To most people, making a crêpe cake seems like a gargantuan task, but it’s actually a very simple dessert. There is no meringue folding, cake splitting or crumb coating involved. The best part? No turning on the oven in the middle of the sweltering heat. My version is layered with a light yoghurt cream and studded with floral elderflower-scented strawberries.
Prep time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 1 hour
For the crêpes:
- 6 tbsp (85g) unsalted butter
- 3 cups (230mL) whole milk
- 1½ cups (180g) plain flour
- 6 tbsp (75g) granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 6 eggs
For the filling:
- ⅔ cup (150mL) heavy cream
- 4 tsp (15g) brown sugar
- ¾ cup (180g) natural yoghurt, strained
- 454g strawberries
- 2–3 tbsp elderflower concentrate
- Make the crêpe batter. Brown the butter in a small pan by melting it until the milk solids separate. Continue heating until the bubbling sound subsides and the milk solids just start to colour. Remove from the heat and pour into a small bowl. Set aside.
- In another pan, warm the milk and set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Whisk in one egg at a time, slowly moving outwards, until the batter is smooth and silky. Slowly whisk in the warm milk, followed by the browned butter.
- Strain the batter into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Meanwhile, make the filling by whipping the cream and sugar until soft peaks form, then whisk in the yoghurt (don’t worry about deflating or overwhipping the cream). Return to the refrigerator to set.
- Wash, hull and slice the strawberries as thin as you can, about 2–3mm. Toss with the elderflower concentrate and allow to macerate for 30 min. Drain the strawberries so that they’re not mushy.
- Prepare the crêpes. Line a few baking trays with parchment paper. Heat a non-stick or crêpe pan over medium heat. Melt a pat of butter until it sizzles and evenly distribute around 2 tbsp of crêpe batter, swirling it in one smooth motion to cover the surface of the pan. I find it easier to hold the pan over the batter container, swirl and put it back over the hob. Return to the heat and cook until the top looks dry and the edges start to brown slightly. Using a spatula and your hands, gently flip over the crêpe and cook for another 30 sec. Transfer to a prepared baking tray. Repeat with the batter until you have made 22–24 crêpes (a few will be your practice ones).
- Assemble the cake when all the components are ready. On a large serving plate, place one crêpe. Evenly spread around 1 tbsp of yoghurt cream using an offset spatula, then arrange the strawberry slices, around 6–8 pieces per layer. Place another crêpe on top and press gently. Repeat with the remaining components until you have 22–24 layers.
- Chill for at least 1 hour to set. Serve cold.