We just had the winter storm of the century (or since 1700's) around here. With all of this time stuck inside I finally decided to make a crepe cake that I have been wanting to make ever since I saw it on Big Red Kitchen's site (thankfully I was able to taste it too). With Valentine's Day not far away, I decided chocolate crepes would make this special treat all the more special.
I will not try to fool you; this cake was enormous undertaking in time and patience. But it was well worth it, oh so worth it. At first I was a bit disappointed with the chocolate crepes; the texture was not what I was expecting. But once assembled, the crepes were delicious and perfectly accompanied the cream. The cake has a pleasant texture and taste, not too sweet, and the presentation is gorgeous.
The whole cake is based on this creation from Cream Puffs in Venice. I only used her recipe for the cream filling since I wanted chocolate crepes. I found a variety of recipes for chocolate crepes and decided on the following combination for the over 20 crepes for this cake. With great tips from Big Red Kitchen, I was set for the task.
Chocolate Crepe Cake
4 c milk
3 c flour
1 c cocoa powder
3/4 c powdered sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 recipe pastry cream from Cream Puff in Venice
additional powdered sugar and strawberries for garnish
1. Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and salt. Combine milk, eggs and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients, stir lightly. Add melted butter and whisk until smooth. Cover batter and let sit in refrigerator for at least 40 minutes but recommend overnight. Before cooking, bring to room temperature.
2. Heat 9" frying pan over medium heat. Coat with non-stick spray. Ladle about 1/4 cup batter into middle of heated pan and swirl to cover cooking surface of pan. Cook for 1 minute. Using a a rubber spatula, gently lift edge of crepe and slide from pan onto waxed or parchment paper to cool. Continue with all of batter.
3. Once crepes have cooled, place one on cake plate. Top with a couple of spoonfuls of prepared pastry cream. Spread with icing spatula; continue with 20 crepes leaving the top crepe without cream. Arrange sliced strawberries around base of cake and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Keep refrigerated but serve at room temperature.
Plan two days to make and assemble this cake.
Make the crepe and cream batter the day before.
Start timing once the battered is swirled and cook crepe for one minute.
Go by timer, not by appearance when cooking crepes.
Dust cake with powdered sugar for an elegant appearance.