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Les Crepes Suzette & their History

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Les Crepes Suzette are a famous French dessert consisting of a basic crepe recipe typically served with a hot crepe filling or sauce of caramelized sugar, orange juice, grated orange peel (zest) and a liqueur (traditionally Grande Marnier). There are various representations of crepe suzette recipe you will find below, some of which are topped with whipped cream, orange marmalade, and even orange flavored pastry cream…

There is a controversy over the origin of the Crepes Suzette; one man by the name of Henri Charpentier claims to of invented this famous French dessert recipe while serving the prince of wales, future King Henry the VII, and his companion Suzette, in 1895 at the Maitre de Monte Carlo’s Cafe de Paris.

Henri Charpentier, writes in his book: Life A La Henri – Being The Memories of Henri Charpentier:

“It was quite by accident as I worked in front of a chafing dish that the cordials caught fire. I thought I was ruined. The Prince and his friends were waiting. How could I begin all over? I tasted it. It was, I thought, the most delicious melody of sweet flavors I had every tasted. I still think so. That accident of the flame was precisely what was needed to bring all those various instruments into one harmony of taste . . . He ate the pancakes with a fork; but he used a spoon to capture the remaining syrup. He asked me the name of that which he had eaten with so much relish. I told him it was to be called Crepes Princess. He recognized that the pancake controlled the gender and that this was a compliment designed for him; but he protested with mock ferocity that there was a lady present. She was alert and rose to her feet and holding her little shirt wide with her hands she made him a curtsy. ‘Will you,’ said His Majesty, ‘change Crepes Princess to Crepes Suzette?’ Thus was born and baptized this confection, one taste of which, I really believe, would reform a cannibal into a civilized gentleman. The next day I received a present from the Prince, a jeweled ring, a panama hat and a cane.”

Les Crepes Suzette & their History

Meanwhile, the Larousse Gastronomic contradicts this statement, saying it would have been the head waiter that served the Prince rather than fourteen year old Henri… Regardless of these conflicting statements to the origin of the Crepes Suzette recipe, it is, arguably, nonetheless the most famous French crepe fillings recipe throughout the world.

This famous French dessert is typically prepared besides, and in full view of, the guests in what is called a Chafing Dish (as seen in the image above). The liqueur is poured unto the crepe with sugar and all and lit with a flame; the alcohol in the the liqueur quickly ignites, evaporating after performing a spectacular dance for the guests, whilst melting the sugar in the process and leaving a delectable, orange-flavored, caramelized sauce in its wake

The original crepes recipe in question dates back to the late 1800′s and was frequently served in the Cafes and Brasseries of Paris by 1898 and after 100 years, they are still just as delicious! Please, enjoy the recipes below~