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Gateau de Mille Crepes: The Famous French Crêpe Cake

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This delicate crêpe cake makes a decadent dessert, or a brilliant alternative to birthday cake
Crepe Cake

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Thin French crêpes are layered up with vanilla-tainted pastry cream to make an extravagant, elegant cake.

This recipe is courtesy of The Little Epicurean.

Ingredients

For the crêpe batter

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Cups whole milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 Teaspoon salt

For the pastry cream

  • 2 Cups whole milk
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 Cup cornstarch, sifted
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

For assembling the cake

  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 Cups heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons kirsch

Directions

For the crêpe batter

In a small pan, cook the butter over medium-high heat until it is fragrant and the milk the solids have turned brown. Set aside.

In another pan, gently bring the milk to a boil. As soon as it is bubbling, turn off the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

In a stand mixture with a paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, flour, sugar, and salt. Slowly add the hot milk and browned butter. Mix until smooth and combined. Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

For the pastry cream

In a saucepan, bring milk and vanilla to a boil. When it begins to boil, remove from the heat.

Prepare an ice bath: Fill a large bowl with ice. Place a smaller bowl in the bowl of ice.

In a separate saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. Place the pan over a high heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Pour the pastry cream through a fine-meshed sieve into the small bowl in the ice bath. Stir the pastry cream for a few minutes, until it has cooled. Stir in the butter, and keep stirring until the butter is well combined. Cover the pastry cream and refrigerate.

For assembling the cake

Bring the crêpe batter to room temperature.

Place a crêpe pan over a medium heat. Lightly grease the surface with oil, and add about 3 tablespoons of batter. Tilt the pan in a circular motion to cover the surface of the pan with batter.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cook the crêpe until the bottom of it just begins to brown. Flip the crêpe with your fingers or an offset spatula. Cook on the other side for 5 seconds. Remove the crêpe from the pan onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat until you have used all the batter.

Whip the heavy cream with sugar and Kirsch until soft peaks form. In three stages, fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream.

Lay 1 crêpe on a cake plate. Spread a thin layer of pastry cream over the crêpe. Cover with another crêpe and repeat to make a stack. Remember to save your best crêpe to go on the top of the cake.

Chill cake for at least 2 hours, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.