June 3, 2013

Crepe Cake

And so we come to the end of the cakes chapter, with a bit of a misnomer. This crepe cake isn't a cake at all, merely a stack of light fluffy crepes filled with smooth satiny diplomat cream. What is diplomat cream? It's pastry cream, with gelatin and whipped cream added. The gelatin helps it set and keep its shape, while the whipped cream lightens it up and makes it smooth. Our bakers enjoyed making this recipe as much as they enjoyed sharing it with friends and family. 

Metric measurements, No Bake
Ingredients: Grand Marnier, Birds Custard Powder, Orange zest

Crepes: I couldn't wait to make this cake. The book states this dessert is one of the easiest to make and I couldn't agree more. I used Grand Marnier which gave the batter a hint of orange scent. It was the quickest mix so far in the book thanks to the Vitamix which took less than a minute to complete. The batter was refrigerated overnight which was perfect due to my schedule. The crepes were easy to make and turned out perfect with the thin edges. The batter yielded 16 10 inch crepes. 

Orange Diplomat Cream: I found Birds Custard Powder at Cost Plus and decided to follow the book's pastry cream (810 grams). This one turned out perfect as opposed to the custard I made for the Palet d' Or when I used flour. I added the orange zest and whipped cream to the pastry cream to make the orange diplomat cream and it came out very smooth and tasty. I piped each crepe with 80 grams of the cream between each layer and spread it leaving the edges with a thicker layer so the cake would not dome. I used all 16 crepes instead of the 13 the recipe called for. I covered and refrigerated the cake until I returned from work. I sprinkled sugar on top and caramelized the sugar with a torch.

This cake was a another hit! I especially liked the crunch of the caramelized sugar and the creamy orange flavored filling. 

Standard measurement

I was looking forward to this recipe as well. I grew up eating crepes every Sunday morning for breakfast. My parents are both European, so instead of flapjacks, we had crepes. Making crepes was one of the first cooking techniques I mastered, so I knew that part of this task would be easy.

First, I made the orange pastry cream. I let my instincts guide me this time, and didn't cook it as long as the book instructed. It turned out perfect. After letting it sit in the fridge for a few days, I made the diplomat cream. I had just received my online order of silver leaf gelatin the day before, so the timing was perfect. It still amazes me when whipped cream transforms pastry cream into something so smooth and beautiful.
The crepe batter was easy to make, and easy to cook. I used my trusty crepe/omelet pan, which I think is only 9 inches, not 10. I yielded 16 crepes total. Instead of using a paper towel dipped in oil to grease the pan, I used a small pastry brush. Much easier.

The assembly wasn't difficult either, except that since I don't have a scale, I had to guesstimate how much cream to use for each layer. I eyeballed about 1/3 cup, and ended up with only a tiny bit leftover. I used 15 crepes total, and saved one for snacking :)
After chilling (only 4 hours), it was time to torch! My torch had problems. First, no flame, then huuuuuge flame! Like, I'm shocked I didn't burn the house down or set off the fire alarm. After I got it to regulate, I was able to complete the cake, but the cream filling got too warm and started oozing. I probably should have let it sit overnight, but I was impatient. So after a quick photo shoot, I put it back in the fridge overnight. The orange filling really complements the hint of orange in the crepes. I'd definitely make this again, but I want to experiment with other fillings. Dulce de leche maybe?

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