There’s a legend associated with crêpes dentelle. The story goes that in 1886, in the Breton city of Quimper, a pastry chef called Marie-Catherine Cornic became distracted while cooking wafer-thin crêpes on the stove. One of her creations overcooked and became crispy, crunchy and caramelised. Undeterred, Mme Cornic simply rolled up the crispy crêpe and ate it, inventing a new kind of biscuit.
Breton producer Gavottes have been making and selling Mme Cornic’s accidental creation for over a hundred years. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at Gavottes and their most famous export.
If you’ve ever eaten ice cream in Brittany, then you’ve probably tasted the delights of crêpe dentelle. The oblong rolled biscuit has eight layers of fine, slightly caramelly crisp, which you devour first or save for last, depending on your self-control. It’s made of just a few simple ingredients, with a flour-sugar-butter base, but it delivers an irresistible combination of addictive flavour and outsized crunch.
When Gavottes started producing crêpes dentelle in 1920, their pastry chefs rolled the biscuits by hand. But the demand for this Breton delicacy proved to be so high that the process had to be partially mechanised, allowing for high-volume production with no compromise on quality. The delicate taste of the crêpes and their unmistakable texture remain unchanged.
How to enjoy your crêpes
The easiest way to enjoy crêpes dentelle is as easy as can be. Nibble on them just as they are along with a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate, or add them to a scoop of ice cream. You may find that the biggest challenge is knowing when to stop!
But crêpes dentelle also lend themselves to a range of delicious sweet recipes. Drizzle them with cream, melted chocolate or Breton salted caramel, or layer them at the bottom of a parfait or ice cream sundae. Crushed to a fine grain – called feuilletine – they add crunch and depth to your macarons, mousses and cake fillings. Feuilletine can also be sprinkled to finish off your chocolate creations and home-baked biscuits with a little extra taste and flair.
How to store crêpes dentelle
Crêpes dentelle are so delicious and moreish that it’s rarely a problem to keep them around. Open a box, and they’ll be gone before you know it! But if you’re buying a large amount, or have iron self-discipline, then keeping them in an airtight container after opening will help to preserve that signature crunch.
At BonneBouffe, we stock Gavottes crêpes dentelle in a 125g box, as well as a large tin containing 120 individual biscuits wrapped in elegant gold paper. If you’re a passionate pâtissier and prefer your crêpes ready-crushed, you can buy our own feuilletine in a 500g packet.
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