Recipe – A Delicious Mistake

July 26, 2012

Chef Henri Charpentier

As with many culinary successes, a mistake led to the world famous Crepes Suzette. In 1895, Henri Charpentier, a 14-year old assistant at Monte Carlo’s Cafe in Paris, was preparing dessert for the Prince of Wales and his party. Inadvertently, the brandy and Grand Marnier liqueur he put into his crepe pan caught fire and the boy thought he had ruined the Prince’s dinner and evening.

King Edward VII of England and Queen Alexandra

His guardian angel probably inspired him to taste the burnt sauce for when he did, he tasted something sublime and realized the Prince would not be displeased. The future Edward VII gave the new culinary masterpiece its name in honor of his host’s daughter Suzette. Years later, in his autobiography, Charpentier concluded the story on the recipe’s origins, saying: “Thus was born and baptized this confection, one taste of which, I really believe, would reform a cannibal into a civilized gentleman.”

Chef Henri Charpentier preparing Crêpe Suzette

Chef Henri Charpentier preparing Crêpe Suzette

 Never made crepes before and not sure how, check out this video:



  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • vegetable oil for oiling pans


  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • Peels from 2 oranges, sliced (not minced or grated)
  • Peels from 1 lemon, sliced  (not minced or grated)
  • ¼ cup orange liqueur (such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
  • ¼ cup of Brandy


Crepes Suzette Photo by katyrlynch



Measure all ingredients except flour into large mixing bow. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed gradually adding flour, until all ingredients are combined. No lumps should be present.

Lightly oil 1 (6-inch) crepe pan and set over medium heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter into pan and swirl until the pan is coated. Cook crepes until the top begins to look dry, about 60 seconds. Turn and cook the other side 30 seconds, wiping the pan with an oiled paper towel if crepes begin to stick.

It’s best to make all the crepes first, layering them on top of each other.

Flambé crepes


In large skillet, melt the butter. When foamy, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add rinds and simmer until peels become soft – about 20 minutes. Remove orange and lemon rinds. Turn heat to lowest settings. Place one crepe in sauce, covering it completely with the sauce. Fold crepe in half and fold in half again. Put the first crepe to the side of the dish and add another. Repeat until all crepes have been added. Work quickly so the first crepes do not absorb all the sauce. Make sure all the crepes are still in the pan.

Add both liqueurs and pour over the pan of crepes. Remove pan from heat. Using a long match, ignite the sauce. When flames subside (it should stay light for one minute), place crepes on dessert plates. Dust with confectioners sugar; garnish with orange slices and serve.

Voilà! Enjoy!


You can use this same crepe recipe for any other dessert crepes you wish to make, filled with all kinds of fruits, jams or sauces….you’ll have a delicious meal anytime!

Top crepe is filled with kiwi, mango, coconut creme, almonds. Bottom crepe is filled with lemon curd and strawberries.

The above recipe is from  & from various other sources.


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