The ingredient to make an easy breakfast or a memorable dessert.
Marcel, my creator, used a secret original Belgian recipe and the finest New Zealand ingredients to cook me. I am the result of the best of two worlds. Half Kiwi, half European. Over the years Marcel improved my looks, taste and appearance.
So my partner and I decided to do Christmas Breakfast this year, for our extended family. We decided that I would make Crepes with Bacon, Banana and Maple Syrup while she would make other dishes.
I heard that there was crepe's in a packet by Marcels, and thought that they wouldn't be nice. I decided to do a trial run and I am so glad that I did a trial run as I fell in love with them, they have such a great taste, perfect size, readily available and there are no worries about making them. They taste better than me making them.
So Christmas Breakfast came along and the Crepes were a success, everyone loved them; they all thought I had stayed up all night making them. They couldn't believe that they were store brought. The compliments I received were "they are so sweet and great tasting", "reasonable size and cooked to perfection".
There is no downside to the crepes apart from the price, but in my mind, they are cost and time effective. Who wouldn't want a crepe ready in 20 seconds?
Crepes is a name bandied about far too loosely. I have had crepes that were little more than tissue-thin pikelets, and some that were so big they had to be folded into quarters just to fit them on a dinner plate while being stuffed with all sorts of wonderful fillings in sweet and savoury styles. So while I can accept these being called crepes, they were too small and flimsy to really impress me right out of the pack. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting as the saying goes so it was time to do something with them and do a bit of tasting.
I had a friend visiting, and after a yummy lunch there was a shared guilty smile as we agreed in the name of work of course we should do up a mid-day dessert too. So the first one was simple, a ripe banana, sprinkled with a little brown sugar and cinnamon, wrapped in a crepe and given a dollop of sweet whipped cream. We both enjoyed this, as the crepe complemented the banana and cinnamon very well. The crepe did a good job of holding together and didn't add any strong flavours to the dish.
The second "experiment" was some vanilla ice-cream that had been mixed with a little maple syrup and some Frangelico liqueur and put back in the freezer to firm up again. Taken out a few minutes later, it was spooned into the middle of a warm crepe and rolled up and served with a little more of the Frangelico drizzled over it topped by some finely grated dark chocolate and finely chopped fresh mint leaves just before serving. This was a hit with us both, and we still hadn't reached half way through the pack yet!
By this time though, we were both starting to feel the alcohol, so we decided enough was enough, these passed the test but the price was just a little more than I would be willing to pay unless I knew I was having guests over. Still, my friend was more than happy to take the remaining crepes with her when she left, and promised to bring over something very special next time she visited as a thank you, so I guess the company still gets at least one new customer out of these.
Once upon a time, I thought crepes were just silly flummery food, right up there with Profiteroles and eclairs - food that's all style and no substance. Then I was introduced to a Creperie in Palmerston North that educated me to what I had been missing. Since then, I have always wanted to have some play-time in the kitchen with crepes.
This was my chance, and I dived on it with glee... and what wonders ensued! Nothing that would impress Gordon Ramsey or win me a place on MasterChef, but certainly none of my taste testers complained of anything other than a desire to have more than their bellies would comfortably hold!
Smeared with curds or jams, stuffed with fruit or berries, rolled, folded, stacked, covered in ice-cream, whipped cream or both, served with bacon and banana, bacon and cheese, sweet or savoury... basically, it didn't seem to matter what I did with these they turned out more than satisfactory for those who volunteered to put their stomachs on the line as testers for me.
So... what was the down-side? There's always one, after all... and yes, there was. In fact, there were two. The first, something I was able to compensate for easily - the pack has 9 crepes in it... but for a family of four, that wasn't going to be enough after the first bite. So, I went forth once again and purchased 3 more packs thus ensuring I could explore far more options than I first thought.
The second shortcoming was also overcome by the same solution - buying more. The issue... these aren't very big. Sure, small portions are smart portions when it comes to sweet foods, but dagnabbit, these are YUMMY and I would have loved to have done bigger, folded savoury crepes. There's something really unusual about the contradiction of using a sweet crepe and savoury fillings. It sends your tastebuds into a whirl. For some, it's not going to appeal at all. For others, it's heaven in little chemical signals bursting from your tongue. Much like Mr4's favourite sandwich: Luncheon and peanut butter - it's whacky, but it works!
Overall, would I get these again? Oh yes I will! Regularly. Even though it means a stop at a totally different supermarket to my usual, simply because my usual doesn't stock the hotcakes as well. Would I recommend them to others? Have done so, will continue to do so. If you haven't tried these, you should! Simple as that. #NuffSaid.
Absolutely loved these, and so did my mokopuna. No surprises there. A courier visiting their old Koro always seems to bring the youngsters over for a visit for no other reason than they were thinking I might be lonely. Or bored. It's funny how that happens, and always after a parcel arrives from KIWIreviews.
The surprise this time was that in the box of review items were vouchers for these, not the products themselves. Because I was able to convince one of the older lads to pop down to the supermarket and collect these for me, I had no choice but to share them. I had to stop in and insist I prepare these because the youngsters thought you should just rip open the packet, throw the whole lot on a plate and microwave them until you could melt butter on them. I tried to explain that these are different to pancakes, but in the end it was easier to just show them what you could do.
First off I did up a few with strawberry jam and whipped cream which I then rolled up carefully and cut into spirals held in place by toothpicks. That had a few young eyes popping open in surprise. Then I did some in an almost Mexican style, using them as wraps to hold sliced fruit and berries. This proven to be a mixed winner, with 5 of them loving it but the other 3 not really fancying the mess factor. Nothing is as uncool to the kids these days as berry juice stains on their new pants that are 2 sizes too big and sit half way down their thighs anyway.
The final test was for me alone, having to sneak the last crepe for myself in the kitchen in between ferrying plates out to the kids. That was a classic favourite: bacon and banana with real maple syrup brought over from Canada as a special gift from an old friend. Because it Had to be quick about it, I used bacon left over from breakfast that I just reheated. It wasn't as good, but it was still tasty. I wrapped the bacon around a whole banana, wrapped the crepe around that in an almost sausage-roll manner, and savoured the flavour as best I could while trying to look out of the back of my own skull to make sure I was left to eat in peace.
I will definitely be buying these again. In fact, I have asked the store owner to include a pack of these and the hotcakes in my weekly delivery from now on. The mokopuna don't seem to bother visiting me after groceries have been delivered, so I hold great hopes for future eating.
After sampling Marcel's divine hotcakes I was looking forward to trying their sweet crepes. These were nice but hotcakes are still my favourite.
Firstly my willing team of taste testers (3 pre-schoolers) and I tried the crepes cold. We made a face with light dairy whip and chocolate dairy whip. Then we topped them with chocolate hail and hundreds and thousands. These looked great and the children ate theirs very quickly before asking for more.
For our second crepe I warmed them in the microwave. The 10 seconds per crepe recommended on the packet was ideal. I found it made the crepe very delicate to transfer onto the individual plates. I gave the children the choice of boysenberry jam or passionfruit curd with dairy whip. The children rolled these up to eat. It was very messy. The crepes had tiny holes which the jam oozed through. The crepe also cracked. They did however all enjoy them.
I found the crepes were doughy and didn't have a strong flavour. This means that the dominant flavours are the fillings and toppings. I think 2 crepes is the ideal serving size for a child and three for an adult. My kids certainly won't complain if I bought these again.
This was my first introduction to Marcel's wonderful sweet crepes. At $7.25, you get 9 crepes to experiment with. I say experiment, because these were a really versatile product.
I opened the packet last night and we had them as a dessert after dinner. I spread some Barker's lime curd on the crepe, spooned a little vanilla ice cream down the middle and wrapped them up like cigars. Everyone enjoyed the taste very much and asked if there was any more.
This morning I decided to carry on the experiments for breakfast. My breakfast was very fancy for a Monday morning. I sliced up some apple, sprinkled brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins on one crepe, covered it with another crepe and microwaved the lot. The result was a delicious breakfast. The apples still had a bit of crunch but the flavours were amazing.
For my daughter, I made crepe snails. This was such an easy thing. I just spread some chocolate hazelnut spread onto the crepe. Then I wrapped it into a scroll and cut it into thinner scrolls. Last I added some icing eyes to the snails. I sneaked one before she saw the plate and the result was so yummy, I could have eaten the lot and made more!
The great thing about these crepes is, it takes on the taste of any flavour you add. The consistency of the crepe is doughy and a bit lumpy. They were thin but not so thin, making them easy to work with. I preferred it warm, but it still tasted good cold.
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