Before my friend told me about it, I had never heard about crepe cake. He tried the famous Lady M mille-crepe cake in New York, and fell in love with it. He had no luck finding one here in Vancouver and was wondering if I could make one.
I did some research and decided to give it a try. The base is layers of paper-thin crepes stacked together, and filled with anything from curd, jam, whipped cream to my favourite, pastry cream.
Overall I would say it’s only the time that you have to spend on making the crepes, more than a dozen of them, otherwise, it’s not too intimating to make a crepe cake. The first few crepes are meant to be not perfect. Don’t worry. They are not in good shape, but still delicious. Eat them as snack while you are confident to go for the next one.
Not sure how close is the taste of my crepe cake to Lady M’s. Maybe not even close. But I am very satisfied with my first attempt. The ultra thin layers of crepe sandwiched with the silky smooth pastry cream. Heavenly and melt-in-your-mouth-ly delicious!
Ingredients (9-inch 18-layer cake):
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/3 cups milk
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Vanilla Pastry Cream
3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
To prepare brown butter, melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Once melted, turn heat to medium low, let butter to foam and turn clear golden. Once the butter becomes brown and smells nutty, remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
In a food processor, mix milk, eggs, flour, salt, sugar and the cooled butter until smooth. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or up to 2 days.
To prepare pastry cream, cook milk, vanilla and salt in a saucepan over medium heat to bring the mixture just to a boil. Stir occasionally.
While the milk is cooking, in a bowl whisk together egg and sugar until the mixture becomes pale. Add cornstarch and flour, mix until smooth.
Slowly add 1/3 of milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking continuously. Pour the milk-egg mixture back to the saucepan. Cook over low heat and whisk continuously until the custard is thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Pour the custard through the sieve and into a bowl to make it super smooth.
Let cool for 15 minutes. Put a plastic wrap right on top of the cream to prevent skin forming. Refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.
To prepare crepes, heat a 9-inch skillet over medium-high heat with a light coating of oil. Pour 1/4 cup batter into skillet, swirling it until it evenly coats the bottom. Let it cook undisturbed until the bottom is golden and the top is set, about a minute. Carefully flip to another other and cook for 15 to 20 seconds. Transfer the crepe to a baking sheet to cool. Continue with the remaining batter. It’s fine to stack the crepes to cool completely.
To assemble the cake, lay first crepe on the serving plate and spread with 1/4 cup pastry cream. Repeat with all the crepes until you place the last crepe.
Chill the cake in fridge. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.