April 25, 2012

Crepe Cake

My family and friends have always been my biggest baking champions and ever since I started this blog their support has increased exponentially. I love to get suggestions and ideas from them about what I should make next.

Some of these recommendations have come from one of my oldest and dearest besties, Jill, who is celebrating her birthday today.  Jill was the one who suggested I try the famous Milles Crêpes Cake at  Lady M Confections the next time I was in NYC.  She had read about their celebrated dessert and and thought it would be ideal to attempt for the blog.

After one bite of Lady M's creation I knew instantly what all the fuss was about.  To call this cake amazingly delicious would not even begin to do it justice.  Aside from being beautifully constructed it tasted heavenly...layer upon layer of crepes filled with a whipped pastry cream.  I definitely had to try and make it at home.

My first attempt using leftover crepes and pastry cream wasn't as successful as I had hoped.   Problem #1: not enough crepes.  Problem #2: pastry cream filling that was too runny.  Result: a short cake that didn't hold its structure.   Oh well, it still tasted great!  Next time I think I'll use this recipe I found from the NY Times.


Gâteau de Crêpes

For the crepe batter:

6 tablespoons butter
3 cups milk
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
7 tablespoons sugar
Pinch salt

For the vanilla pastry cream:
2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons butter

For the assembly:
Corn oil
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar or more
3 tablespoons Kirsch

Confectioners' sugar

The day before, make the crepe batter and the pastry cream.
Batter: In a small pan, cook the butter 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.

Pastry cream: Bring the milk with the vanilla bean (and scrapings) to a boil, then set aside for 10 minutes; remove bean. 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.

Assemble the cake the next day: Bring the batter to room temperature. Place a nonstick or seasoned 9-inch crepe pan 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 you have 20 perfect crepes.

Pass the pastry cream through a sieve once more. Whip the heavy cream with the tablespoon sugar and the Kirsch. It won't hold peaks. 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 to make a stack of 20, 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.


  1. Anonymous4/25/2012

    It looks so fluffy!


  2. Anonymous4/27/2012

    Wow! That looks really delicious! I don't know how to get the crepes so similar in sizes!! That's delicious!

  3. I have never seen anything like this. WOW! thank you

  4. Anonymous4/27/2012

    I really like the caramelized sugar on top. I though it was a nice touch. Thanks for sharing!


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