There are two critically important things I learned this weekend in making caramel. The first is that the process can go very fast so if you aren’t paying attention, you can ruin it in a nano-second. Burnt sugar does not make for a good tasting caramel. The second thing I learned (and this could be the most important) is that the sugar is incredibly hot and because of that you should never (and I mean never!) work in your bare feet, drop a bit of the hot caramelized sugar and then step directly on it. Lesson learned..(OUCH!!)..and next time I make it I will be wearing steel toed boots….. because that’s how I roll.
However, given that fact, the dream of french crepes, caramel and a wickedly delicious mascarpone whipped cream dancing in my head was to the point I had the need to spend my weekend in the kitchen making this cake. My inspiration came from looking at other blogs, and I saw this posting from Poires au Chocolat. Her pictures looked amazing and I wanted to try the recipe out but all the ingredients were listed in kilograms and milliliters. Really? I barely passed math so the thought of converting everything over to cups and teaspoons was a complete nightmare to me. But I thought, how difficult can this be? I know how to make whipped cream, I’m passably good with crepes and other than crippling myself for life (and a hint of burnt sugar flavor) I was able to conquer the caramel. It was well worth the effort and time to make. This is a cake I will keep in my recipe files. I hope that when you make this and you take your first bite, you will do exactly what I did….close your eyes, take a deep breath and utter “YUM!”.
Below is my adaption of firstname.lastname@example.org’s crepe cake. Bon Appetit!
Crepe Cake with Caramel and Mascarpone Whipped Cream
• FRENCH CREPES
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon white sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 3 eggs
• 2 cups milk
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted
• HOMEMADE SALTED CARAMEL
• (thank you to the Brown Eyed Baker)
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces
• 1 cup heavy cream at room temperature
• 1 tablespoon fleur de sel
• MARSCAPONE WHIPPED CREAM
• 4 ounces Mascarpone at room temperature
• 1 1/2 pint heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 3/4 powdered sugar, sifted
• Whip mascarpone cheese and heavy cream together until soft peaks form. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and whip until both are incorporated.
1. Sift together flour, sugar and salt and set aside. In a large bowl beat eggs and milk together with an electric mixer. Beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in melted butter. Let rest for 15-30 minutes.
2. Heat a crepe pan or a small griddle pan over medium high heat. You will know it’s hot enough when a drop of water bounces on the pan. Take a buttered paper towel and wipe across the pan. Pour approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto the pan, tipping and rotating pan to cover as thinly as possible. When the crepe becomes lightly browned turn over and brown other side. Place on cooling rack before stacking.
3. Add the sugar in an even layer in the bottom of a heavy saucepan, with the capacity of at least 2 quarts. Heat over medium high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. The sugar will begin to clump, but that’s okay. As it continues to cook, it will melt back down. Stop whisking once the sugar has melted and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks.
4. Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. This is the point where it can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds so keep a close eye on it. If you are using an instant read thermometer, cook the sugar until it has reached 350 degrees F.
5. Once it has reached 350 degrees F, add the butter all at once. Be careful because it will bubble up! Whisk until all the butter has melted into the caramel.
6. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the heavy cream into the caramel. Again be careful because it will bubble up again. Whisk until all the cream is incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Add the fleur de sel and whisk until combined.
7. Set the sauce aside for 10-15 minutes and then pour into your favorite glass jar. You can refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Warm before using.
8. Whip mascarpone cheese and heavy cream together until soft peaks form. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and whip until both are incorporated.
9. To assemble cake:
10. Place one crepe on a plate and spread a thin layer (or more if you like) of caramel and then spread a layer of the whipped cream. Repeat until you have used all the ingredients, or until you have about 12 layers, leaving the best crepe for the top. Spread the top crepe again with the caramel.
11. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Right before serving, place raspberries on the top and dust with powdered sugar