So on a lucky Wednesday afternoon, several stars aligned to bring these crepes into existence:
- I was perusing one of my favorite vegetarian food blogs and discovered a mention of Japanese crepes stuffed with ENTIRE SLICES OF CHEESECAKE.
- I had a freshly made cheesecake sitting in my fridge.
- My only plans that night were yoga, which I promptly ditched.
In retrospect, a wonderful life decision.
These are not just crepes with cheesecake-y filling. These are Japanese-style crepes (just wait, they’re special) filled with AN ENTIRE SLICE OF CHEESECAKE. I REPEAT, A WHOLE SLICE.
And this is Greek yogurt cheesecake! Because it’s healthy and because I hate cream cheese. And we like protein! And this way we can all eat dessert for breakfast!
So Japanese crepes: pale, springy and elastic, topped with zillions of fruit and cream and spreads and everything you can think of rolled into a cone, wrapped in paper and eaten on the go (versus golden brown French crepes, generally eaten on a plate with a fork and knife). Authentic Japanese crepes are made with mochi, a glutinous rice powder (or so I hear), which creates that special stretchy characteristic. Both crepes can be trashed up with tons of toppings but I have never seen a whole slice of cheesecake in a crepe before. It excites me.
Cheesecake: cut a slice, crepe it, roll it, eat it.
Folds of thin, warm, tender crepe wrapped around a cold, tangy slice of cheesecake with a smear of jam and maybe a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs, or some peanut butter. Heaven.
After going on a wallet binge in North/South Carolina this past weekend (on a lovely vacation where I got to meet up with Kaylie of Skinny Muffin!!), I decided it would be a good idea to not grocery shop this week in the interest of saving $$ and potentially clearing out my pantry (minus the $20 of ingredients that are going into Erik’s birthday cakes [yes, CAKES] i.e. basically I’ve been living off Sprinkles cupcakes, leftover birthday cake and these crepes). So I had no fruit on hand, but I think sliced strawberries or mango or berries or banana would be great. Jam also works well.
Since 99% of the “Japanese crepe” recipes I found online do not use mochi or mochiko, I think it’s safe to say that you can use whatever your favorite crepe recipe is and not worry about matters of authenticity. The one I used (below) uses half AP flour and half sweet rice flour (which I ground from sweet glutinous rice), but I wound up with some hole-riddled crepes in the beginning and they were difficult to spread in the pan. If you try this recipe, make sure to whisk the batter before pouring each crepe to keep the flour from settling.
As for the cheesecake, I used this recipe (minus the crust and peaches) in my 6” springform pan and it took approximately five million years to bake, or more specifically one hour and 20 minutes. And it was slightly watery (an overnight rest in the fridge seemed to squeeze out a lot of the water) and sunk into itself a little. I would recommend baking it in a bigger pan the way the original recipe was written so that you have a shorter cheesecake that will take less time to bake and will likely not sink. I have very little experience with cheesecake, so if anyone knows why it was watery, please let me know!
And in the meantime, make these.
PS. I had planned to wrap these in wax paper the way street vendors do, but they were just so small it seemed silly. A typical frying pan will, however, turn out crepes that are the perfect size to roll up and serve in shot glasses.
PPS. The bride shot glass, incidentally, was from my 21st birthday. Oh how the years fly.
Japanese crepes made with glutinous rice flour are stuffed with whole slices of Greek yogurt cheesecake for an unparalleled breakfast-worthy treat.
- For the cheesecake:
- 2 cups fat free Greek yogurt (I used Chobani vanilla)
- 1/3 cup sugar (if your yogurt is not sweetened, you could up this to ½ cup)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (if using plain Greek yogurt)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- For the crepes:
- 1/3 cup all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup sweet rice flour
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups almond milk
For the cheesecake:
In a blender, blend together the yogurt, sugar, eggs and vanilla, if using. Add the salt and cornstarch and blend just to combine.
Fill a 9x9 casserole dish with 1” of water and put it on the bottom rack of your oven—this will keep the cheesecake from cracking. Pour the cheesecake batter into a well-greased 10” springform pan (or any size, really—the smaller it is, the thicker your cheesecake will be and the longer it will take to bake).
Bake for 30 minutes, or until center just barely jiggles and the edges are light brown. Turn oven off and crack door. Let cool completely in the oven if you have the time; if not, transfer to the counter or fridge to chill (if these slices are going in crepes, no need to look pretty!).
For the crepes:
In a blender, blend together the flours, eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth—don’t over mix. Though this step can be done by hand, I highly recommend using a blender to make sure all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Add the milk in two additions, blending after each addition.
Lightly grease a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add a scant ½ cup of batter (amount will depend on the size of your pan) and quickly swirl to evenly coat the bottom of the batter.
Let the crepe cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the edges look dry and you can easily slide a spatula underneath. Loosen the edges of the crepe, slide the spatula under it and gently flip upside down. Cook for another 10-20 seconds and transfer the crepe to a plate or cooling rack. Make sure to whisk the batter again in between each crepe to ensure the flour doesn’t settle at the bottom.
Place one slice of cheesecake in the center of the top half of your crepe. Add fruit, jam, graham cracker crumbs, peanut butter, or any other toppings. Fold the bottom half up over the top half. Fold or roll closed. Eat!