Truly no different from crespelle or crêpes, palacinke is the name I first used to ask for these delicious thin pancakes. My mother would whip them up for dinner; she often served them with only a sprinkle of sugar, or adorned them with preserves like rose-hip jam, apricot marmalade, or prune butter. As a child I loved them with any of those fillings, but the most luxurious— and always our favorite— were palacinke topped with melted chocolate. This is, hands down, the favorite dessert of my grandchildren. They can fill, roll, and eat them faster than I can cook them, and I usually lose count.
2 cups water
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar, plus more to sweeten whipped
cream if desired
⅓ teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
8 tablespoons butter, melted, or more as needed
Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
10 ounces excellent bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (12 ounces or more for extreme chocolate-lovers)
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1½ cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
To make the batter, whisk together the eggs, water, rum, vanilla, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until well blended. Sift the flour on top, a bit at a time, whisking each addition until smooth. Drizzle in half the melted butter, whisking until the batter has slightly thickened into the consistency of melted ice cream. Finally, whisk in the lemon zest. Put the remaining butter in a small cup and keep it warm.
Break or chop the chocolate into small pieces, and put them a bowl set in a pan of hot (not boiling) water. When the chocolate begins to melt, stir until completely smooth, and keep it warm, in the water, off the heat.
Set a crêpe pan or skillet over medium-high heat until quite hot. Pour in a couple tablespoons of butter, quickly swirl it all over the pan bottom, then pour excess butter back into the cup, leaving the bottom lightly coated with sizzling butter. (If the butter doesn’t sizzle, heat the pan longer before adding the batter.) Immediately ladle in a scant ⅓ cup of batter, tilt and swirl so it coats the bottom, and set the pan on the burner.