Nailed it or failed it? The Infamous Crêpe Cake

Aloha friends!

A few months ago I saw a cake on the cover of Canadian Living that looked absolutely divine. This cake is atypical because it is made with alternating layers of crêpes and cream. Come on, how awesome is that!? I have been talking about making this cake for awhile now and all I needed was the perfect occasion to make such a fancy cake. Such an occasion came about the other week since my mom was having a milestone birthday. Check out the recipe below to read about how hard (or not) it was to make this cake.

Raspberry Orange Crêpe Cake

Ingredients:

Crêpes:

  • 2 1/4 c. warm milk
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil

Mascarpone Cream:

  • 474 ml. whipping cream (35%)
  • 250 g mascarpone cheese
  • 5 tbsp liquid honey
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c. frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 2 c. raspberries

Directions:

  1. In a blender, purée together milk, flour, eggs, butter, sugar and salt until smooth. Strain through fine-mesh sieve into bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a 8-inch nonstick skillet or crêpe pan over medium heat; use a small amount of butter or oil to coat. Pour ~1/8 cup of the batter into pan, swirling to coat. Cook, turning once, until golden, about 1.5 minutes. Layer between waxed paper. Repeat with remaining batter. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24-48 hours or freeze in an airtight container for up to a month. Defrost when you are ready to assemble the cake.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together, cream, mascarpone, and honey until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla, orange juice concentrate, and 1 cup of the raspberries. Save ~1/4 of cream and set aside.
  4. To assemble, place the first crêpe on the serving plate. Spread a thin layer of the cream mixture. Repeat this process by layering the crêpes and cream. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and let set in the fridge for ~2 hours. Spread the remaining cream when you are ready to serve and decorate with berries of your choice. Add mint leaves for decoration.

Recipe from Canadian Living: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/baking-and-desserts/recipe/raspberry-orange-crepe-cake

The Reality

The cake looks perfect on the magazine cover (no surprise), so I was a bit nervous about how my version would actually turn out. I never try out recipes in advance of a special occasion, which has resulted in a few fails. However, in my own biased opinion, I think my cake turned out very well. Below are few tidbits about my experience:

  • The recipe might seem daunting at first, but if you make the crêpes ahead of time (which I did) then the assembly goes quite quick. The recipe states that it takes 4 hours in total to make this cake (including the 2 hrs to set in the fridge). I had good intentions to track how long each process took me, but I was multitasking and completely forgot. I think it took me about an hour to make the crêpes, including the time I got distracted watching Young and the Restless and making dinner, and assembly took me about ~40 minutes.
  • The recipe states that the batter will be enough to make 30-34 crêpes. I ended up with less than 30, even if I include the crêpes that mysteriously disappeared after pairing with Nutella. I assume my batter didn't make as much because the first 10ish or so crêpes were much thicker than the rest.
  • The recipe asks for 2.5 cups of whipping cream and 1 1/4 cup of mascarpone cheese. Because I didn't want to spend extra money for larger containers, I used the medium sized whipping cream (474 ml - just under 2 cups) and a small container of the cheese (250 g - about 1 cup). I had more than enough cream even though I used a little less than the recipe asked for.
  • Instead of spreading the cream, I wish that I had used a piping bag to get an even layer between the crêpes. I noticed halfway through layering the cake that the middle was a mound and the slides were slouching down. I added extra cream to the edges of some layers to even it out, but once the cream warmed up it ended up bulging out the sides.
  • I would suggest keeping half of the cream in the fridge so it stays firm while you assemble the cake. The cream was too warm by the time I got to the top layers of the cake and it made for uneven layering as it melted.  

My final verdict: This cake was pretty easy to make. The most time consuming part was making the crêpes, but you can save time by making them in advance. My mom appeared to be impressed with the presentation and there were requests for the recipe. My version may not be magazine cover ready, but it still looked and tasted good! All in all, I think it's safe to say that I nailed it! 

Let me know if you try out this recipe and share your thoughts!

xo Michelle

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