I know, I've gone astray again. This week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe is supposed to be Nutella Tartine...a fancy French open-faced sandwich topped with spreadable ingredients. Dorie borrows Pierre Herme's chic rendition of the after-school treat pain au chocolat - a slice of buttered and lightly toasted Brioche or challah, spread with bitter orange marmalade, generously drizzled with warm Nutella, and finished with a pinch of fleur de sel and chopped hazelnuts. Sounds amazing as is, but I just couldn't leave it alone.
My brain was churning with ideas on how to create my own chic version, without turning it into a several hour project. I contemplated using a Liege waffle as the base...or a piece of French Toast...or a crepe. Yes, a crepe!
This is probably the second jar of Nutella I've purchased in my entire life, and I don't even recall the reason I needed the first. I think John likes it. After a couple of these crepes, I think I love it.
In place of bitter orange marmalade, which I've never seen in a store, I chose Stonewall Kitchen's Orange Cranberry Marmalade. I figured the tartness of the cranberries would do the trick. I had a container of hazelnuts still hanging around from Thanksgiving, but had to refresh my recollection on the best way to toast and remove the skins. The preferred method seems to be a quick blanch in boiling water, followed by an ice water plunge, and then a vigorous toweling dry in a kitchen towel, thereby removing the skins. Worked like a charm, and then I lightly toasted them in a dry skillet.
For the crepes, I followed Alton Brown's video and recipe exactly (5 stars based on almost 200 reviews), including throwing the first screwed up crepe to the dog. Oh, and there was also a blender disaster. Apparently, I didn't properly screw the blade and bottom parts back on after washing. After measuring my eggs, flour, milk, water, and melted butter into the blender jar, I lifted the jar off the counter to set in into the base, the pieces came off, and everything poured out the bottom. Nice. All over the counter, underneath everything on the counter, down the cabinets, and all over the floor. Good thing Dooley wasn't under my feet in his usual fashion. Other than that drama, the crepes turned out marvelous.
After messing around making crepes, and photographing before and after hazelnuts for an hour, this actually did turn into a several hour project and ended being dinner. Works for me. If you're interested in trying this with brioche rather than crepes, Dorie posted the recipe on her site, here.
French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group, dedicated to Dorie Greenspan‘s book Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. As members of the group, we have purchased the cookbook and cook along as much as we can. There is a new recipe each week, and we post about that recipe on Friday. We are asked to refrain from posting the actual recipes on our blog. The book is filled with stunning photography, and personal stories about each recipe, which makes it that much more intriguing. I highly recommend adding it to your cookbook collection if you haven't already!