Chocolate-Pumpkin Crepe Cake

I first heard of crepe cakes because of a bakery in NYC called Lady M. While I have never tried it myself, I do know a few people who have and have given it rave reviews. I came across a recipe over the summer for a Lemon Mascarpone Crepe Cake that I really wanted to try but never got around to. I feel like those flavors are summer-like so I just decided to wait to make it. And then, I received the recent issue of Food Network Magazine and among the pages was a recipe for a Chocolate Pumpkin Crepe Cake, so I decided to give it a try. I’ll admit, the idea of making crepes was a little intimidating at first, but, once I had made a few I got the hang of it.

To start, I made the pumpkin custard. Once made, I placed a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface so the custard wouldn’t form a skin and refrigerated it for 2 hours.

Next, I made the batter for the chocolate crepes. Which I let rest, covered, for about 2 hours.

To finish the pumpkin filling, I beat heavy cream until stiff peaks formed and then folded it into the pumpkin custard and refrigerated the filling until it was firm, at least an hour.

Next, I made the crepes. Below I have some included some tips on making the crepes. Here is a pic of my crepe making assembly line. Having things laid out like this really made the crepe making a breeze. Also, I used a crepe pan as opposed to a non-stick pan to make them. I think using a crepe pan makes it easier due to the low angled rim of the pan… It makes flipping the crepes lest cumbersome.

I ended up with 18 crepes, it would have been 19, but my first crepe was a fail. The same thing happens when I make pancakes.

And once the crepes had cooled and filling was ready it was time to assemble the cake. I started and ended with a crepe, spreading about 3 tablespoons of pumpkin filling between each crepe. I then refrigerated the cake overnight.

The next day I covered the cake with chocolate ganache…

And after the ganache had set I sliced into the cake. It sounds cheesy, but, I was pretty excited when I cut into the cake and I saw how nice and perfect the layers look. There’s such a satisfaction you get when you feel intimidated by making something and in the end it comes up just as you hoped.

And it didn’t hurt that it tasted pretty good as well. Chocolate and pumpkin are definitely a winning combination.

 

Chocolate Pumpkin Crepe Cake

Ingredients:

For the Crepes:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups whole milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly. Plus more for the pan.

3 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

For the Filling:

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk

1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree

1 cup cold heavy cream

 

For the Ganache:

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

 

Directions:

Make the filling: Whisk the sugar, eggs, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl. Combine the milk and pumpkin puree in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking until steaming. Gradually whisk in the egg mixture (don’t add it all at once or you will end up with scrambled eggs) and bring to a boil, whisking constantly until very thick. Strain the filling through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl, push it through with a rubber spatula. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Make the crepes batter: Combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla in a blender. Blend, scraping the sides occasionally until smooth. Transfer the batter to a bowl and cover, let sit for an hour.

Finish the filling: Beat the heavy cream in a large bowl with a hand-mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Working in three batches, fold the whipped cream into the filling until combined. Refrigerate at least an hour, until firm.

Makes the crepes: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet pan or a crepe pan over medium-low heat until hot; lightly brush with melted butter. Add about 3 tablespoons of batter to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook until the crepe is dry on the bottom and set on top, about 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip crepe and cook for 30 more seconds. Invert onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter to make about 20 crepes, brushing the pan with more butter and stacking the crepes as you go. (If any crepes tear, don’t worry, you can use those in the middle of the cake).

Assemble the cake: Lay a crepe on a plate or cake stand and spread with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the pumpkin filling, spreading it to the edges. Repeat this with the remaining crepes and filling, ending with a crepe. Lightly cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Make the ganache: Put the chocolate in a small bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming, then pour over the chocolate. After 5 minutes, whisk until melted and smooth. If the chocolate isn’t completed melted, microwave in 15-second intervals. Let the chocolate sit for about 5 minutes, until it has thickened but still pourable. Pour the chocolate over the cake letting the excess drip down the sides then smooth the top with an offset spatula. Let the chocolate set about 15 minutes. To slice, run a sharp knife until hot water.

Recipe from Food Network

 

Crepe Making Tips:

Let the batter rest for at least an hour, if not the crepes will tear easily.

Butter the pan after every other crepe. Also, don’t put too much butter on the pan, it will take longer for your crepe to dry out.

If the crepes fold over when you flip them don’t worry. When you invert them on the baking sheet slowly unfold them so they will lay flat again

When pouring the batter, swirl the batter as your pour to ensure it covers the entire pan.

S’mores Icebox Cake

Happy National S’mores Day! Isn’t it insane how there’s a day for everything?!?! Today is also National Lazy Day so if you feel like doing nothing you have a decent excuse. And if you want to prepare yourself for tomorrow… August 11th is National Son’s and Daughter’s Day, National President Joke Day and National Raspberry Bombe Day. And if you are so incline to go further than that check out the National Day Calendar website. So, would you believe that even though I have been sharing s’mores related desserts on my blog for the past couple of years I had never had a s’more until this past weekend? I can’t really say why, maybe it’s because I have never been camping, but, that’s not a good excuse. Truth is, I don’t care for marshmallows that much. But, after making this cake I realized that I like toasted marshmallows! I guess it’s like toasting bread, somehow it just tastes better that way.

Before assembling the cake I made ganache, chocolate whipped cream and marshmallow whipped cream. In case you are wondering at the moment and you can’t wait to get to the directions, to make the marshmallow whipped cream I roasted marshmallows in the oven under the broiler, let them cool and then whipped them with heavy cream. I am beginning to learn that you can make any type of whipped cream. I recently came across a recipe with coconut whipped cream using just the coconut solids from a refrigerated can of coconut milk. It’s essentially a vegan version of whipped cream, but, nonetheless I really want to try it.

Next, I assembled the cake. After lining a 9×5 loaf pan with plastic wrap – leaving an overhang on the long sides – I placed a single layer of chocolate graham crackers along the bottom. Breaking the pieces as necessary. Now, I am sure if you want more of an “authentic” s’mores flavor you could swap out the chocolate graham crackers for honey (or cinnamon) flavored ones. Truth be told, these chocolate graham crackers aren’t available everywhere. And did know they make vanilla ones now? I am really hoping this isn’t going to become like M&M’s or Oreos where there are more flavors than you can name or remember. Back to the cake though… Once I had a layer of graham crackers I then spread half of the marshmallow whipped cream over them and drizzled it with a few tablespoons of the chocolate ganache.

I repeated the layers again this time with the chocolate whipped cream, and then another with the marshmallow whipped cream and one last one with the chocolate whipped cream. Finally, I topped it with a layer of the graham crackers. I folded the overhanging plastic wrap over the cake and refrigerated it overnight. I also placed the remaining ganache in the fridge as well. And, I placed 2 whole graham crackers in a Ziploc bag and crushed them with a rolling pin until they were fine crumbs.

The next day, before removing the cake from the fridge, I heated the ganache in the microwave until it was pourable and let it cool for an hour. I also cut 9 marshmallows in half and placed them on a greased baking sheet in a tight 3-by-6 rectangle and broiled them until they were toasted and bubbling. I also let this cool for an hour.

To finish the cake, I inverted it onto a platter and then pressed the chocolate crumbs onto the sides of it. I poured the leftover ganache over the top and spread it into a thin layer – allowing the excess to fall over the sides of the cake. And finally, I removed the marshmallow rectangle from the baking sheet and placed it on top of the cake. And there you have it, a S’mores Icebox Cake.

And you can see after slicing it the layers were distinct. This cake was a hit… especially those roasted marshmallows. My favorite part! I think if I make this again I will opt to use the honey or cinnamon graham crackers just so that the chocolate isn’t the focal point of the cake.

Here are some more s’mores related desserts:

S’mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

S’mores Brownies 

Malted S’mores Ice Cream

 

S'mores Icebox Cake

Ingredients:

4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

24 marshmallows

3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

16-18 whole chocolate graham crackers

unsalted butter, for the baking sheet

 

Directions:

Preheat the broiler.

Make the ganache: Put the chocolate in a small bowl. Bring 1/2 cup of heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour over the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes until stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Butter a baking sheet, then arrange 15 marshmallows on the baking sheet. Broil until toasted and bubbling, 30 second to 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

Combine 1 cup heavy cream, the cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form.

Combine the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and the broiled marshmallows in another medium and beat with a mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Don’t worry if bits of marshmallow remain.

Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 4-inch overhang on the long sides. Line the bottom of the pan with a single layer of chocolate graham crackers, break the crackers to fit as needed. Spread half of the marshmallow mixture over the graham crackers and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the chocolate ganache. Repeat this step, but using the chocolate whipped cream instead of the marshmallow one.  Repeat again using the marshmallow whipped cream and then finally the chocolate whipped cream. Top with a layer of graham crackers and then wrap the overhanging plastic wrap over the cake and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Crush the remaining graham crackers into finely ground crumbs by placing them in a resealable plastic bag and rolling them with a rolling pin, set aside. Place the remaining ganache in the refrigerator.

About an hour before serving preheat the broiler. Warm the reserved ganache in the microwave until pourable and set aside for an hour to cool. Butter a baking sheet and cut the remaining 9 marshmallows in half and arrange them on the baking sheet in a tight 3 x 6 rectangle – the marshmallows should be touching. Broil until toasted and bubbling and then let cool for an hour.

Invert the cake onto a platter, discard the plastic wrap and press the graham cracker crumbs onto the sides of the cake. Pour the ganache over the cake and spread into a thin layer letting the it drip down the sides. Finally, remove the toasted marshmallow rectangle in one piece and place on top of the cake.

Recipe from Food Network