Ricotta Nut Chocolate filled CREPE

Lightness is key to the pleasures released by this otherwise...
sinfully prepared breakfast to commence a bright jaunt into a New Year.

This breakfast was kept light with a crêpe recipe which through the years...
I've managed to lighten to perfection without sacrificing taste or texture.
The scrumptious filling was also kept creamy and caloricly light...
by using bittersweet chocolate and partially non-fat milk.
For most, the re-birth of good intentions in January seem to bring on vicious circles.
They usually lead to unnecessary disappointments that could have been avoided.

I am no exception, however, I decided many years ago not to make any resolutions I would probably not keep.  Basically, I already place way too many expectations on myself as it is.  Do I need one more thumping pressure lurking above me in January?  Do you?

What the start of a new Year does bestow upon me is the blessed few moments of reflection that I allow myself in between the holiday festivities.  Don't misunderstand my less popular January intentions.  Hubby and I do not balk at the idea of conversing about what we could improve on.  We do however, go about it with fairly more ease than we used to.

Alright then, the question remains...
what could we do better?

Maybe putting a little effort into enjoying life as opposed to always keeping busy?
This may just be the ticket to better relationships with our cared ones.
This past year in particular, both Hubby and I...
had gone through a passage of a few mysterious ailments.
They were inflicted upon us when we least expected them...
hence, the conversation about the state of our health took precedence.

Like some, we also have a tiny issue with our incremental weight.
Our appetites have not shrank substantially to keep justifying our continual food desires.

This, of course is always an incredible balancing act...
especially since Hubby expresses how "he lives to eat"...
and I'm the enabler who loyally follows him to the table ;o)

However, this is not to say that we are unreasonable people.
Throughout the last years, we have tried to remain sensible throughout the holiday feasting.
Therefore, why not spoil ourselves with a festive breakfast...
to start our New Year with a joyful smile.

Chocolate and Nuts for me...Ricotta for Hubby...
and a very light, melt-in-your mouth crêpe to envelope our modest indulgence.
Ohh, and not to forget the maple syrup which is most definitely...
key to keeping our smile in tact throughout our first 2011 breakfast inauguration.

Ricotta Nut Chocolate filled CREPES
...with raspberries on the side
serves 2-4 depending on appetite ;o)
yields about 8 x (8 in./20cm) very thin crêpes

Click HERE for a PRINT version
(American / Metric measures)
BATTER for crêpes:
. 1/2 cup (75g) all-purpose flour *
. 1 tsp. (5ml) baking powder
. 1/4 tsp. (1.25ml) salt
. 1 tsp. (5ml) ground cinnamon
. pinch of grated, fresh nutmeg (optional)
. 1 xLarge egg
. 1-1/2 Tbsp. (22.5ml) vegetable oil
. 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) pure vanilla extract
. 1/2 cup (125ml) milk (low fat+)
. 1/2 cup (125ml) water
* Flour: this recipe lends itself perfectly well to a variety of flours including the Gluten-free variation.

FILLING for crêpes:
. 5 oz. (150g) bittersweet (65-70%) chocolate, coarsely chopped
. 1/2 cup (125ml) milk (low fat+)
. 3/4 cup (150g) fresh Ricotta *
. 1 tsp. (5ml) pure vanilla extract
. 1/4 cup (60ml) pure Maple syrup
. 1/2 cup (70g) roasted crushed almonds (reserve some for garnish)
. 1/2 cup (125ml) frozen or fresh raspberries

* Ricotta 'la Fiorella' ...so named in our local Quebec stores.
Note: Do not use container Ricotta for this recipe. I highly recommend an effort is made to buy a high quality fresh Ricotta of the ‘Fior di latte’ type of Ricotta can go under different names...please inform yourself through your Cheese Specialty store.

1. In a blender, place all DRY ingredients first. Then, add all the WET ingredients on top.
2. Pulse the mix a few times before swirling it until smooth...not more than a minute.  Note: the batter renders a very liquid consistency!  Pour the batter into a deep bowl with a small accompanying ladle.  Set aside if possible for an hour to let the flour expand.  Meanwhile, if desired, prepare the filling *.

Preparing to COOK the crêpes:
3. Prepare two big side plates to shelter the crêpes as they're all being cooked.  This will keep them from drying and hardening.
4. Pre-heat a lightly greased non-stick skillet (8in/20cm) pan at medium heat. Note: depending on your stove's strength...after the first crêpe, you might need to adjust down the heat very slightly.
5. Each crêpe should require about the amount filling the small ladle. If using a bigger ladle...only fill it halfway.
6. Pour and swirl the batter into the skillet with one quick motion from side to side and around. Note: If you've never made crêpes before, a little practice may be had on the first few tries...don't despair.
7. When the batter starts showing surface bubbles and it starts lifting slowly from the sides...it will be time to carefully nudge the crêpe from the perimeter and flip it.  Cook it mildly (30 seconds) on the reverse side.  Take it off the skillet and place it in between the two side dishes.  Repeat the process.

* FILLING for crêpes: (It’s best to do this step before cooking the crêpes)
8. In a small-medium bowl, place coarsely chopped chocolate and milk together.  Microwave it for 30 seconds.  Take it out and let it rest for another 30 seconds before smoothly stirring it with a small spatula.  Set aside.
9. In another medium bowl, cream together the ricotta, vanilla, and maple syrup until smooth. Add most of the crushed roasted almonds.
10. Very gradually add most of the melted chocolate to the ricotta mix and blend.  Note: to avoid the chocolate from ceasing and clumping, it is important that you don't rush this step.
Remember...if desired...reserve a little melted chocolate for decor on the platter.

. Place a heaping spoonful of filling on one side of each crêpe and fold once.  Repeat for each one.
. Plate each flower-like crêpe by standing the folded part down...turning the bottom ends inwards and then slightly flipping the vertical edges to their sides.
Serve with raspberries...a sprinkle of remaining roasted almonds...and a little extra maple syrup.

This delight can be enjoyed at any time.
The next time you want to spoil yourself with an unforgettable breakfast...
this recipe is right here for your next celebration.

To my loved ones as well as my cherished readers...
I wish for you:
* Peaceful and caring relationships *
* Excitement in your first step out of bed *
* An abundance of health, patience and tolerance *
* A prosperity that fulfills your needs...not your wants *
* If you happen to find yourself less fortunate than others...
may you be shown respect and deserved kindness *

Realizing that this list can become exhaustive...
I gratefully try to embrace life one day at the time.

In the same spirit...I wish you all the very best going forward in this newest year.

Flavourful wishes...

Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)
. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later. 

Other enjoyable BREAKFASTS that may interest you:

. FRENCH TOAST style breakfasts:
- AMARETTO baked French Toast for mi AMORE
- baked FRENCH TOAST stuffed with spirited FRUITS
. PANCAKES style breakfasts:
- Apple - Yogurt rustic cloud pancakes
- fluffy BUTTERMILK pancakes
- Oatmeal Honey Spiced Pancakes
- Ricotta PANCAKE fluffs
- Vanilla Buttermilk Pancakes 
- Yogu PANCAKE fluffs for brunch