My family does not usually wake up to an especially decadent breakfast like this, unless it is a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. Fortunately, with a large family there are always plenty of opportunities to indulge. Like today, my husband’s birthday. Crepes are his absolute favourite breakfast dish, either filled with jam, rolled and eaten warm or stuffed with cinnamon cream, fruit salad and drizzled with dark chocolate sauce as pictured above. 

In the past I have used a standard frypan for making these light and lacy crepes but I recently ordered a special Scanpan brand, non-stick crepe pan from Peters of Kensington (their on-line store and efficient delivery service is excellent). With a wide surface area and shallow depth, this well designed pan means that crepes cook faster than in an ordinary frypan and are consistent in appearance.  Flipping the crepes over with a flick of the wrist is a breeze because of the light weight design of the pan and its mineral based non stick surface (no nasty Teflon here). After publishing tonight’s blog, I am going to order a second one which will allow me to make my stacks of crepes in half the time. 

I followed my recipe for crepes that I published in October and December last year. This time I put all of the ingredients into my KitchenAid blender and whizzed it to silky, smooth pourable perfection. Nigella Lawson recommends using a blender to combine thin batters and she is spot on! The process is faster, lump free and the mixture is easily poured straight from the blending jug into the pan. 

* Home Cooking Tip – If using a 20cm crepe pan, this quantity will make 20 crepes. The batter needs to be THIN, like pouring cream, so add more milk if you find it a little too thick. The consistency of the batter can vary depending on the size of the eggs used and how accurately the flour is measured.  

60 grams unsalted butter melted
3 eggs, preferably organic with rich yellow-orange yolks
pinch of salt
2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2.5  cups of milk (plus extra if needed)

Put everything into a blender. Pop on the lid and blend until smooth. 

Heat up your crepe pan over a medium-high heat and if it is non stick, pour in the batter so that it fills only half of the pan. Quickly swirl it around so it spreads out evenly covering the entire area. 

Return to the heat for 30 seconds, then flip over. Cook for another 10 seconds and slide out effortlessly onto a serving platter. Repeat the process until all of the batter has been used. 

Now for the cake…

Decorating a cake for a female is very easy because an icing covered cake can be topped with beautiful fresh flowers and a pretty bow. My seven year old daughter Sofia went to a friend’s party on Saturday and that’s exactly what the mother did for her little girl. A double layered chocolate and vanilla cake popped with colour with the addition of vibrant, happy looking gerbera blooms. Beautiful! 

I find using berries drizzled in a fine criss-cross of chocolate sauce an eye-catching option for a man’s birthday cake. I like to add ribbon at the base of the cake to cover any tiny gaps between the cake, the icing and the cake board. A handsome navy and coffee coloured ribbon pinned at the back with a toothpick is an effective touch. My husband was thrilled with his birthday cake. Although he enjoys and appreciates all of the food I prepare, he is particularly partial to Chocolate Cake, especially when it is smothered in silky golden syrup icing. I followed the recipe for Chocolate Sour Cream Cake – complete with velvety icing – that was published on Cabinet of Cookery on the 20th January this year. 

Lunch well worth a mention…

Fennel pomegranate salad

Enjoying a special meal out with only my husband can be somewhat of a challenge with six children. Today we managed to pull it off, even arriving for lunch ON TIME, at The Apollo Restaurant in Macleay Street Potts Point . 

Impressive food, warm attentive service from knowledgeable staff and a comfortable, cosy corner banquet seating table made for a memorable meal. Apollo manages to serve up dish after dish prepared with an absence of fuss, but an abundance of flavour. These are just a selection of the delicious dishes that we devoured – and I was humming with delight throughout each one.  

Warm pita bread with pots of hand made tzatziki and taramasalata 
Sizzling saganaki cheese smothered in honey and oregano

Tender barbecued calamari with smokey eggplant
Crispy skinned barramundi with garlic chat potatoes and chargrilled cabbage
Loukoumades – Greek donuts drizzled with honey (they left off the walnuts at our request because of my allergy)