Thursday, December 9, 2010

Crepe Cake

Music- Getz/Gilberto-Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto

This is the album that got me listening to jazz music. its intense and its deeply rooted in my love for music. Nothing gets better than the smooth smooth tone of Stan Getz sax and the smooth smooth voice of Joao Gilberto.

Baking-Crepe Cake

This was a relatively easy baking venture taking out the fact that it takes a fair amount of zombie work once you've got the basics down. So there is a story behind why I made this beauty. It was Thanksgiving and my family and other two other "friend" families were having dinner at a family friends house. Things are going a long nicely and there is an eclectic mix of traditional American and Taiwanese cuisine spread out across the table. Everyone is having fun and what not. Then comes time for dessert, I look to find cheesecake bars, cookies, fruit, sweet tofu, and finally this weird cake i've never seen before from a bakery in the Upper East called Lady M. Well it turned out to be a crepe cake (a cake make by stacking crepes on top of each other and having cream in between) and it costs 75 bucks. well you know what? i call bullshit on the price. when i see a 75 dollar cake i see an exquisitely decorated cake with exotic/rare ingredients and complex baking techniques (at least have multiple layers!) Dude puff pastry is more complicated than stacking a bunch of crepes together and croissants are like 2 bucks. i'd pay like 30 bucks max for a cake like that. Maybe 40. its tastes good! but it reality the majority of the cake is nothing really special. Granted its a cool idea but not 75 bucks good. 

So the concept is easy; you stack a bunch of crepes together and slather a thin whip cream mixture in between each crepe. you'll need maybe 20-30 crepes do to this and the cream mixture. both of these things are pretty easy to make. 

for the crepe batter i needed:
6 tablespoons butter
3 cups milk
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch salt

for the pastry cream i needed:
1 egg
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon hot water
2 tablespoons heavy cream, whipped 

So I made both a day in advance (the pastry cream gets more thick as it refrigerates and you need the crepe batter to cool sufficiently). I brown the butter and warm the milk up in a stove until the milk is kinda steaming. First for the batter all i did was mix the eggs, flour, sugar, and salt. and then slowly mix in the milk and butter. when its all nice and watery just store it in the fridge overnight or wait about 2 hours if your pressed for time. 

Browned Butter

Crepe batter but more importantly my trusty mixer!

Adding hot milk into the crepe batter!

Starting mixture for the Vanilla Pastry Cream!

When you add the milk it'll start to thicken!


The pastry cream is fun. I mixed the eggs, flour sugar and cornstarch. Then i heated up the milk until it was simmering on low low heat  (be sure the be whisking often and constantly!). Once simmering occurs remove from heat and whisk into mixture. Put this combined mixture back on the heat and heat until thickened properly or boiling (be sure to whisk A LOT while doing this). add in about a table spoon of whipped cream and mix together. After that is done i just added the vanilla and hot water and stored it in the fridge. 

Okay then we fast forward a day and its time to crepify the batter. but first we must prepare the whip cream! So whip with two cups of cream into whipped cream and fold it into the vanilla pastry cream. Now its time to crepe. Im not an super creping expert so it took me a few practice crepes to get it right. i swabbed a good non stick pan with some veggie oil and poured batter onto the pan until it formed a very thin surface on the pan. cook until the edges are brownish (about 1-2 minutes?) on medium heat. then carefully use a spatula or a spoon to lift up and edge and then carefully use your fingers to flip it over. This is ganna hurt. and its ganna be annoying and if you've never made crepes there will be disasters. but its okay with heart, soul, and determination you shall persevere!. I screwed up like twice and brian screwed up like once before we were able to get it kinda decent. After like 5 crepes you'll be a champ though. 

Folding in whipped cream into vanilla pastry



AFTER THE FLIP. We actually tried to get a shot of the actual flipping but its pretty hard to do that.

So make as many crepes as the batter calls for (with a small medium ish pan it'll make about 25). To construct cake just place one crepe on a pan, slather on a thin layer of whip cream with a spatula or wide knife, and then place crepe on top of that. repeat this process until you get a beautiful cake. Dust with confectioners sugar. Then refrigerate for like 2 hours and EAT! 
The first layer

The Fourth Layer
Still Undusted
The crepe cake may not look delicious at first but when you cut into it it looks beautiful. I guess if you were going all out you could cut off the sides of the crepes but i think thats just wasting beautiful crepe. the cake does not need plastic surgery! it should have higher self esteem than that! you can also replace the whipped cream mixture with other delectable ingrediants such as nutella or you could flavor the whip cream with melted chocolate or green tea (mmmmmm...) 

Heres some more food pics for you:

new profile pic for facebook? maybe.

Laura graces us with her past hand modeling skills