Crêpe Cake

This is a very simple and satisfying dessert making use of two other preparations in this book: crêpes layered with pastry cream. You can make the crêpes as much as 4 hours ahead of time; feather them on a plate once they’ve cooled a little so that they don’t stick to each other. Then cover and hold at room temperature until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

You can finish the cake in several different ways, but it does need to be completed for an appealing presentation. A very simple finish is to cook the eighth crêpe till it’s browned, then place it, browned side up, on top of the cake and simply dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Or, since it’s a very soft dessert, you might want a crunchy element, so you could top it with chopped Heath bars. (My mom used to make a soft angel food cake for my birthday every year and top it with these chocolate caramel candies.) You might instead prefer to top the cake with Blackberry-Blueberry Compote or Chocolate Sauce. With the berry or chocolate sauce, you might make this an elegant plated dessert, spooning a circle of sauce onto each plate and placing a slice of cake on it, or drizzling the sauce over each individual slice.

If you would like to serve more, prepare half again as much pastry cream and crêpes and make a twelve-layer cake.

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Optional toppings


Make the pastry cream up to the point when you’re cooling it in the ice bath. Let it cool only long enough to stop it from cooking, but don’t let it become totally chilled or it won’t be easy to spread. Place one crêpe on the serving dish you intend to use. Spread 3 or 4 tablespoons pastry cream over the top of it. Place the second crêpe on top of the first and spread pastry cream on top. Repeat with all the crêpes, leaving the eighth crêpe bare on top, ready for your toppings. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it’s thoroughly chilled, at least an hour depending on your refrigerator.

When ready to serve, finish the cake with a sauce or topping of your choosing.