Mille Crêpe Stack
This tower of crêpes makes a perfect challenge for experienced cake-makers. Make it as tall as you can for maximum impact.
A magnificent-looking cake, and the taller the better. When you cut into it, your guests will be delighted to find a stack of crêpes. Although I must warn you that this ambitious cake is not the the faint-hearted.
|210g||unsalted butter, plus extra for cooking the crêpes|
|315g||golden caster sugar|
|pinch of salt|
|zest of 1 orange|
|For the Hazelnut Filling:|
|500g||finely ground hazelnuts|
|150g||golden caster sugar|
|900g||dark chocolate, chopped, or callets|
|220g||unsalted butter, at room temperature|
|For the Ganache Glaze:|
|400g||dark chocolate, chopped, or callets`|
|40g||unsalted butter, softened|
|For the decoration:|
|toasted or candied hazelnuts|
|candied orange peel|
For the crêpes:
It's best to make the batter the day before assembling the cake and keep it chilled.
In a small, heavy-bottomed pan, melt the 210g butter until lightly browned, then remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. In a seperate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and orange zest. Gradually add the milk to the flour mixture.
Slowly add the browned butter and stir in. Pour the batter into an airtight container and refridgerate for several hours or overnight.
When you are ready to cook the crêpes, melt a little butter in a large crêpe pan or small frying pan over a medium heat.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour about 3 tablespoons of the batter into the pan, swirling the pan so the batter covers the base. Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the pan to the heat.
Cook for about 30 seconds until all the edges are golden and the centre is dry. Flip the crêpe over and cook the second side for 30 seconds. Slide the crêpe onto a flat dish or plate.
Repeat until you have about 30 crêpes.
For the hazelnut filling:
In a bowl, mix the ground hazelnuts and caster sugar together until it forms smooth buttery paste.
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water). Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until fully incorporated. Whisk in the cream and salt and then the hazelnut mixture.
Leave the mixture to cool before using.
To assemble the crêpes:
Place a crêpe on a cake stand or serving platter. Spread with a thin layer of the hazelnut filling, taking it right to the edges. Top with another crêpe and repeat the process until you have used all the crêpes and hazelnut filling.
Refridgerate for around 15 minutes or until firm.
For the ganache glaze:
Place the chocolate in a medium-sized heatproof bowl and set aside.
Heat the cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Heat the butter with the cream. Bring to the boil and immediately pour over the chocolate. Stir gently until smooth and all the chocolate has melted. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before glazing the cake.
Using a palette knife, spread the ganache glaze over the top of the cake and right to the edges. Spread the remaining glaze around the sides of the cake. Refridgerate for 20 minutes until the glaze is set.
Decorate with toasted or candied hazelnuts and candied orange peel.
Tip: It can be tricky to get neat edges around the cake, so if you're a perfectionist like me, once the cake is assembled, cut round the cake with a sharp knfe, using the base of a cake tin 2-3cm smaller than your crêpe stack as a guide. Then spread the ganache over the cake.