Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Have your cake and your sanity too.

If baking freaks you out, you might want to try my favorite alternative to a traditional cake- a crêpe stack! The traditional crêpe cake (or Mille Crêpes) has pastry cream between the layers and the top is gilded with sugar and torched like a Crème Brulèe. I don't know when I first heard about this dessert but I know when I first decided to give it a try. I used to have a food cart and on market Saturdays I would cook up breakfast for the hungry hordes. One option was crêpes with local mascarpone chese and seasonal berries. For some reason, the breakfast burrito always way outsold the crêpes and sometimes I'd come home with a vat of crêpe batter. Pastry cream has never been my favorite so I used to fill my stack with whipped cream and apple butter.
I recently made a batch of citrus curd with lemon, key lime, grapefruit and orange juice for a local restaurant. Left with an extra pint for me, I had to come up with something to do with it besides watching it disappear one spoonful at a time. Lucky for me my favorite local coffee roaster indulges my need to bake by trading treats for coffee. I knew they'd love a curd crêpe cake! If you already have some fillings on hand putting one of this together is a cinch. My favorite crêpe recipe is Julia Child's.
You can make the batter in the blender and it needs and hour to rest. You don't NEED a crepe pan but it sure makes things easier. I didn't even mess up the first crêpe this time! If you want a truly impressive stack, I recommend a double batch of crêpes. For a single batch, I went through less than a pint of curd and almost a pint of cream for the whipped cream.
My original intention was to stack the crêpes between parchment and then assemble the finished product after I made them all. Lacking parchment, I assembled as I went and it seemed not to cause problems. I just cleared a space in the fridge to cool the cake so the crêpes wouldn't melt the cream. Really, it's a piece of cake!


At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Sarah said...

If you ever make your citrus curd for sale, tell me. I'll buy buckets. Srsly.

At 10:05 PM, Blogger Kyle/thebookpolice said...

That cake looks like crêpe! ;)

At 8:09 AM, Blogger bon bon said...

wow! two of my faves: crepes and creme brulee. look amazing!

At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Amy Jo said...

Yum! Yum! Yum! I love citrus and I love curd.

At 8:54 PM, Blogger Tea said...

I wish I had seen this BEFORE I gave away the pint of citrus curd I had leftover from a project (margarita cupcakes filled with curd). I just needed to get it out of the house before I ate it all--but this, this is awesome!

PS. My word verification is: villa. Makes me want to run away to foreign lands...


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