I must say I've contemplated this for awhile, after one of my former customers, Ting-Ting, asked me about making a matcha (green tea) version for her. Needless to say, it never happened, but I was nonetheless intrigued. She had such a focused interest on pastries and would often come into the shop with loads of questions about what I was offering that day, as well as reporting on various pastries she had discovered in Manhattan. The crêpe cake was one of them.
I began my research and opted for a chocolate version. I found a number of recipes on line and soon realized how easy the batter is for this classic treat - milk, melted butter, flour, vanilla, egg, a little sugar, chocolate - ingredients that most of us have in our pantries and fridges on any given day.
|ingredients for Dutch process version|
|ingredients for melted chocolate version|
|getting ready to blend ingredients for the melted chocolate version|
|bringing it all together with an immersion blender|
I heated the pan and started the process. I soon understood what to watch for as the crépes began to set. It didn't take long before I was into the rhythm of crêpe making - one after another I piled them onto the plate.
|starting to set|
|after flipping, finishing it off|
I made a couple of crêpes from the Dutch process cocoa batter first. I then switched over to the melted chocolate version, and, after doing a tasting of the two, decided to abandon the cocoa version, since it didn't have nearly as rich a flavor.
Once all of my crêpes were finished I layered them between sheets of parchment and put them in the fridge, since I was planning my assembly for the following day.
I decided to make a simple whipped chocolate ganache filling, using 3 parts cream to 1 part chocolate by weight.
Boil the cream, pour it over the chocolate, whisk gently, cover (plastic wrap directly on the surface to eliminate air) and refrigerate until nicely chilled. It couldn't be easier!
When I was ready to begin the assembly, I pulled my plate of crêpes and my ganache from the fridge.
I whipped the ganache to medium firm peaks so it would be nicely spreadable . . .
and began the process . . .
|it's a start|
Into the fridge it went to set up before glazing. My chocolate glaze is 113 gm of chocolate and 42 gm of butter melted over a bain marie. Trés simple!
If I haven't mentioned this before, I toast nuts before using, no matter what I'm doing with them. It brings out the flavor and adds so much to the final experience!
|a cross section|
|all plated up|
I had made a mini-cake with leftover crêpe pieces and ganache for Steve and I to sample. We both felt that the chocolate was too acidic and not necessarily an agreeable taste, so I was anticipating how we and our Saturday evening dinner guests, Magali and Guy, might react to the piéce de resistance.
We all enjoyed the texture and flavor, particularly with the chantilly and hazelnuts mellowing out the acid of the chocolate. But, it was Magali who suggested a bit of orange, which reminded me that I had some candied orange peel in my fridge from an earlier project. I put a couple of pieces of the peel on our desserts et voila! It made ALL the difference. What a delicious combination!
Thanks Miss Mag!