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CULINARY SOS

Recipe: Banana crepes with Nutella from Savannah in Burbank

By Noelle Carter

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

October 15, 2008

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Dear SOS: I would love the recipe for the chocolate banana crepe at French 75 Bistro, now called Savannah, in Burbank. It's my wife's favorite!

Brian Cooper La Cañada Flintridge

Dear Brian: The secret to this dish is the Nutella (a creamy European chocolate hazelnut spread) filling.

Warmed, stuffed crepes are served with caramelized bananas, vanilla ice cream and a Bananas Foster-type sauce for a rich but amazing dessert.

Crepes with Nutella in warm banana-cognac sauce

Total time: 45 minutes, plus overnight refrigeration time for the crepe batter

Servings: 4 (2 crepes each)

Note: From Savannah restaurant. This recipe requires the use of a blow torch.

Crepes

3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons milk

1/3 cup flour

2 eggs

1 tablespoon melted butter, plus extra for greasing the crepe pan

1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Combine the milk, flour, eggs and butter in a blender and process until smooth. Strain the batter into a nonreactive container, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

2. Heat a crepe pan or medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease the pan with a little butter, then pour in one-fourth cup batter, tilting the pan so that the batter forms a roughly 7-inch-diameter circle. Cook until the crepe is just set on the bottom, about 1 1/2 minutes, then flip and cook until set on the other side, about 1 minute more. Adjust the heat as necessary so the crepes do not color too much or cook too quickly. Store the cooked crepes between layers of parchment or waxed paper. The batter makes 8 crepes.

Foster sauce

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

6 tablespoons cold butter, diced in 1/2 -inch pieces

2 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 1/2 tablespoons brandy

2 tablespoons creme de banana

In a small, heavy-bottom pan, combine the sugar, butter and corn syrup. Place the pan over medium heat, melting the sugar and butter and bringing the contents to a low simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and add the brandy and creme de banana. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook 1 to 2 minutes to combine the flavors. Reserve and keep warm.

Assembly

4 bananas, halved lengthwise, then crosswise, divided

8 teaspoons coarse or sanding sugar, divided

8 prepared crepes

1 cup Nutella, divided

1 cup warm Foster sauce, divided

2 cups vanilla ice cream

4 mint sprigs for garnish

4 teaspoons powdered sugar for garnish

20 to 24 raspberries for garnish

1. Place the banana quarters on a pie tin or baking sheet cut-side up. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the bananas and brulee with the blow torch just until the sugar is caramelized. Reserve.

2. Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Spread 1 tablespoon of Nutella over half of each crepe, then fold in half and spread an additional tablespoon of Nutella over the folded crepe. Fold the crepe once more to form a triangle. Repeat with the remaining crepes. Place 2 crepes on each of 4 heat-proof serving plates, or onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and heat in the oven just until the crepes are warm and the Nutella is soft and creamy. Remove the plates (or remove the crepes, 2 each, to the serving plates) and spoon one-fourth cup of the warm Foster sauce over each serving.

3. Garnish each serving with 4 pieces of caramelized banana. Place a scoop of ice cream in the center of each plate and scatter the raspberries evenly over the servings. Garnish each with a mint sprig and a light sprinkling of powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

Each serving: 1,100 calories; 13 grams protein; 140 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams fiber; 49 grams fat; 22 grams saturated fat; 192 mg. cholesterol; 306 mg. sodium.