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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Still Room to Book at Benoit!

If you've yet to book your Valentine's Day reservation (shame on you!), worry not, Benoit still has room for two...

This year, Chef Philippe Bertineau (formerly, of Balthazar) will be offering a three course menu for $65 per person in addition to his à la carte menu. Also, by booking your table at Benoit on February 13-14, you'll be eligible for a chance to win a two night stay at Alain Ducasse's country hotel, L'Andana, in Maremma, Italy!

But, if you're planning on having an intimate dinner at home this year, you may want to try this recipe from Benoit's pastry kitchen:

Crêpes Suzette
makes about 12 crêpes


Crêpe Batter
1 cup whole milk
3 ½ ounces flour
1 ¾ ounces whole eggs
6 ¼ teaspoons butter
¼ ounce oil
2 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
1 pinch of salt
The rind of 1 orange, finely grated
The rind of 1 lemon, finely grated

Suzette Butter
17 sugar cubes
1 2/3 cups orange juice
¼ cup Grand Marnier
4 ¼ ounces butter
2 oranges
1 dash of lemon juice

Peeled orange segments
Candied orange zest


Making the crêpe batter and cooking the crêpes
  • Sift the flour and add sugar.
  • Beat eggs together with salt; carefully pour the mixture into the flour producing a smooth mixture.
  • Thin the batter by gradually adding the rest of the milk, then the melted butter and oil.
  • Add the finely grated orange and lemon rinds last. Let sit 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Cook the crepes using clarified butter in a nonstick pan. Butter the pan with a pastry brush, keeping the amount of fat to a minimum.

Preparing the Suzette Butter

  • Rub the orange skins with sugar cubes to soak up the color and essential oils.
  • Melt the sugar cubes in orange juice with a dash of lemon juice.
  • Bring to a boil, then whisk in the butter and flavor with Grand Marnier. Instead of adding the Grand Marnier to Suzette butter, you can set it aside until the dessert is ready to be served, then light and pour over the crepes. This tableside presentation pays homage to a favorite spectacle from the bygone era of the flambé.


  • Fold each crêpe in four and let cool slightly.
  • Pile orange segments and candied orange zest on top.
  • Glaze with Suzette butter.

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