Thirty Five layers of lacy, whisper-thin handmade crêpes enveloped in pastry cream kissed with vanilla sweetness, and crowned with a confectioners sugar. Inspired by Lady M’s signature creation this surely is heaven on a cake plate. Try it for a special occasion.
I made it in honor of Rakhi (Indian Festival to honor Brother and Sister Relationship).
For the Crêpes Batter:
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups milk
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 7 tbsp. sugar
- Pinch salt
- vegetable oil
Make the Crepe batter and Pastry Cream day before serving the cake.
- Cook the butter in a small pan until brown like hazelnuts. Set aside.
- In another small pan, heat the milk until steaming; allow to cool for 10 minutes. In a mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the eggs, flour, sugar and salt.
- Slowly add the hot milk and browned butter. Pour into a container with a spout, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- To make the crepes, bring the batter to room temperature.
- Place a nonstick 9-inch skillet over medium heat.
- Swab the surface with the oil, then add about 3 tablespoons batter and swirl to cover the surface. Cook until the bottom just begins to brown, about 1 minute, then carefully lift an edge and flip the crepe with your fingers. Cook on the other side for no longer than 5 seconds. Flip the crepe onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.
- Repeat until the batter finishes.( I made 35 layers as I was using a 8″ skillet)
Vanilla Pastry Cream:
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
- 3 1/2 tbsp. butter
- Bring the milk to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract then set aside for 10 minutes.
- Fill a large bowl with ice and set aside a small bowl that can hold the finished pastry cream and be placed in this ice bath.
- In a medium heavy-bottomed pan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch.
- Gradually whisk in the hot milk, then place pan over high heat and bring to a boil, whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes. Press the pastry cream through a fine-meshed sieve into the small bowl. Set the bowl in the ice bath and stir until the temperature reaches 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
- Stir in the butter. When completely cool, cover and refrigerate.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons Kirsch
- icing sugar (optional)
- Whip the heavy cream with the tablespoon sugar and the Kirsch. It won’t hold stiff peaks but that’s okay. Fold it into the pastry cream.
- Lay 1 crepe on a cake plate. Using an icing spatula, completely cover with a thin layer of pastry cream (about 1/4 cup). Cover with a crepe and repeat till crepes finish, with the best-looking crepe on top.
- Chill for at least 2 hours. Set out for 30 minutes before serving.
- If you have a blowtorch for creme brulee, sprinkle the top crepe with 2 tablespoons sugar and caramelize with the torch; otherwise, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Slice like a cake.
Batter adapted from ”Joy of Cooking.” Pastry cream adapted from ”Desserts,” by Pierre Herme and Dorie Greenspan. Serves 10.