For a woman who is constantly making pancakes of sorts – thin, Scotch, puffy, buttermilk, Dutch – it would seem surprising that I have never made a Crepe Cake.
I have mulled over various flavour combinations for a considerable period of time (plenty more ideas to be shared at a later date) but presented with copious seasonal berries, it seemed logical to use these as a filling, along with a vanilla Chantilly cream.
Now this is an easy ‘Showstopper’ anyone can put together. You are probably thinking that you might not want to stand over a stove waiting for crepes to cook? Of course, there is a bit of hovering over the pan, but it is not time wasted. Plenty of clearing up, dishwasher loading, table laying can be done between pancake ‘flips’ and ultimately the time taken to make the crepes, in this quantity, is not much more than it would take a cake to bake in the oven.
So we have a basic crepe recipe, comprising cupboard and refrigerator staples. I have added ground cinnamon to the batter as we like cinnamon in our house. We fry them lightly in a little smearing of salted butter – the only way to go in my mind for pancakes. You get the lovely salty, sweet crispy edges. This quantity of batter will probably give you between 25 and 30 7inch crepes. These can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to assemble. Filling is basically a loose set fruit jam made of seasonal berries of your choice and a vanilla Chantilly cream. Dust with icing sugar once assembled and prior to serving. Add some extra berries to the serving plate if you have some over.
All very nice, but when would you eat this ‘cake’ you may be wondering? I think the this cake has versatile serving opportunities. It could be served at afternoon tea, or dessert at lunch or dinner. Perhaps a celebratory brunch? One thing is for sure, it makes a special breakfast if you have any left overs. Food for thought…
Have a good week.
- 220g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 4 large eggs
- 400ml milk (mixed with)
- 150ml water
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 30g butter for cooking (preferably salted)
- 500g mixed summer berries, fresh or frozen (reserve some for decoration, optional)
- 50g caster sugar
- 300ml double (heavy cream)
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- Icing sugar for dusting
- In a large saucepan, add the fruit and caster sugar. Over a low to medium heat, allow the fruit to soften and the sugar to melt, stirring occasionally until you have a loose set jam. Place a sieve over a medium bowl and pour the fruit mixture through the sieve, so removing the small pips. Set aside and allow the filling to cool.
- In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients for the crepes, EXCEPT the butter for cooking. Mix together with a hand whisk until thoroughly combined. Rest a sieve on a second large bowl. Pour the batter mixture through the sieve into the bowl, so removing any small lumps.
- With a small frying pan (I used a 22cm diameter pan), heat a very small about of butter over a medium heat, ensuring the butter covers the whole pan (better to use less, than too much, butter in each instance). With a small ladle, or large ice cream scoop, measure a quantity of batter into the pan. Swirl it around so you get a good, thin covering over the pan. Cook on both side until a light, golden colour. Place cooked crepe on a plate. Repeat with the remaining butter and batter. You should get between 25 and 30 crepes of equal size and thickness. Allow to cool.
- In the bowl of a freestanding mixer, whisk the double cream with the sugar and vanilla paste until you have soft peaks. Do not overmix. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- To assemble the crepe cake, select your serving plate. Place the first crepe centrally on the plate. With a small ice cream scoop, add the cream to the centre of the crepe and spread to the edges so you have a thin, even layer. With the second crepe, spoon the fruit filling thinly over the crepe. Place this, filling side down, onto the creamed crepe. (So you have crepe - cream - filling). Add another crepe and repeat the process until all the crepes, filling and cream have been used. As you add the layers, you may want to chill the cake half way through the process (if the room is warm, the crepes may slide about whilst you are assembling the cake.)
- Chill the cake. When you are ready to serve, decorate with the remaining fruit and dust with icing sugar. Slice and serve.
Source: Adapted from Delia Smith’s ‘Complete Cookery Course’