Milk Chocolate-Coated Crêpe Dentelle Biscuits From France

With the weather’s transition from sunshine to cloudy skies in mid-October, cozy autumnal bites continue making their appearances in my snacking sessions. One of my absolute favorite foods during the sweater seasons (i.e. autumn and winter) is a stack of pancakes with a generous drizzle of maple syrup or honey – tucking into hot, freshly-made pancakes on a cool day is pure bliss! My previous post’s maple chocolate adventure brought the warmth that maple syrup brings during this time of the year, which is why something pancake-y feels like the best-fitting selection for my next adventure.

The pancakes that sat in my snack stash, however, aren’t the kind that any pancake aficionado would normally expect in a pancake-filled feast. While they are made from crêpe batter, these pancakes belong at the biscuits aisle in the supermarket. We’re saying bonjour to crêpe dentelle (or ‘lace crêpes’), which are essentially French crêpes in the form of biscuits! I’ve seen boxes of crêpe dentelles throughout the year at supermarkets here on the island, and its turn for a taste test has arrived! Having sat in my snack stash for a few months in anticipation of autumn (yes, I LOVE autumn!), I was ready for a French teatime ‘getaway’ to answer a question that had been on my mind: Will the crêpe and biscuit worlds collide?

The Brittany Biscuit Trail

My sleuthing boots guided me to the beautiful Brittany region for a crêpe-filled adventure. Crêpes undeniably run deep in Brittany’s culinary heritage – it is commonly said that French crêpes originate from the region! There’s even an annual crêpe festival (with the exceptions of 2020 and 2021 because of you-know-what) named fête de la crêpe in Gourin for crêpe fans to look forward to with crepe competitions, traditional Breton performances and pure foodie fun being on the itinerary.

The biscuit trail commences in the charming town of Quimper in Brittany, where medieval buildings line the streets with the cutest high street shops and cafés. The sage saying that sometimes, the most amazing things in life arrive by chance and when you least expect it couldn’t be more accurate in the crêpe dentelle’s story.

Based on the most common dentelle stories that appeared in my sleuthing, the biscuit’s existence links back to the 1880’s when a crêpe was accidentally overcooked on a crêpe billig (a crêpe maker/griddle used in Brittany) by a local lady named Marie-Catherine Cornic. The ‘overdone’ crêpe was then rolled and folded into a biscuit-like treat, hence resulting in the biscuit’s creation. Fast forward to well over a century after that faithful day, the dentelle has made its way into supermarkets around France and beyond!

Apart from being biscuits that are fit for teatime, dentelles are also commonly crumbled and sprinkled on top of ice creams for a crunchy edge. The original version does not contain a chocolate coat, though. Being a self-professed chocoholic, I instantly gravitated towards the milk chocolate ones!

Gavottes has been producing these dentelles since 1920, and it is one of the most iconic dentelle brands today. It is now part of the Loc Maria biscuit group, which specializes in producing Breton biscuits. Gavottes’ dentelles are currently produced in the Côtes d’Armor area in Brittany. After exploring the world of Breton crepes and biscuits, I was excited to have a taste of Brittany at home!

Unboxing & Taste Test

As I was unboxing the biscuits, I was greeted with 18 neatly-arranged chocolate dentelles in a tray. This batch was sealed in a transparent packaging – I reckon this is to preserve the dentelles’ milk chocolate coat. The presentation is unlike the usual Gavottes dentelles that I had seen while sleuthing, as the original, non-chocolate dentelles are wrapped individually in gold-colored wrappers. Nevertheless, I loved admiring the ultra-chocolatey crêpe biscuits and it was a preview of the taste test!

Looking at the biscuits from above, they sort of remind me of Australian Tim Tams because of their shape and the ‘wavy’ effect that appears on the chocolate coat. From the sides, the chocolate coat highlights the treat’s aesthetics, as it accentuates the definitions of the crêpes’ curved folds. This piqued my curiosity about what they look like on the inside.

Crêpe’s presence arose further in my dissected dentelle through a folded swirl of caramel-brown batter, which reflects a crêpe that’s been cooked at the ‘well done’ level. While examining one of the halves that I was about to munch on, I noticed that the biscuit itself somewhat echoes the shape of hand-held folded crêpes from crêpe stands and stalls that fit the French street food vibe. The key differences – apart from being a biscuit – are that the dentelles don’t include fillings and milk chocolate’s presence is on the outside rather than in-between the swirled folds.

It’s time to taste! The chocolate-dentelle combo is fabulous as they blend together harmoniously, much like how chocolate unites with biscuits or cookies in regular chocolate-dipped bakes. The milk chocolate feels right at home to my chocolate-loving taste buds with its rich milky-cocoa flavor. The crêpe biscuit’s notes lean towards the biscuit realm rather than regular crêpes, and it also has a little crunch. It has the soul of wafers with a twist – this twist is the batter. The batter is relatively thin, but it brings a substantial bite through the folded layers. From flavor and batter viewpoints, the biscuit jogs my taste buds’ memories of waffle-y ‘love letter’ wafer rolls that make appearances here on the island every now and then.

The overall flavors are pretty straightforward to biscuit fans, and they are executed well. The biscuits are similar yet different to conventional biscuits. In my eyes, the most special part is that the crêpe-inspired batter, which is worlds away from cookie doughs, has transformed into biscuits. Additionally, a nice cup of tea is the perfect accompaniment to these biscuits for a relaxed afternoon break.

Tasting the dentelles is certainly a unique experience for anyone who is fond of crêpes and pancakes in general. Crêpes that are re-imagined in the form of biscuits is a delicious (and timeless) concept!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s