Who can resist chocolate? And as you know from every luscious hand-dipped strawberry you've ever had, chocolate and strawberries is a match made in heaven. Remembering, of course, that great dishes start with high-quality ingredients ... for Gawd's sake, don't use Hershey's Syrup for this dish. Use good chocolate (i.e., Scharffen Berger, Callebaut, Valrhona ... hell, just not Hershey's, which is the worst chocolate I've ever tasted). Make the chocolate sauce from scratch. It's easy. From Chef Emeril Lagasse, and perfect for Valentine's Day or any romantic occasion. This is one of those kinda dishes for which the cook may reap ... um, amorous rewards from his or her honey.
For the crêpes: Combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the butter, milk, eggs and vanilla and whisk until blended. Add the liquid mixture a little at a time to the dry mixture, whisking to dissolve any lumps. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- For the crêpes:
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Vegetable oil, as needed for cooking
- 16 (6-inch) squares parchment or waxed paper
- For the filling:
- 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup pureed fresh strawberries
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- For the sauce:
- 1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons)
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed and quartered
- 1/4 cup strawberry liqueur
- 1 cup chocolate sauce, store bought or home made
Lightly brush a 6-inch skillet with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. When the pan is hot, remove from the heat and pour in 1/4 cup of the batter. Swirl the pan around to spread the batter evenly over the bottom. Return the pan to the heat and cook until lightly golden, 30 to 40 seconds. Turn the crêpe over and cook the second side for about 15 seconds. Remove from the pan. Repeat the process until all of the batter is used, stacking the crêpes between the squares of parchment or waxed paper to prevent them from sticking together. Set the crêpes aside.
For the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sour cream, sugar, strawberries and vanilla. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Put 3 tablespoons of the filling in the center of the lower third of each crêpe. Fold the bottom of the crêpe over the filling and roll up gently but firmly. Place the filled crêpes on a large platter or baking sheet, cover lightly and refrigerate for 1 hour. For the sauce: In a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the strawberries and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the liqueur and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the chocolate sauce and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add 8 of the filled crêpes to the pan and cook for 1 minute, basting with the sauce. Remove the crêpes from the pan, set aside and keep warm. Add the remaining crêpes and cook for 1 minute, basting with the sauce.
To serve, crisscross 2 crêpes on each dessert plate and drizzle with the sauce.
YIELD: 8 servings
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