Jun 27, 2012

Dark Chocolate Crepe Cake

I love birthdays. I really do. Just yesterday a few of us celebrated one of my dearest friend's 23rd birthday.


Honestly, I suck at getting people presents. I am always worried if I buy them something that they already have, or I buy them something that they probably do not like.

But, I still wanted to do something special for her birthday. Something a bit more personal. And since she is a dessert/chocolate-lover like me, I decided to make her Martha Stewart's darkest chocolate crepe cake.


Originally the recipe yields about 30 to 40 pieces of crepe, depending on how big your pan is.

But my sister suggested why don't we make 23 crepes instead?

A 23-layered crepe cake for the 23 year old. 


I had a lot of fun making this because it is very different from baking a normal cake. You make the batter, pour it in the tin, chuck it in the oven and then decorate the cake. Simple. But with a crepe cake, you are slowly assembling the cake, making sure each layer is even and has enough filling, piecing it all together. 

It was even more fun making this cake because my sister joined in and we took turns in flipping the crepes and were laughing hysterically at one another trying to flip the pancakes. After 3 to 5 attempts, we finally came up with our first successful crepe and it progressed from there.

So don't stress when you are flipping the crepes! You do need to get into the rhythm of things before you get that first perfect crepe. After that, everything will go smoothly. (:

The cake does look daunting and the recipe IS long, but it really isn't too bad! So, give it a go! And if you ever have a very very bad chocolate craving, this will more than definitely satisfy it.

After making the cake, I realized that some things should be left out or should have been done differently. So, the recipe I am posting here today is an altered recipe. But if you want the original recipe, click here.

Dark Chocolate Crepe Cake
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Crepe batter - preferably make it the night before you want to make the cake

Ingredients

1/4 cup water
6 oz. cold unsalted butter, cubed
8 oz. dark chocolate (I used 50% cocoa), chopped roughly
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/3 cups sugar
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
6 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla essence

  • Bring water to a boil in a medium sauce pan and add butter one cube at a time, whisking constantly. Once all the butter has been melted, add chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a rather big bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, combine milk, eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  • Add milk mixture to the flour and whisk until smooth.
  • Stir in chocolate mixture.
  • Pour into a container and refrigerate overnight. (You can refrigerate for 2 hours also if you're impatient.)
  • Next day, sieve the batter to remove any lumps.


Now to cook the crepe, technically you should use a crepe pan. I mean, there is a reason why the crepe pan was invented. But, since I did not have one, I just used a normal non-stick frying pan and I still achieved pretty yummy crepes. So you could save yourself the trouble of going out and buying a crepe pan. But if you have a crepe pan, or crepe machine for that matter, by all means, use it.

So to cook the crepe...
  • Lightly coat your pan with melted butter and heat it over medium heat.
  • I used a soup scoop to pour the batter in, just to make sure I use even amounts of batter. 
  • I used one scoop. But just make sure that you have enough batter in the pan.
  • Scoop the batter into the pan, swirl the pan to coat all areas and leave it to cook for about a 45 seconds to a minute on each side.
  • You want that slight bit of crunch at the edge.
  • Once it is cooked, transfer the crepe onto a cooling rack. Or a plate.
Note: Crepes can be made and kept in the fridge for up to one day.

       


Final batch
Just to be on the safe side, we made 30 pieces in case something went wrong with the layering.

For the hazelnut filling, I halved the recipe since I had only 23 layers. But the recipe below is for the full 30-40 pieces of crepes.

Hazelnut Filling - to be used immediately

Ingredients

6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
14 oz. unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/3 cup Nutella
pinch of salt
  • Whisk egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer. Set it over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar has dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat and place the bowl on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  • Beat egg whites and sugar on high speed until slightly stiff peaks are formed (approx. 5 mins)
  • Switch whisk to paddle attachment and change speed to medium.
  • Add butter a few cubes at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla, Nutella and salt.
  • Continue to whisk until mixture comes together.

Note: In the original recipe, cream was mixed into the filling but I omitted it from the recipe here because it caused my filling to split (above). My filling was perfectly fine before the slightly whipped cream went in. I recommend you don't add in the cream but if you really insist, then go for it. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Assembling

Because the cake needed to go into the fridge after I layered them, I used cling wrap to fold my crepe cake together. So tear a rather large piece of cling wrap and set it on a plate. 

Start the layering by placing a piece of crepe on the cling wrap, and then a full tablespoon of filling onto the crepe. Spread the filling over the crepe, making sure that you leave just a bit of space at the edges so that the filling does not overflow once you start to layer on more pieces.

Once you are done, cover the cake with the cling wrap and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour.

In the mean time, you can make the glaze and candied hazelnuts for decorating the cake later on.



Chocolate Glaze

Again, I halved the recipe while making the cake but I am giving you the full measurements.

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups pure cream (35% fat)
1 tbsp corn syrup (Substitutes: honey, maple syrup, treacle)
pinch of salt
10 oz. dark chocolate (70% cocoa), roughly chopped
  • Heat the cream, corn syrup and salt in a saucepan until it's gently simmering.
  • Remove from the heat and add the chocolate.
  • Let it stand for 5 minutes and then stir until completely smooth.
  • Let the glaze cool completely before using.
Candied Hazelnuts

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsps water
2 oz. hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped (can be kept as whole)
  • Spread the hazelnuts on a piece of baking paper.
  • Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Do not stir the sugar or it will crystallize. Just gently swirl.
  • Let the syrup boil until a nice brown caramel forms.
  • Pour the caramel over the hazelnuts, make sure you cover the nuts.
  • Let it cool.
  • Break or chop the brittle into any shape or size you desire.


Final assembling

Spoon glaze on top of the cake and spread it with a spatula. Spread the glaze at the sides of the cake to coat it completely. Sprinkle candied hazelnuts on top of the cake (if you did grind it up). Refrigerate for about 30 minutes until the cake has set.


2 comments:

  1. Followed your suggestions and the cake turned out reaaally well! I've never successfully made a crepe cake because my filling was always too watery, but this was good, very happy :) so thank you for that!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Glad it worked out for you! (:

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