Sunday, March 29, 2015

Kahlúa Crêpe Cake

There is something amazingly decadent about a crêpe cake. All those lusciously delicate layers with  whipped cream filling in between.

I actually had my first crepe cake at the oddest place. It was Tokyo, Japan and I was an intern during college. I lived with a family and commuted to work in the city each day. Some days I packed a lunch, other days I ran across the street to the "combini" (convenience store) which quickly became a single person's salvation in Japan. Just thinking about that store brings up fragrant memories of Oden and Pork Buns in the Winter.  I could grab lunch, a snack, something sweet or a drink there. I must have ducked in there a thousand times to grab a bottle of water or iced tea. The Summer was so humid.

I probably tried every confection that particular combini offered. One of the items was a single serve slice of crepe cake. It was just a basic crepe with a whipped cream filling, but it was cold, light and amazing.

Now that I have broken in my crepe pan, I thought it was about time to tackle my own crepe cake at home.

I was feeling a little adventurous and just happened to have a bottle of Kahlua handy. Now, you could leave out the rum and coffee liqueur and just add the good cocoa, or add a nice vanilla bean paste. This particular day though, I wanted chocolate and Kahlua.

I started with a simple crepe recipe and set out to make at least 20 individual crepes. Crepes don't stick, so you can cook them ahead of time and assemble as needed. You can even refrigerate them and assemble the following day if needed.

You can find my basic crepe recipe below, but if you have a favorite, feel free to use it here.

I went ahead and created the chocolate ganache and the Kahlua chocolate whipped cream while my crepes were cooling. Then I put everything out for quick assembly.

I wanted my layers to be as thin as possible, so I used a pastry brush to spread the ganache later on top of each crepe.

Then I put a thin, but even layer of the whipped cream on top with an offset spatula. There are a lot of layers to go (I think I had 19 or 20) so don't use all your whipped cream too quickly. I kept layering till I ran out of filling.

Also a thinner layer gives more stability to the cake.

Once finished (or out of the whipped filling), pour remaining ganache on top of the cake, then dust with powdered sugar.

For my last parting tip, let the cake chill well before serving and slice with a sharp, but not serrated knife, for best presentation.

And above all else, don't forget to clean up every last bite and Kahlua cream smear. It is so good!

Kahlúa Crêpe Cake

You Will Need:
For the Crepes

  • 6 Tbsp. melted butter, unsalated
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 c. milk
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 5 Tbsp. sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. Kahlua
For the Filling
  • 3 c. heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Kahlua
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa

Start by making the crepes. The batter can be made up ahead of time, but needs to rest for at least 30 minutes. Put all the ingredients in the blender and mix well. Pour into a bowl to let rest for 30 minutes, or overnight in the fridge,.

Preheat your pan on medium with a tiny bit of butter, or non-stick spray. Pour a scant 1/4 cup batter into the pan, then lift and swirl the batter so the entire pan is evenly coated. Cook till the crepe top is dry and the bottom has a little color, then with a spatula, flip the crepe and continue to cook for another 30 seconds or so. Take out of the pan and set on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the crepes, using a little dab of butter if the crepes stick.

While the crepes are cooling, make the ganache and Kalhua whipped cream filling.

To make the ganache, heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan. Whisk till it starts to simmer. Turn off the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Stir in the Kahlua and continue to stir till it is all melted and smooth.

Whip the filling ingredients in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Keep chilled until you are ready to assemble the cake.

To assemble, lay down a crepe, then spread a thin layer of ganach over the top. Do not go all the way out to the edges. Then top with a very thin and even layer of filling. Add another crepe on top and repeat. Reserve a small amount of ganache for the top of the cake.  Keep going until the cake reaches your desired height, or you run out of filling. Then spread with remaining ganache and sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve.

Chill before serving and enjoy!

Have you ever tried a crepe cake? Do you have a favorite flavor?

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