Crepe Cake

by - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

One of Andrew's favorite things to eat is crepes and it has been a goal of mine to make him this Chocolate Hazelnut Crepe Cake that I found in Smitten Kitchen's Cookbook. I have just been holding off trying to make it. First I'm not a baker and my cooking skills have been on the fritz lately- just unpredictable. And by lately I mean a few years, I'm just now realizing it. This recipe literally took me all day to make. I wanted to pace myself to minimize any mistakes that I might make. My advice? Pace yourself, too, there are a lot of steps. I am an open the box and add eggs and butter type of baker. So, if I can do this SO CAN YOU!

  • 9 table spoons butter (will be used for both pastry cream and crepes)
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 table spoons sugar (or none, in the past I don't usually put sugar in crepes)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter (for skillet)

Pastry Cream
  • 1 1/3 cups hazelnuts (used for both pastry cream an candied hazelnuts)
  • 1 cup confections sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons hazelnut liqueur (I used Frangelico)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 1/3 cups of milk
  • 7 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks 
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch (I also added more because I thought my pastry cream was too thin)
  • Butter (reserved from crepes)

Candied Hazelnuts
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Hazelnuts (reserved from pastry cream)

Chocolate Draping
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur

I did my steps a little out of order than the recipe told me. I will try to make the instructions as easy to understand, because I will admit that a couple times I felt lost. Feel free to tackle whatever ones you want first, but for me, this made the most sense. 

  1. Toast the hazelnuts- I used chopped packaged ones instead of whole so that I didn't have to worry about taking the skins off the hazelnuts. the less steps the better. Place the hazelnuts on the int a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 min. 
  2. Candy the hazelnuts- In a sauce pan, cook sugar and water together on a high heat until the sugar melt and tuns a pale beige color (3-5 min). Add salt and hazelnuts (1/3 cup). Use a fork to dish out the hazelnuts and place on parchment paper to cool down. Separate the hazelnuts once they have cooled down o that they are not int chucks.
  3. Make hazelnut pastry cream
    • In a food processor, grind 1 cup of toasted hazelnuts, confectioners sugar, liqueur, and salt together. Run machine until the mixture looks damp and combines into small clumps. Do not mix too long, if you do this it looks like hazelnut butter; we don't want this.
    • In a saucepan, combine milk, hazelnut paste, and sugar over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk egg yolk and cornstarch until smooth. 
    • Put spoonfuls of hot milk mixture in the egg yolk mixture, stirring occasionally, until the yolks are warm. Now combine the egg yolk mixture with the milk mixture. Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes. This should thicken when its bowling. Place in another bowl to cool down and place in the fridge.
  4. Make crepe batter/ crepes
    • Melt butter in saucepan until golden brown. Make sure not to burn butter  and let it cool to room temperature. 
    • Combine milk, eggs, flour, salt, sugar, and 6 table spoons of butter together. Blender is helpful at this point but not necessary. 
    • Set aside, cover, and put in the fridge until you are ready to make the crepes. 
    • Make crepes. Add butter to the pan for each new crepe. I ended up making 12 with this mixture. You can stack them, surprisingly, they do not stick together.
  5. Assemble cake- Lay the first crepe on your cake stand and spread pastry cream on top. Repeat step with the crepes until you get to the last one, which will act as your cake's lid. Chill until you are ready to coat with the chocolate. 
  6. Make chocolate draping
    • Put chocolate int a heat proof bowl. In a separate saucepan, heat heavy cream and liqueur to a simmer. 
    • Then pour over chocolate and let it sit for a minute. Mix together until smooth. Pour over cake.
  7. To finish- sprinkle candied hazelnuts and chill cake until you are ready to eat...or have it fresh!  Enjoy!

*Again, this is taken from Smitten Kitchen's Cookbook. A few modifications were made. 

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