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Gretchen's table: Crepe cake with raspberry cream

Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Entertaining

Mother’s Day calls for at least one sweet treat, right?

One of my favorite brunch dishes is crepes, which feel fancier than regular pancakes and take a lot less time, because you can make the batter a day ahead of time. They’re so easy to make after you get the pan the right temperature, and they don’t need much more than a dusting of powdered sugar on top.

If you’ve got few extra minutes to spare — and who doesn’t these days — crepes also can be turned into something quite spectacular when they’re stacked on top of one another rather than folded or rolled.

A crepe cake is the very definition of a showstopper. It’s dramatic to look at and tastes heavenly.

The recipe looks long, but it’s actually quite easy. That said, it involves a couple of different steps, with time set aside for both the batter and filling to cool in the fridge.

I made it with a raspberry cream filling, but you could fill the layers with so many other things — Nutella, vanilla pastry cream, lemon curd, chocolate cream or even just plain whipped cream. Feel free to experiment with Mom’s favorite flavors. I like a simple dusting of powdered sugar on top, but sprinkles, shaved chocolate, sliced berries, and toasted or crushed nuts are all appropriate garnishes.

 

One note: Resist the urge to use the batter immediately. It needs to rest in the fridge for at least two hours to relax the gluten, making for light and airy crepes. Also, know you might under- or overcook the first couple of crepes until the pan is heated to the correct temperature (I lost my first four).

This recipe makes at least 25 pancakes.

What helps is slathering the pan with melted butter between each crepe and waiting to flip until the edges start to brown and lift from the pan, and the top is no longer shiny. Otherwise, they’ll rip. I used my fingers to turn them over, but a spatula works well, too.

To make sure your cake is sturdy enough to cut, chill it in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Otherwise, it may collapse. It’ll still be delicious, but it won’t be nearly as pretty.

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