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.

Pumpkin Custards

It’s officially Fall and you know what that means… Bring on the Pumpkin treats! Can I just say it really is amazing (and a bit insane) how pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavor can be found in almost everything! Now, don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin spice flavor but, I just don’t think I need to have it in everything. Have you seen these Pumpkin Spice Flavored Candy Corn? I’m totally cool with the traditional flavor of candy corn so I really don’t see the need for it being spruced or spiced up with additional flavoring. If anyone has tried them though please let me know how they taste in the comment section below… LOL! There are a few pumpkin flavored items I couldn’t resist trying though… Chobani Flip Yogurt, M&M’s and Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies. All of which were quite tasty in my book. I also purchased some Pumpkin Spice Morsels from Nestle that I can’t wait to bake into cookies. Which leads me to my first pumpkin baked treat of the season… Pumpkin Custards.

To begin to I whisked together heavy cream along with cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg in a medium saucepan and heated it over medium-low heat and warmed the mixture until it began to bubble along the edges and steam. I then removed it from the heat and let it stand for 15 minutes.

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While the cream mixture was cooling, in a large bowl I blended together egg yolks, vanilla extract, salt, pumpkin puree, granulated sugar and light brown sugar until it was smooth.

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Slowly I poured the cream mixture into the egg mixture, and stirred it until it was blended. You don’t want to put the cream into the eggs too quickly because you don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs!

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After straining the mixture through a fine mesh sieve I divided it among 4 ramekins which I placed in a baking pan and filled the pan with boiling water about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. After covering the pan with aluminum foil I baked it in a preheated 300 F oven for about a half hour – until the edges of the custards began to set.

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Once I removed them from the oven I transferred the custards to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. I had a bit of a mishap in transferring them. My wire rack somehow slipped and I ended up losing two of the custards. Thankfully the ramekins didn’t break, but, I was left with a quite a mess to clean-up since the custards hadn’t completely set and ended up splattering everywhere.

After they had cooled I covered them and placed them in the refrigerator and later that evening it was time to enjoy my first pumpkin treat – well, first pumpkin treat that I personally baked – for the season with a topping of whipped cream!

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Pumpkin Custards

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon ginger

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

5 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

6 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 F and boil a pot of water.

Pour the cream into a small saucepan and whisk in the cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg. Heat over medium-low heat and the warm the mixture until bubbles form around the edges and steam begins to rise. Remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl blend together the egg yolks, vanilla extract, salt, pumpkin puree, granulated sugar and light brown sugar.  Slowly pour in the cream mixture, stirring until blended. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Divide the mixture among four 8 fluid-ounce ramekins and place them in a baking dish. Pour the hot water into the pan about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes, until the custards are just set around the edges.

Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

From Williams-Sonoma