Crêpes and Galettes by Paul Hart, Executive Sous Chef at Gleneagles

The first time I tried crêpes, I saw them being made fresh from a street stall and the smell lured me in! The vendor was serving them only one way – smothered in fresh lemon juice and doused with sugar – but it was one of the simplest, most delicious things I’d eaten.

Traditional in France, crêpes are now a popular “street food” offering in cafes and restaurants around the world. Made with four basic ingredients – eggs, plain flour, butter, sugar and a pinch of salt, they can be eaten as a sweet treat, with all manner of delicious fillings like chocolate, hazelnut spread, crème anglaise, ice-cream, nuts, berries and fruit, honey and syrup.

If you substitute the plain flour with buckwheat flour and lose the sugar, it becomes a delicious savoury treat known as a galette. We also add stout to our galette batter to give them a really malty flavour.

Hugely versatile, you can make them naughty or nice by adding pretty much anything that takes your fancy, from rocket, egg, spinach and tomato to gruyère, mozzarella, brie or comté cheese, bacon, ham, pulled pork, potato or even truffle. It’s really fast food and because you can add literally any ingredients you have to hand in the fridge, you can create a different dish each time.

We’ve recently introduced sweet crêpes and savoury galettes to the lunch menu at The Birnam Brasserie – our relaxed restaurant which celebrates classic French brasserie and bistro dishes using seasonal produce – so our guests can now enjoy them as a quick and substantial snack, as a dessert, or as a delicious afternoon pick-me-up. The recipes below are a couple of the combinations we serve in the restaurant but these offer just snapshot of almost endless recipe possibilities.

The toppings are added while the crepe is still cooking. We use a traditional crêpe machine – known as a billig in France – which allows us to spread out the batter to make them wafer-thin in the authentic French style, but at home, you can make them in a standard frying pan as you would with pancakes.

Creamed Spinach With Garlic and Gruyere Cheese and Fried Arlington Egg Galettes

Makes 6 large galettes

For the galette batter:

200g buckwheat flour

50g plain four

350ml water

100ml stout

4g sea salt

For the creamed spinach with garlic and gruyere cheese, fried Arlington egg filling:

60g butter

600g picked and washed baby spinach

4 garlic cloves, crushed

300ml double cream

Salt and pepper

150g grated gruyere cheese, grated

6 eggs for frying

Chopped chives, chopped (optional)


1. First, make galette batter. Place both the flours together in a large bowl, whisk together. Add the water and stout and whisk to get a smooth batter. Chill in the fridge overnight or for at least 3 hours. We cook the galettes on a lightly buttered billig but you can do it in a frying pan too.

2. Next, make the filling. Melt the butter in a large deep pan on a medium heat, add the garlic and allow to fry to release the flavour before adding the spinach. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted down, try to pour off the excess water in the pan.

3. Add the cream and cook until the cream and spinach are nicely mixed and the mixture thickens up. Allow the mixture to reduce by around half and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Cook the galettes in a heated, non-stick frying pan and sprinkle with cheese. Fold the galette in half and add spinach over one quarter, sprinkle a bit more cheese on the spinach and fold the uncovered half over the spinach creating a pocket for the filling.

5. We do all this on the billig so it heats it all through and melts the cheese. You could just build your pancakes and place them on a tray and heat through the oven. Top with a fried egg and some chopped chives and serve.

Nutella, Banana and Hazelnut Crepes

Makes 6 large crepes

For the crepe batter:

3 eggs

75g caster sugar

500ml milk

250g plain flour

For the Nutella, banana and hazelnut filling (depending on how much Nutella you like!):

2 bananas, sliced

5 heaped tablespoons of Nutella, warmed

100g roasted hazelnuts, skinned and chopped


1. First, make the crepe batter. Whisk the eggs and sugar together, slowly add in the milk. Add the flour in small batches until the batter is smooth, it’s a good idea to pass it through a sieve to get rid of any lumps. Cook on a lightly greased billig or a good non-stick frying pan.

2. Next, prepare the filling. Take a cooked crepe and place sliced banana on it, top with warmed Nutella and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. This recipe is really moreish and no good for sharing as you will want to eat it all!