Looking for a sweet way to make your beloved swoon? You can’t do any better than this Valentine’s Day Simple Crêpe Cake. It’s fun to make and rather impressive when sliced as the lovely, filled layers appear. Top if off with berry (or chocolate) sauce and you’ve got a real winner.
It’s Progressive Eats time, as Valentine’s Day approaches. Our host for this month, Jane Evans Bonacci of The Heritage Cook, took a cue from the holiday, and decided the theme is aphrodisiacs. I’ve written about which foods are aphrodisiacs before, and you probably aren’t surprised, that my aphrodisiac of choice is chocolate.
This “totally from scratch” version of crêpe cake is definitely worth the time commitment. However, if you’re pressed or time or just not in the mood, you can make the fillings for this cake with a jar of chocolate sauce and fruit spread or jam. I’d call that semi-homemade, except that phrase is apparently associated with one particular Food Network star. I’ve never seen her show and didn’t get this idea from her, so let’s just describe the jarred filling version as “not quite homemade” and leave it at that.
It’s a three-part process. You can do any of the parts (or all of them) ahead of time and assemble the cake at the last minute. My beloved prefers crêpe cake with freshly made crêpes, served at room temperature. (You can be sure he tasted this Valentine’s Day Simple Crêpe Cake and rendered his valued opinion on every aspect of its construction and taste.) However that’s not the only way to enjoy this treat. Some crêpe cake recipes use previously refrigerated crêpes and even recommend chilling the cake after it is assembled.
The fillings in this Valentine’s Day Simple Crêpe Cake are berry sauce and chocolate ganache. I alternated them, but if you prefer a more intensely chocolate version, try two layers of chocolate ganache for every one of berry sauce. The amounts provided yield more than you’ll meed to fill the cake. That means you have enough berry and chocolate sauces to drizzle to your heart’s content. If you still have sauce leftover, they would be delicious over ice cream or plain cake.
While I particularly like these fillings (and the combination), the concept is flexible. Don’t like berries? Use all chocolate or substitute salted caramel for the berry sauce. Want a red-and-white theme? Use berry sauce and white chocolate instead of dark.
Don’t let the number of steps in this cake put you off. It’s really quite simple. With my daughter Eleanor’s crêpe-making hints, you’ll be a crêpe-master in no time. Be sure to check out them out.
A final note about this cake – don’t get hung up on perfection when cooking or assembling the crêpes. The first crêpe never looks good. And what if you don’t get the hang of it on the second or third? Who cares? Put them aside to snack on and the cake might just have one or two fewer layers. If you find a crêpe doesn’t land exactly on top of the one below, don’t despair. It’s only a cake and a delicious one at that. Besides, the lack of symmetry is what makes this cake so endearing.
Valentine's Day Simple Crêpe Cake
You don't need an oven to make this delicious cake. A pile of crêpes filled with berry sauce and chocolate ganache - simple concept, easy to execute, and perfect for Valentine's Day.
- 2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 5 eggs
- 2 & 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1-2 tablespoons canola or similar oil, for the pan
- 4 cups frozen berries (raspberries, strawberries, cherries or a combination)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 12 ounces heavy cream
- 12 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate or a combination, finely chopped or shaved
Whisk or mix together the flour, salt and sugar. Set aside. Mix the eggs, milk and vanilla. Then pour the flour mixture into the liquid and blend, by hand with a whisk, or with a blender or immersion blender.
Add the melted butter, stir to combine, and refrigerate the batter (covered) for at least one hour. This resting time for the batter is crucial. Meanwhile, make the fillings.
Mix berries, sugar, lemon juice and zest in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Puree in a blender or using an immersion blender until all the berries are completely mashed and the raspberry or strawberry seeds (if using those berries) are mostly blended into the fruit. Set the sauce aside to cool.
Heat the cream beyond a simmer, to a boil but not rolling. Pour it over the chocolate in a medium-small bowl and let it rest for a few minutes. Then gently fold or mix the cream and chocolate with a spatula until they are a uniform color.
Making the Crêpes and Constructing the Cake
Heat a crêpe pan or, if you don't have one, a pan with very shallow sides. With an oil-moistened paper towel, rub the pan. Take the batter out of the refrigerator.
Pour in the first ladle-full of batter. Spread it around the pan by lifting the pan up and tilting it. Pour out any remaining batter. (I don't worry if the batter hangs over the edge of the pan once you pour the excess off.) Cook it for maybe two minutes or so, until the center is slightly brown, then flip the crêpe. Cook the second side for just a minute or so, then slide the crêpe onto a clean plate.
- Eat the first one (or save it - it won't look very good) and continue making crêpes, piling finished ones on a clean plate, until all the batter is used up.
To make the cake, place one crepe on a plate or platter. Add a large dollop of room temperature ganache or berry sauce, spread it over the crêpe, and put another crêpe on top.
- Repeat with the alternating filling. Continue in this manner until all the crêpes are used up.
Remember mise en place? Crêpe-making is a breeze if you have all your materials at hand when you begin. If your chocolate ganache is not pourable, you can re-heat it in a double boiler, on top of a bowl of simmering water, or by microwaving it in short bursts at a low temperature. I'm a microwave-heating fan because it's simple. However, you do have to be careful not to burn the chocolate when microwaving.
If you do use jars of chocolate and/or berry sauce, you may need to use heated milk or cream in the case of the ganache, or juice in the case of the berry sauce, to dilute them enough to make them spreadable.
The berry sauce I made is adapted from "Mixed Berry Sauce" at The Spruce. I use less sugar, but you should definitely decide how much sugar to use based on the particular type of berries, how sweet your berries are, and how sweet you like your berry sauce.
Love Foods: Aphrodisiac Foods / Foods for Valentine’s Day
- Raspberry and Chocolate Sparkling Rose Cocktail from Creative Culinary
- Chipotle Orange Grilled Shrimp Cocktail Gluten Free from The Heritage Cook
- White Bean Basil Hummus Style Dip w Pine Nuts and Meyer Lemon from OMG! Yummy
- Rib-Eye Steak With A Sunny-Side-Up Egg & Arugula Salad from Food Hunters Guide
- Pan Seared Salmon and Asparagus with Mojo Verde from Spice Roots
- White Chocolate Frozen Mousse with Hazelnut Whipped Cream from The Red Headed Baker
- Oreo White Chocolate Fudge from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Valentine’s Day Simple Crepe Cake from Mother Would Know