France has many food-related holidays (we’ll pretty much use any excuse to eat and drink well) but one of my favorites is probably La Chandeleur (‘Candlemas Day’) because we celebrate it by making crepes. And I happen to LOVE crepes. I mean who doesn’t, right?
Since Candlemas is just around the corner (on Monday, February 2nd to be exact) I thought it might be fun to show you how to host a crepe party at home to celebrate. Not that you need an excuse to have a crepe party really – in fact, I think crepes parties are some of those parties that you can throw all-year-round because they’re super easy to organize and everyone enjoys them in any season.
I invited a few friends over to enjoy some crepes over the weekend and we had a great time!
Here are a few tips to throw a fun crepes party at home:
There are many versions of crepes out there (including ‘lighter’ ones and allergy-friendly ones) but the recipe below is the one I use and love the most. You can cook the crepes ahead of time (i.e. 1-2 hours before your guests arrive) but I would advise you separate each crepe with baking paper so they don’t stick to each other too much. Stack them on an oven-safe plate, cover them with foil and leave them in a warm oven until your guests arrive.
Crepes (make approx 12-15 crepes)
1 1/2 cup plain white flour
2 tbs melted butter
2 cups milk
2 tbs of rum (optional – you can also replace it with orange blossom water or beer if you’d prefer)
+A few tbs of cooking oil to grease the pan
Put all of the crepe ingredients into a blender and blend until well combined. (If don’t have a blender simply whisk all of the ingredients in a large bowl and sieve the mixture into another bowl if there are any lumps.).
Leave the batter to rest for 1 or 2 hours in your fridge (the batter will keep for 24hrs).
Lightly grease a medium-sized frying pan with cooking oil and place over medium-high heat. Pour a small ladle full of batter into the pan and swirl the pan around to spread it evenly. Don’t be tempted to put too much batter in or your crepes will become pancakes instead :)
Once the edges start to slightly curl (after 1 minute or so) flip the crepe with a spatula. Or you could try flipping it in the air – fun and in keeping with French traditions but also risky if you haven’t done it before!
Cook the crepe for another 30 seconds and remove it onto a plate. Repeat until all of the batter is gone, adding a little oil to the pan every couple of crepes. Stack the crepes on a plate and serve warm.
Toppings and fillings
Crepes can be enjoyed with either savory and sweet fillings but as savory fillings (such as cheese) usually require to re-cook the crepes I tend to only offer sweet options to my guests. If you have a crepe maker (or don’t mind spending some extra time in the kitchen) then you could of course offer your guests both savory and sweet items.
Here are some popular fillings/toppings:
- Sliced fruit (i.e lemon, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, banana…anything goes really!)
- Whipped cream
- Nutella or chocolate sauce
- Nuts (i.e almonds, hazelnuts,or walnuts)
- Icing sugar/ Caster sugar
- Cooked bacon, cooked chicken
- Smoked salmon
- Cooked Vegetables (i.e mushrooms, potatoes, zucchini, spinach)
- Fresh Herbs (chives, basil, etc)
Cider is the traditional accompaniment to crepes in France but champagne, wine, fruit juice, soft drinks or tea are all great alternative options!
Besides delicious crepes, drinks and toppings, you will also need the following items for your party:
- Serving bowls
- Pouring jugs
To add to the festive atmosphere you could also add decorative items to your table such as fresh flowers, candles or even confetti.
Also, don’t forget about music – a french playlist would definitely fit the party theme and add a certain je ne c’est quoi to your gathering!;)
Finally, if you have many guests or simply don’t feel like having a sit down meal then I would suggest you set up a ‘crepe bar’ instead. Simply put all of the above items on a table and let people help themselves!
Happy partying! xx