Delicate Crepe Cake: A Slice of Heaven in Each Bite!
The infamous crêpe cake first caught my eye with the photography of Lady M’s stunning creation on the net over a year ago. I scoured the internet trying to find a recipe to re-create the flavors. Crepes and pastry cream, that seemed easy, right? Little did I know that this masterpiece requires crêpe making skills, a good arm to whisk, and loads of TLC. Even though I hadn’t tasted Lady M’s creation, one bite of this delicate cake, if you may call it that, it was truly delectable. I had created it for a special occasion last year, Rakhi (an Indian celebration in honor of the ever-loving relationship between a brother and sister).
Fast forwarding to this week, I wanted to create something unique to express gratitude for my little man Roman’s groomer, Tammy. She has ‘magic’ in her hands as Roman always comes home picture perfect, armed to win any show – dog competition. Now the only magic I know is my ‘cooking’.
Tiramisu is one of my all time favorite dessert. My quest for coffee and Tiramisu decades ago had taken me to this compact coffee bistro in the Village in NYC called La Lanterna Caffe ; a coffee bar where they serve the BEST Tiramisu I have had the pleasure of tasting in all my travels. Over the years, I had simply stopped ordering it, no matter where I am, as nothing came even close to La Lanterna.
One evening last year, I was craving it and decided to finally give it a shot. Is it a surprise that I chose a recipe which is not only made from scratch but is one of the more challenging ones? There is no room for error here. One bite, sliced with nervous hands, and I was literally in heaven. Ultra light and fluffy, melting in your mouth with the right hint of coffee. Superb!! I whole-heartedly concur with Mr. Todd English. “In my most humble opinion, I think this recipe makes the best tiramisu I’ve ever tasted which is why I can’t take it off the Figs menu and why I include it here”—Todd English and Sally Sampson. You can find the recipe at Leite’s Culinaria’s Website.
Chef Todd has been on my mind lately, since I had the honor of attending a spectacular intimate dinner hosted by Chef Todd and Chile Olive Oil at the exclusive Soho Beach House in Miami. I am not ashamed to admit that I am absolutely enamored by this man. Not only is his cooking exceptionally fabulous, he is a man of few but humble words. I wanted to invoke the same expressions from this unique dessert as I felt with my first bite of the tiramisu. Therefore, I decided to use Chef Todd’s Tiramisu cream recipe and encase it in between delicate crepes. The result:
Thirty layers of lacy, whisper-thin handmade crêpes enveloped in tiramisu cream kissed with vanilla sweetness, and crowned with cocoa and confectioners sugar. Yes, it is a slice of heaven in each bite. So for you brave souls out there, get your strong-arm and professional mixer out. This one is a ‘keeper’.
30 Layered Crepe Cake with Tiramisu Pastry Cream
It is best of both the worlds, French crepes kissed with a touch of luscious Italian Tiramisu custard…sublime!! if anything, by the time you create this sublime cake, you would have earned honors in crêpe making….Assemble the cake a day before you serve it.
For the Crêpes Batter:
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups milk
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 7 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- Pinch salt
- vegetable oil
- Melt the butter in a small pan until golden brown.
- Heat the milk until steaming over medium heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- In a big bowl whisk the eggs, flour, sugar and salt. Slowly add the hot milk, browned butter, and extracts. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- To make the crepes, bring the batter to room temperature. Place a nonstick 9-inch skillet over medium heat. Melt 2 tbs of butter in the pan.
- Pour 1/3 cup of batter in the pan, swirl to cover the entire surface of the pan. Cook until the top of the sides start turning brown, about 1 minute, carefully lift an edge and flip the crêpe with your fingers. Cook for another 10-15 seconds and remove it on a parchment lined plate.
- Repeat until the batter finishes.( I made 3o layers as I was using a 8″ skillet).
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tbs vanilla bean paste
- 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 tbs softened butter
- 3/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- Warm the milk over medium heat until tiny bubbles form. Add vanilla paste and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Whisk egg yolks with sugar until well combined in a heat proof pan. Gradually stir in the cornstarch.
- Whisk the butter and cheeses in a separate bowl until smooth.
- Temper the warm milk into the egg mixture, one cup at a time, stirring constantly, until all milk is combined. Place the pan over medium heat and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until the cornstarch starts to thicken. Once the mixture resembles the consistency of mayonnaise, remove from heat and quickly strain it into the bowl of the cheese mixture. Stir until the tiramisu cream is smooth and well combined. Chill for at least 4 hours covered with a plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the cream.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 tbsps confectioners sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- cocoa powder
- Whip the heavy cream with sugar and extract till it holds stiff peaks. Gently fold it into the tiramisu cream half a cup at a time.
- Lay 1 crêpe on a cake plate. Using an icing spatula, completely cover with a thin layer of pastry cream (about 1/4 cup). Top it with another crêpe and repeat till crepes finish, with the best-looking crêpe on top.
- Chill for at least 2 hours. Set out for 30 minutes before serving.
- Generously sprinkle cocoa on the top and add chocolate flakes if desired.
Have you tasted anything which won you over with one bite? I would love to hear from you…until next time, have a delicious day!!