Crepes are one of those desserts that I really, really, really, love, but for some reason that goes beyond my capacity to understand, are also one of those desserts that I hardly ever eat. I really don't know why. It's kind of dumb actually. I mean, making crepes is just about one of the easiest things ever. All you need is a blender, and a skillet. Maybe even a spatula, if you're not into the fancy flick-of-the-wrist kind of flips (I stick to a spatula, thank you very much). They require so little effort to prepare, can come in a ridiculous number of different flavor combinations, and can be made relatively quickly...WHY DON'T I MAKE CREPES MORE OFTEN?!
I decided to take care of business and make myself some crepes. But not just any old crepes. If I was going to make crepes, I was gonna go BIG. They had to be part of some really spectacular and delicious sort of dessert. This obviously meant stacking the crepes into cake form.
Mmmm, a cake made out of crepes...there is just no way that couldn't be good! Making the crepes out of chocolate only makes this crepe cake even better. Seriously, this chocolate crepe cake was unbelievably good.
As with all recipes, there is always a chance for slight error, or at least in this case, a little bit of confusion. While researching "crepe cakes," I was able to conclude that the number of crepes contained within said cake was almost always 21. So then, I searched for a crepe recipe that made around 21, and the one I ended up using by Alton Brown said it made around 22 crepes, which was perfect. Except that when I made them, I only got 12 crepes for some reason...I'm not exactly sure why, so I made a second batch of crepe batter to see if I could figure out what went wrong, and again I got 12 crepes. I decided that this wasn't reallyyyy a big deal, and made my crepe cake with 24 layers of delicious chocolate crepes. As for the filling, feel free to use whatever you like! You can use Nutella, pastry cream, melted chocolate, and if you're making plain vanilla crepes, dulce de leche seems like it would be really delicious as well. I chose to stick to good old whipped cream, adding some chocolate ganache to half of it, so it ended up being almost like a chocolate mousse of sorts.
This chocolate crepe cake is the ultimate fancy-show off dessert, and the best part is that it's actually really easy to put together, and can even be made several hours, or even a day in advance! Below, I've given you the doubled version of the recipe I used, since I ended up making two batches. If you want less crepes, or if you want to try your luck and see if you get the full amount of crepes from one batch of batter, just divide all the ingredients by two.
Chocolate Crepe Cake
crepe recipe adapted from Alton Brown
For the Crepes
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup water
2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
6 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for coating the pan
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Filling
whipped cream, Nutella, chocolate mousse, pastry cream, whatever you want!
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and pulse for about ten seconds, just so that all the ingredients combine together. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator to rest for one hour.
After an hour, remove the crepe batter from the refrigerator. Heat a non-stick skillet (I used a 10-inch skillet), and add a little butter to coat the bottom and sides of the skillet. Add a small amount of batter to the pan, about 1/4 cup, and quickly swirl the batter around the skillet to form an even, round crepe. Cook for around 30 seconds, or until you can see bubbles forming on the top side of the crepe. Flip the crepe, cook for about 10 more seconds, and then transfer them to a cutting board. Make sure to lay them out flat as they cool.
Once all the crepes have been made, begin to assemble the cake. On your serving platter, arrange a couple of strips of waxed paper beneath the first crepe to prevent accidentally getting any whipped cream on the pate. Add a heaping tablespoon of whipped cream (or filling of your choice) and spread it evenly all over the crepe. Add a crepe on top of this, and spread more filling. Repeat until all the crepes have been used. Dust with powdered sugar if desired, and remove the strips of wax paper. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to allow the cake to become a little more firm before serving. Enjoy!