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The Legend of Crêpes Suzette

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The Legend of Crêpes Suzette

We’re tipping a nod to Crêpes Suzette day, 6th May, with a look at the legend surrounding the much-disputed origins of this most flamboyant of desserts.

Zesty, boozy and with a scent of the risqué, Crêpes Suzette has been described as the most famous of all haute cuisine pancake creations and is undoubtedly the queen of retro desserts. But who was the enigmatic Suzette?

Conflicting stories abound, but one regularly told tale claims Suzette was an actress – Suzanne Reichenburg – who, while performing at the Comedie Française as a serving girl, carried crêpes on stage, supplied by a Monsieur Joseph of the Marivaux restaurant. Another cites the dessert’s namesake as an aristocrat, Princess Suzette Carignan, bidding to win the affections of King Louis XV.

However, by far the most popular version places the origin of both namesake and dish firmly at one of the tables of the Café de Paris, in Monte Carlo. The story goes that in 1895, a 14-year-old Henri Charpentier – the French chef who went on to become chef to John D. Rockefeller – created the dessert as a happy accident for the Prince of Wales, while working in the kitchens of the renowned restaurant. The Prince loved the flambéed crêpe with its zesty sauce and encouraged Charpentier to name the dish after one of his dining guests, a young French girl called Suzette.

We may never know for sure who the real Suzette was, but whatever her identity, the dish that bears her name remains a firm favourite in the hearts of crêpe lovers the world over.

Create your own Crêpes Suzette

Wafer thin and melt in the mouth, with a subtle hint of caramel sweetness, our Sweet Crêpes are the perfect base for creating your own Crêpes Suzette.

Squeeze the juice of two oranges into a saucepan and add the zest of one orange. Mix in 175g butter and 75g caster sugar and bring to the boil. Let it simmer until the mixture becomes nice and syrupy (10-15mins).

Fold eight Sweet Crêpes into quarters and pop them in a large pan or flameproof dish. Pour over the orange syrup and let the crêpes warm through over a gentle heat for 3mins.

In the syrup saucepan, warm through 2 or 3tbsp of Cointreau (Grand Marnier, Curaçao or any other orange-based liquor you have to hand will also do the trick nicely), pour over the hot crêpes and set light to the pan to flambé them.

Serve immediately.

At Crêpe Cuisine we're passionate about developing new recipes and flavours. Why not check out our full crêpe range  for more recipe ideas and inspiration?