming up which will explain why I was so low on the chestnut puree.) I was planning to use 20 crepes but only ended up using around 10, and even then I spread the filling so thin that it would have been considerably better if I had used even fewer crepes!

I think whipped cream mille crepes should be eaten quickly as the next day I found that the cream sort of dried up and absorbed into the crepe…I think I may prefer to use pastry cream after this experience?

Chestnut & whipped cream mille crepe

Adapted from Not Quite Nigella and the crepes from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. I ended up making around 20 serviceable crepes.

Chestnut crepes

1 ½ c flour

½ c chestnut flour

pinch salt

sprinkle sugar

2 1/4 c milk

¼ c cream

4 eggs

Sift the chestnut flour into a bowl. Whisk in the flour, sugar and salt. Whisk in the milk, eggs and cream until smooth.

It would be good to sieve the batter as the chestnut flour can lump. You could also cover the batter and let it sit overnight around now; should help some of the air beaten in come out.

Otherwise, heat a pan over medium heat. Lightly rub with oil. Place a ladleful, or however much crepe batter is required to coat the surface, in the pan, swirl to coat. Let cook until edges dry out.

Loosen the edges with a spatula, and then using your fingers, lift up the crepe and flip over onto the other side. Cook until crepe has dried and lightly browned.

Repeat until all batter is used up.

Assembly

Double or triple the amount of filling for 15-20 crepes.

100 chestnut puree

sugar

1 capful rum

¾ c cream

icing sugar

Loosen chestnut puree with the rum, beat until smooth. Add sugar until sweetened to taste.

Whip cream to soft peaks, sprinkle over some icing sugar and whip until stiff peaks. Fold a spoonful of the cream into the chestnut puree, then fully combine the mixtures.

Place one crepe on a plate/base. Spread a thin layer of cream over top. Place a second crepe on top. Repeat until all the crepes are used.

Chill to let set for an hour or so.

Finish with powdered sugar.

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