Week 101: Tiramisu crêpe cake

Crêpe cakes are all the rage ever since the first Lady M boutique opened its doors on this little island. Personally, I am not a big fan of crêpes, cakes or Suzette, or any other forms. I would eat them, but, they are just not the first item I’d pick off the menu. But then, I couldn’t help but feel just that tinge of curiosity on how easy or difficult it is to make one of these cakes. So when I finally come across this interesting tiramisu version, I take it as a sign it is time I give it a shot.

To complicate life just a tad more, I decided to make 2 types of crêpes – plain and chocolate. I mean, who says no to chocolate, right? I did some research on crêpe recipes and finally decided to go with my pastry hero, Pierre Hermé’s recipe from his book, Pastries.

Makes a 6-inch round cake

For the plain crêpes

35g unsalted butter

100g plain flour

30g fine granulated sugar

300g whole milk

120g eggs (about 2.5 large)

10g light rum

40g grapeseed oil + more for the pan

1) Melt the butter and set aside to cool.

2) Sift the flour into a large bowl, and add the sugar. Whisk lightly to combine.

3) Beat the eggs and milk together.

4) Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Gradually stir the mixture from the center outwards, incorporating the dry ingredients little by little.

5) Once the batter is smooth, add the melted butter, rum and grapeseed oil. Blend until a hand blender until the oil components are fully incorporated.

6) Allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

7) To cook the crêpes, heat a non-stick frying pan. Mine has a base of approximately 7-inch diameter. Using a pastry brush, brush the pan lightly with grapeseed oil.

8) Ladle approximately 60g of batter into the frying pan. Adjust the pan so the batter spreads evenly.

9) When the edges have just set, use a flipper to turn over to cook the other side. It should be just lightly browned.

10) Transfer to a plate to cool, separating each crêpe with parchment paper.

For the chocolate crêpes

35g unsalted butter

80g plain flour

20g cocoa powder

40g fine granulated sugar

300g whole milk

120g eggs (about 2.5 large)

10g Kahlua

40g grapeseed oil + more for the pan

1) Follow the instructions above, sifting flour and cocoa powder into the bowl to start.

For the tiramisu filling

150g heavy cream, very chilled

90g Kahlua, chilled

4 egg yolks

80g fine granulated sugar

30g Marsala wine

500g mascarpone

1) Chill the whisk attachment of of the stand mixer, then, whip the heavy cream and Kahlua on high speed until they have thicken.

2) Scrap into a bowl, covered in cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator.

3) Mix the egg yolks, sugar and Marsala wine in a bowl, and heat on a bain-marie while whisking continuously until the temperature of the mixture reaches 80C. This is to ensure the eggs are sterilised.

4) Transfer the egg mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high until the mixture has cooled to room temperature.

5) Scrap the mixture into a separate bowl, then, attach the paddle attachment and beat the mascarpone just until it has the consistency of mayonnaise. Do not over beat mascarpone or it will become grainy.

6) Pour the egg mixture into the mascarpone and allow to beat just until combined.

7) Fold in the Kahlua whipped cream into mascarpone mixture in 3 additions.

8) Allow mascarpone mixture to thicken in the refrigerator overnight.

To assemble

1) Using a 6-inch cake ring, crop the crêpes so they are all evenly sized.

2) Line a 7-inch diameter by 3-inch deep cake ring with acetate and place it on a cake board.

3) Place a plain crêpe at the bottom of the cake ring and top it with 2 tablespoons full of mascarpone mixture. Spread it evenly then top with a chocolate crêpe. Press the chocolate crêpe lightly to make sure it is level and allow the excess mascarpone mixture to fill the sides of the cake ring. Then spread with 2 tablespoons of mascarpone mixture atop the chocolate crêpe.

4) Repeat until you reach the top of the cake ring. Fill with remaining mascarpone and smooth the top. Allow to set in the freezer for at least 3 hours before unmolding.

5) Allow to defrost in the refrigerator and serve cold.

Making the crêpes was easier than I expected. But it is very, very important to use a non-stick pan. I ended up with a lot of extra crêpes, from the cut outs. They are quite delicious on its own so no complains there. The tiramisu filling turned out to be a little runny, so this cake does not survive well at room temperature. Which is a real pity. Because it is actually quite delicious. And very boozy. Maybe it I make it again, I will add some gelatine in the tiramisu mixture to help it set better.

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