Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fifteen Layers High

There's this little website called Pinterest that I am mildly obsessed with, meaning I don't have to visit the site every day, but more times than not, I will.  Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board.  It's a genius idea because I'm always bookmarking sites, whether they be recipes, blogs, photos, articles, or what have you.  In the past I've lost a huge amount of those bookmarks when I've upgraded browsers.  Now in one spot, off my hard drive, all my books marks can be saved!  Categorised!  It also satifies the voyeur in me because you share your boards with other people and can look at their boards!  It can be a huge source of inspiration.  If you're curious want to check out Pinterest or my boards, find me here.

To prove how inspiration struck, I found a pin for a crêpe cake.  That's right, a cake made with crêpes.  I love crêpes.  They're easy, they can be made sweet or savoury, and you can fill them pretty much with whatever you like.  I've had a great book on crêpes that I've referred to a number of times over the years.  Called (what else?!) 'Crêpes:  Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Home Cook,' it gives so many options you'll have loads of ideas for weeks.  The recipe for basic crêpes is so easy, along with all the variations they include.  But back to the cake.  Layer upon layer of buttery batter goodness.  This is not something to eat if you're trying to lose a couple of pounds this week.  If you're ready to indulge, I highly suggest it.  You don't need a crêpe pan or griddle (though it would be easier).  I use my 10-inch skillet, and while it does take a little maneuvering to slip the spatula under the edge to flip them, you'll find a rhythm that works for you with practice.

Make this if you're having friends over for dinner.  It's so pretty when you slice it.  I layered the crêpes with a mixed berry purée.  Next time (because there will be a next time), I'm going the chocolate or nutella route.

Sweet Crêpes
(Adapted from the 'Dessert Crêpes' recipe from 'Crêpes' by Lou Seibert Pappas) 
makes 14-16 10-inch crêpes

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Faretti biscotti liqueur (brandy, amaretto, bourbon, etc) [optional]
2 tablespoons butter, melted (plus more for coating the pan)

In a small bowl, sift the flour and sugar, set aside.  In a larger bowl, whisk the eggs, then add milk, water, vanilla extract, liqueur, and melted butter.  When all the liquid ingredients are combined, gradually add the flour and mix until incorporated.  Refrigerate the batter for at least an hour before use.  If the batter separates when chilling, mix again before making crêpes.

Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, and coat the pan with a thin layer of butter.  Pour slightly less than 1/4 cup of batter into the hot skillet.  Thin is key here!  Cook until the edges start to curl and brown, about a minute.  Flip and cook other side until lightly browned.  Lay on plate to cool.  Layer wax paper or parchment between crêpes.

Mixed Berry Purée

1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup sugar

In a blender, combine berries and sugar and purée.  Add water by the tablespoon if needed.  Adjust sugar to taste.  Blend until smooth.

To build cake:

Lay crêpe on plate and spread a thin layer of berry purée on top.  Repeat until all the crêpes have been used.  Sift confectioners sugar on top.

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