Crepes, my first pancake love. Simple, warm, with a squirt of lemon juice and a dusting of sugar. Perfect! Truth is there are so many great ways to enjoy them. My mum and aunt used to make crepe suzette (sizzling with orange juice and Grande Marnier) and then in Cyprus I discovered the amazing combination of Nutella, bananas and crushed toasted hazelnuts. Soon, I was seeking out Creperies for date nights, for dinner and dessert and exploring all flavour combinations, sweet and savoury.
In secondary school one of the first things we learnt to make in Home Economics (for boys and girls!) was pancakes. My first attempt was pretty poor and I came home with a Tupperware filled with soggy shreds of broken pancakes. Now, I am quite the crepe flipping diva but as much as I love them, I really don’t make crepes very often because there is no real healthy way to craft the batter effectively unlike American style pancakes. However, we had some new Waco friends over for dinner last night and I decided this was the perfect opportunity to re-kindle my original pancake love affair. I have seen a crepe cake trend emerging on Pinterest so it seemed only natural to attempt my own version.
It’s not easy to describe in a blog how to make the perfect thin crepe and so I am going to defer to the internet on this one! There are lots of video tutorials to follow and you don’t need a special crepe making machine, just a good medium sized shallow pan (and a little practice!) . But as always, I do have a couple of tips for you.
- Unlike american style pancakes, your pan should be on medium high heat and make sure you use a non-stick spray or butter. This will ensure they don’t stick.
- They don’t take long to be ready for the flip. As soon as you see the little tiny bubbles appear, pull the edges away with a spatula all the way round and then turn them over.
- Use a mixer to remove all the lumps. Your batter should be very smooth.
- Allow your batter to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes before making crepes.
- Stick to a good recipe. The consistency of crepe batter is crucial so don’t experiment too much, especially if you’re making them for the first time.
- The batter keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- I think crepes are best fresh. You can make them ahead of time, if you are going to re-heat them. But with something like a crepe cake, were they are cold, I think crepes are best if served on the same day.
1 cup all purpose (plain) flour
2 cups of milk
1 tbsp melted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
Sift flour and salt. Make a well in the center and add the rest of the ingredients. Combine together with a fork and then mix on medium speed with a hand held mixer until perfectly smooth. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. For the crepe cake, I doubled the ingredients to make about 12-14 pancakes. Make crepes and set aside separated with parchment paper until ready to assemble the cake.
(For the filling and topping, I adapted a delicious cupcake recipe that I was introduced to by a friend. The original recipe can be found here on Your Cup of Cake an excellent baking blog)
Chocolate Mint Filling:
1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 cup of dark chocolate chips
1 tsp mint extract
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1/4 cup of dutch processed cocoa powder
Melt cream with chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds on 50% heat. Stir well until all the chocolate is melted. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. (If you chose to make this ahead of time and it hardens in the fridge, you can add a little extra cream and place it back in the microwave for a few seconds)
Mint Cream Cheese Frosting
4oz cream cheese at room temperature
3 tbsp of butter at room temperature
3 cups of powdered sugar
drop of mint extract
1/2 tbsp of cream or milk
green food colouring
Cream the butter and cheese for about 2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, milk and extract. Mix until smooth and then add food colouring a tiny bit at a time until it reaches your desired shade of green.
Assembling the cake:
Lay crepe on serving dish and spread a thin layer of the filling. Leave about a 1cm space around the edges.
Pipe the buttercream over the top
and then drizzle with a little melted chocolate.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.