© 2014 mathewguiver

Banana crepes with chocolate sauce and fresh banana slices

About a month ago David was on a two week trip to Europe. The day he returned home also happened to be his birthday, and I was feeling quite a bit of pressure. Why? Because birthdays have always been a big deal to me, ever since I was a little guy. I’d make elaborate cakes for my family members, and as I grew my feelings about birthdays have only intensified.

I’ve put together some pretty awesome birthdays for my friends as an adult. I like to go overboard, but the effort that goes into planning, and general anxiety I get in anticipation of birthdays usually takes a pretty heavy toll on my sanity.

David’s recent birthday was no exception, and his cake was something I’d been thinking about for months. Literally.

We walked past a crepe cart here in SF days ago and he insisted we stop for a chocolate banana dessert crepe sandwich thing. For those of you who don’t read my blog often, my boyfriend David is very picky when it comes to desserts and anything that is in proximity to chocolate. So I took note of how excited he got about the crepe / chocolate / banana combination, and instantly imagined how epic it would be to make him a chocolate banana crepe stack cake.

So the day he left for Europe I hit up Whole Foods and stocked up on bananas. I knew they’d need time to ripen, and didn’t want to leave a thing to chance. It’s all about preparation honey!

But then I started getting busy at work. Then, David’s scooter got stolen from right outside of our condo, and I had to speak to help with the police reports, insurance claims, etc. I was missing him, stressing about life, and time literally flew by.

I broke one of my cardinal rules of hosting. I tried a new recipe on the morning of David’s birthday, with no test run, and it was a mess.

I even worked from home on the day of his return to make sure I’d be able to properly assemble this crepe cake. But that wasn’t enough. My recipe was off from the start, and the crepes weren’t coming along. I should have taken this as a hint and made a cake I knew I could properly execute, but I didn’t. I pressed on.

Oh and the icing on the cake was… the actual icing on the crepe cake.

I did a butter cream banana frosting for between the crepe layers, and planned to pour a hot ganache over the stack for a smooth and consistent appearance. That was difficult without the agave needed for my recipe, and with Google telling me that David’s flight was half an hour EARLY I said screw it, and used sugar in the raw.

Well it didn’t melt.The frosting was chunky, and solidified around the cake. I had to use a fondue fork to poke a hole in the center of the chocolate shield in order to put a candle on the cake.

Check out David excitedly blowing out his candle. He’s excited because it’s dark and he can’t see what a shit show the cake really is.

After the lights came back on, and I jack hammered a few pieces off from the brick, it became apparent that though edible, the crepe stack cake really wasn’t that good. The individual layers were yummy on their own, but difficult to cut through as a stack, and the sloppiness of the situation was impossible not to notice.

Then I asked David if he liked the cake. I shouldn’t have. I knew what his answer was going to be, and I could feel the tears swelling as I asked the question.

David had traveled back from Paris within the past day, was seriously jet lagged, and unfortunately didn’t do a good job of pretending to enjoy the cake. Cut to me trying to cry quietly in the shower ten minutes later.

You might say I’m an emotional chef, but so be it! The results are usually good, but when they aren’t it upsets me.

The problem wasn’t just seeing David toss out the majority of what was on his plate. But that it amplified the disappointment I was already feeling towards myself. Mostly for not making time to do a test run of the crepe cake, but also for presenting him with a cake that I knew in my heart wasn’t a good representation of what I can do in the kitchen.

Well the following weekend, it was time to fix that. I’m not to be defeated, and instead of ruining my banana crepes by forcing them into a stacked cake I let them shine in a simple yet decadent presentation.

How’d they come out?

You be the judge.

I can tell you David definitely enjoyed. I actually started a month long raw vegan cleanse (don’t worry, recipes coming soon) and was sadly unable to try any.

Check out these pictures of David killing his second plate of crepes. He even brought out the bowl of ganache so that chocolate wouldn’t go to waste.

So I learned a valuable lesson that I’ve unfortunately “learned” a few times… Never try a new recipe the day you need to present or host. It’s just too damn stressful.

And without further adieu, here’s my tested and chocoholic boyfriend approved recipe for chocolate banana crepes. Oh, and they’re actually kinda healthy. Totally vegan, and I use a banana in the base of the crepes for a bit of extra nutrition.

Ingredients:

1/8 c flax seeds
1/4 c warm water
2 bananas
1/2 c coconut milk
2 pitted dates
1/8 c buckwheat
1/4 all purpose
1/2 tsp baking powder
Hefty pinch salt
Olive oil spray
Chocolate ganache

Directions:

1. Grind flax seeds, then add warm water. Mix and let sit for five minutes. While you’re waiting start preheating a non stick pan.

2. In a food processor of blender, combine 1 banana, coconut milk, and pitted dates.

3. Mix in buckwheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.

4.  Cook crepes over medium heat. To get them nice and flat start by pouring your batter while holding your pan at an angle, then spread out the crepes with a rubber scraper till they fill then pan.

5. Flip once the bottom starts to steam. Now I’ll usually use two different pans in order to rock through a batch of crepes quickly.

6. These crepes will be a little soft in the middle still because of the banana in the batter, so I recommend popping them into an over set to 300 or 350 degrees for five minutes or so to make sure they’re fully cooked.

7. Slice up a banana and warm up your ganache.

8. Then make your crepes! I like how they look rolled but you could also just fold in half.

Top with more chocolate and/or vegan whipped topping.

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