I am the consummate preparer when it comes to the kitchen. Rarely is there a day when I come downstairs in the morning and think to myself, “I’m going to make my own puff pastry today!”
Oh no. I have virtual post-it notes on my laptop’s dashboard letting me know what I’m thinking about making, or what I’m making in the next few days (aka the weekend since week day cooking/baking is now a thing of the past.) So when Christmas rolled around and I still hadn’t been told whether or not I needed to make a dessert, I just let it go. I was on vacation, and had decided to do as little as possible, but then the inevitable guilt of not making something for the hubby’s family celebration crept up on me. Too bad it was after all grocery stores had closed. I already knew I wanted to make crepes to snack on, and then it hit me: crepe cake!
I’ve been wanting to make one for a while, and even though they aren’t overly glamorous (or at least mine wasn’t), they are a tasty and interesting dessert to serve at a party.
In this version, I made banana crepes, sandwiched with butterscotch pastry cream, a combination I’ve been dying to try. Turns out, I need to make more banana/butterscotch combos in the future!
One Year Ago: Eggnog Crumb Coffee Cake
- FOR THE BANANA CREPES:
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- FOR THE BUTTERSCOTCH PASTRY CREAM:
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 cups whole or 2% milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 Tbsp (half a stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- To make the crepes, whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl (I like to give the bowl a few quick shakes.) Whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk well to combine. Whisk in the mashed banana, making the mixture as smooth as possible.
- Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Once the skillet is hot, pour about ¼ of batter into the pan, and quickly maneuver to coat the entire skillet in a thin layer. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until set, then carefully flip over and cook for another 3-4 minutes on the opposite side. Transfer to a large plate and repeat the process with remaining batter.
- Next, make the pastry cream. In a small bowl, mix together ¼ cup of the brown sugar, the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in the egg yolks until smooth, then stir in about ¼ cup of the milk.
- Combine remaining milk and the remaining brown sugar in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat.
- As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and pour about a third of it into the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, and return to medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture becomes thick and bubbly, about 5-8 minutes. If the mixture does not thicken, try turning up the heat, but be vigilant and stir constantly.
- Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Add the butter and stir just until incorporated. Add vanilla extract and stir until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it against the surface of the cream, and chill in the fridge for 2 hours before using.
- To assemble the cake, place one crepe on your serving platter, and spread the chilled pastry cream over it in an even layer using an offset spatula or butter knife. Lay the next crepe over the first, and repeat for as many crepes as you like. (I did 10.) Slice and serve! (I also dusted my cake with powdered sugar, but the crepe on top absorbed it in about 15 minutes.)
Crepes adapted from Food. com
Pastry Cream adapted from SF Gate